Property Alicia Kennedy By Alicia Kennedy

20 Home Improvement Projects That Don’t Break The Bank

Our homes all need improvements from time to time. They will suffer wear and tear but it can be expensive to have a complete home makeover. However, below are some tips on how you can make significant differences to your home without having to pay out lots of money.

Spring Cleaning

It is amazing what a big difference it can make if you have a good spring clean. You may clean regularly but sweeping ceilings and walls, scrubbing extra dirty patches, cleaning windows, washing off mould and all of those bigger scale jobs can make a huge difference to how the home looks. Even a good deep dust, polish, sweep and scrub, moving everything and cleaning everything can make such a difference.

Relocate Furniture

If you fancy a change, then just moving furniture around in the home can make a difference. It will be easier in some houses than others, but it can be fun to have a change. You may even be able to change the purpose of different rooms, which will give you a different outlook from different chairs and will enable you to feel like your home has been changed. It could end up making your home feel bigger, better or brighter just from moving a few things.

Coat of Paint

A coat of paint can make an enormous difference and is not that expensive if you can apply it yourself. Changing a colour can completely change the way a room feels and looks. A brighter colour can add a lighter feel to a room and something dark and striking can be atmospheric. It is important to choose the right colour or combination of colours so that the room has the atmosphere that you want. You also need to consider the furniture you are putting back in and the flooring to make sure that it will all match up. Sometimes a very pale colour can work to show off striking pieces of furniture or brightly coloured accessories or a striking coloured wall can direct attention away from shabby furniture.

Change Accessories

Changing some of the accessories in a room can make a difference to the feel of it. For example changing cushions, curtains and rugs to a different style and colour can change the whole mood of a room. It can be quite cheap to buy a few things like this rather than buying all new furniture or repainting and also a lot easier. You can keep the things you had before and then change round every so often so that you can regularly have a new look without having to spend even more money.

Get Some Storage

Many people find that the look of their home can be changed quite dramatically just by changing the way that they store things. By getting some storage boxes, shelving or other storage solutions, you will be able to tidy up a selection of things and make quite a big change to the look of your room. You can make a feature out of the storage solution that you choose, if you wish to or just hide it away somewhere to keep some of the items out of site and therefore to add space to the room and make it look tidier too.

Get Your Fireplace Working

If you have a fireplace then getting it working can make a great deal of difference to a room, Being able to have an open fire or putting in a log burner can add a lovely warmth and atmosphere to a room. Not only can it warm a room in winter but it can also provide a lovely light and romance to a room. You will need to get your chimney swept if you have never used it, just to check that it is safe and then make sure that if you have a wood burner that it is professionally installed to make sure that it is safe. You will also need to make sure that you have a fire guard if you have children.

Clean Curtains/Soft Furnishings/Carpet

As well as cleaning the room generally, having upholstery cleaned can make a big difference to the look of a room. This can be difficult as you will need special cleaning materials. It may be possible to remove chair and sofa covers to get them cleaned and curtains can sometimes be machine washed, although certain fabrics and bigger curtains will need to be dry cleaned. Carpets can be tricky as well, but apart from spot cleaning specific stains with special cleaning solution, the best way is to hire a carpet cleaner.

Repolish Wood Furniture

If you have wooden furniture, then you will find that over time it gets scratched and worn. It is possible to do work on it yourself in order to make it look a lot better. It is wise to seek professional advice if you have antique furniture or family heirlooms though. You should be able to sand down the furniture and then polish it up again using a wax, varnish it or paint it, depending on what effect you are looking for. Take your time and you will end up with something that you can be proud of.

Change The Pictures

Changing the pictures that you have hanging in your home can make a big difference to how things look. It may be that you keep the same frames and change what is in them or that you swap the pictures about that you have. You could also buy new ones completely. Some people like to buy feature pieces of art, but it is cheap to find prints or posters to frame. You may prefer to get things which match the décor in your room or something which will stand out as different and catch the eye.

