Easy Updates You Can Make Without Going Broke

Design Tips

There’s nothing quite like a new year to invigorate and motivate us to make changes. We think about ways we can improve our health or finances. We make sweeping declarations about how many times we’re going to call our mothers or how many books we’re going to read. But what of our homes?

I truly believe that space impacts our lives in dramatic and unsung ways. An intentionally curated gallery wall fosters creativity. A deliciously comfy couch can aid in mending a broken heart. A decluttered and organized space can literally save you from headaches. But for a lot of us, home projects conjures cartoon dollar signs flashing in our eyeballs – something to be dreamt of, but rarely implemented. Well, I’m here with a round up of simple projects and renovation ideas that are easy to implement and WON’T break the bank.

Carriage Hills office, photographed by Matti Gresham

Carriage Hills office, photographed by Matti Gresham

Declutter + Organize

I’ve already written an entire blog post on this (and share about it frequently on Instagram), but if you do anything this year, it needs to be this. A beautifully decorated house in complete and irreparable chaos is no place to live.

Consider Cabinet Fronts

Hate your cabinets? Consider simply replacing the doors and faces. The most expensive part of new cabinets is often the building and installation of the cabinet box. Replacing the doors and drawer fronts plus a fresh coat of paint will truly make the space look brand new (just see the before and after of the Valor Project where we did just this!).

Valor laundry beforeValor laundry beforeAfter, photographed by Mike DavelloAfter, photographed by Mike Davello

Stick ‘em Up! (And Down!)

I have been wildly impressed with how far peel-and-stick options have come in the last few years. Have dingy tiled floors? Consider vinyl floor tile. This brand is so well-priced and has a ton of great reviews, and this blog has a great tutorial. Does your room just need a bit of a style punch up? Peel-and-stick wallpapers are now widely available, and in gorgeous patterns. This brand has an incredible reputation and so many beautiful schemes.

Light it Up

I’m passionate about this one. I see so many spaces that have real potential to be special, but they’re dripping with boring, builder-grade lighting. Switching these out to ones that reflect your style more and take more of a creative chance will do wonders (WONDERS) for your home. It can often be the difference between basic and beautiful. Amazon has some really affordable options (I’ve always been wow’d by this wall sconce), and so does Wayfair (this chandelier looks like a million bucks but is less than $200). You can also check out my SHOP page for more of my favorite lighting sources out there!

We swapped basic builder pendants for these dramatic beauties over at the Deere Project. Photo by Matti Gresham.We swapped basic builder pendants for these dramatic beauties over at the Deere Project.

Photo by Matti Gresham.

Paint…That’s it. That’s the Idea.

I’ve saved the most obvious – but least expensive and oftentimes most dramatic – improvement for last: paint. You can do this yourself, it’s inexpensive, and never ceases to create a major impact. Just take a look at the Carriage Hills den/library/lounge before-and-afters below.

Carriage Hills den beforeCarriage Hills den before
After, photographed by Matti Gresham

After, photographed by Matti Gresham

What do you think? Does this make home improvement seem a bit more attainable? What projects are on your to-do list this year?



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