Swap Furniture With Family/Friends

If you want a big change, then you may decide that you want different furniture. This will have a big effect but can be really expensive. However, if you have furniture that is in good condition, then you may benefit from swapping some pieces. You could ask family or friends whether they are also interested in changing and see whether you could make some swaps. You may find that a group of you could make a selection of swaps between you and could all get a different look as a result. Just make sure that you agree with them whether you will keep the furniture forever or are just borrowing and whether you are able to paint, varnish or reupholster it, should you want to.

Do Up Second Hand Furniture

It can be cheap to do up second hand furniture. As well as second hand shops, junk shops, antique shops and charity shops, you may be able to pick up free or very cheap furniture from online listings. This can be a great way to have a change without buying something new. You may need to do some work to make the furniture look good, depending on what sort of state it is in and what age it is. You can use online tutorials to find out how to work on furniture and you may need to purchase some tools, but it could be cheaper than buying new pieces and will be more rewarding too.

Repurpose Furniture You Have Already

It may be possible to repurpose furniture that you already have. You could perhaps use it in a different room or change it somehow. You could just change the look by painting it or you could rework it, if you are practical in that way so that you can use it for something else. You may, for example, take drawers from either side of a desk to make a set of bedside tables, take the doors off a cupboard to make a bookshelf, or add doors to a bookshelf to make a cupboard. You could hang a cupboard on a wall to save space or recover and cushion a hard chair to make it into a comfortable one.

Learn Some DIY Skills

If you do not have DIY skills, then you can easily learn these days. There are many tutorials online as well as books which you can use to improve your skills. You will need some tools but you may be able to borrow these or hire them. You should be able to quite easily learn how to hang shelves and make simple pieces of furniture which will help you to be able to make your home look really different without the need to pay someone to do the work for you. These skills are something that you will be able to use again and again and so well worth learning and practising.

Change Kitchen Cupboard Doors

If you want a cheap new look to a kitchen then changing the doors on the cupboards can make a big difference. Changing a door is a simple task and you will not need any specialist skills or tools. However, when it is done your kitchen will look very different and you will not have had to change cupboards or even empty them.

Change Bath Panel/Taps/Shower Door

In the bathroom you can change taps, bath panel and the shower door to give a new and clean look without having to replace everything. You could probably manage to do this yourself as there will not be any difficult plumbing involved and it will be very much cheaper than replacing everything and paying a plumber to do the work.

Try Alternative Lighting

Changing the lighting in a room can make a significant difference to the look. Just making it lighter or darker, by changing the strength of the bulbs can be very different, but you can change the light fitting too which will make more of a difference. Consider changing from a white light to a daylight bulb to see whether that makes a difference too. You may prefer side lights and lamps to a main light or perhaps try all of them, depending on how much light you need in your rooms.


Having a lot of items and furniture in a room can make it look messy and small and make it harder to clean. By getting rid of some of the clutter, you make a big difference to the look of the room without having to do anything else. It can be therefore worth thinking about whether you need everything that is in your home. Homes can be small these days and so large pieces of furniture can take up valuable space and it can be worth deciding whether you really need them or not.

Get Plants/Flowers

Adding plants or flowers to a room can really add a change of atmosphere without having to do anything else. Just a few carefully places ones, as long as they are kept clean and well looked after can make a room look brighter and more welcoming. Choose pots and vases that are bright and cheerful too.

Hang Mirrors

If you have a small home then the addition of a few carefully places mirrors can make a big difference. The mirrors can reflect light which will make a room seem brighter and more inviting but also give the illusion of space. They can be bought quite cheaply, either second hand or new and are usually easy to hang so can be done easily even if you do not have many DIY skills.

Hide Your Tech

Clearing away your technology can make a big difference to how cosy and welcoming a room looks. If a room is scatted with computers, cameras and mobile devices, not only can it look messy but it can look busy and work orientated. It can therefore be wise to have one place to keep them all together or to clear them away to one room in the house so that you have a calm and tech free look most of the time.

About Alicia Kennedy

I am a married mum of 2 in a house full of Internet-addicts. I spend my spare time reading and writing content for websites such as this one. My interests in the financial sector are limited to making and saving as much money as possible and I also enjoy living a lifestyle which is as stress free as possible! Although with 2 kids that is somewhat difficult!

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