Spring is here, and for many people, that means seasonal cleaning and a home refresh. If you’re looking for some budget-friendly changes that will bring new life to your rooms, we have those for you.
Before you start, it’s a good idea to clear any clutter you may have. If you tend to hoard, you may want to begin your refresh by donating or throwing away items you no longer use. You may also want to review this list of home improvements that can increase the value of your home.
Your living room is a gathering place. Whether you’re entertaining guests or just your kids, it should feel inviting and reflect your style, yet also be functional and versatile.
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for any living space. Picking neutrals like white or beige ensures a clean and timeless look.
2. Statement furniture
If you don’t have the budget to buy all new furniture, you may want to consider picking one or two new pieces, such as a statement chair or a unique coffee table, that will update your space.
3. Area rug
A quality rug can anchor a room and add a subtle splash of color. It’s also a good idea to make sure it’s sturdy enough to handle high traffic. Adding a rug pad can be worth the additional cost because it can prolong the life of your rug.
How you light a room can affect its overall feel. Installing dimmers can enable you to adjust the lighting depending on the mood you’re trying to set. Some new floor and table lamps can also allow you to subtly adjust lighting.
5. Clutter containment
If you still have a lot of “stuff” after your initial purge, you may want to consider storing it in decorative receptacles such as woven baskets or a storage ottoman. This is especially useful if you have kids with a lot of toys.
Buying nice frames to create a gallery on blank walls, or even just to display family photos on a side table can really personalize your space. For a modern touch, you may want to consider a digital photo frame for convenient streaming.
7. Window treatments
If your budget allows, investing in custom blinds or curtains can add depth to a room. For a more affordable option, you can buy curtains and rods from a home décor store and install them yourself, but don’t forget to take the proper measurements.
8. Sofa spruce-up
Purchasing a bold couch cover and swapping out your throw pillows can be a quick and inexpensive way to add color and patterns to your space. You can even consider tossing a faux-fur blanket over the arm of the sofa for both added texture and warmth.
9. Go green
Plants have always been a simple and effective way to bring life into a space. And these days you don’t even have to go to the store to find them. You can buy them online, learn about the varieties that work best in your environment, and even download apps that show you how to care for them.
10. Switch it up
Looking for a zero-cost home refresh option? You can try rearranging your furniture. Using apps like Modsy for floor plan ideas can help you find options that complement your lifestyle and make the most efficient use of your space.
Dreaming about that perfect HGTV kitchen? You can use our calculator to estimate just how much a full remodel may cost you. But if that still falls outside of your budget, you can still refresh your kitchen with some of the following affordable upgrades — no permits or contractor required.
11. Cabinet facelift
If your cabinets are looking dated, you may want to try putting a fresh coat of paint on them. For an added touch, consider changing out the hardware and installing new handles and drawer pulls.
12. Seat swap
You may want to consider upgrading worn or outdated bar stools in exchange for something sleeker. If purchasing new stools isn’t in your budget, changing the upholstery with new fabric and a staple gun can be an inexpensive DIY option.
13. Appliance upgrade
If your appliances aren’t working as well as they used to, or they’re nearing the 10 year mark, it may be time to replace them. Although this can get expensive, you can find bargains on bundles, especially during holiday sales, and some outlet stores offer steep discounts on open box appliances.
14. Fill a wall
If you have unused wall space, you may want to consider installing floating shelves for smaller items such as cookbooks, plants, and other knick knacks. Not only will the extra shelving provide more storage in your kitchen, but it can also create an eye catching display.
15. Light it up
For a style update with a big impact, you can look into replacing old lighting fixtures with modern pendants. They come in such a wide variety of styles and price points that there’s something for just about anyone’s taste, and budget.
16. Combine decor with utility
It’s easy to warm up a space by adding functional and fun items like fruit bowls, wall clocks, and even serving trays. All of which are both useful and aesthetically pleasing. There are even flat screen TVs capable of appearing as painted works of art, and blending into their surroundings.
17. Streamline storage
Your storage areas can also be the focus of a spring upgrade. Consider tossing expired foods from your pantry and doing a deep clean of your fridge and freezer. If you want to really get organized, consider storing your dry goods and refrigerated items in clear canisters and bins for easy identification and access, and using drawer dividers to separate utensils.
In an ideal world, a bathroom refresh would include a new vanity, shower and flooring. However, even if a demo is more idealistic than realistic, that doesn’t mean this space is out of bounds. You may want to consider starting small with a few less costly changes.
18. Hardware update
Replacing your outdated sink, bath and shower faucets can boost the appeal of just about any bathroom. By adding matching towel racks, door hooks, and vanity knobs and handles, you can achieve a cohesive upgrade that doesn’t break the bank.
19. Target: toilet
You may need a plumber to help, but if your porcelain throne is starting to show wear and tear, it may be time to replace it. You can buy a new toilet for just a couple hundred dollars online or at a home improvement store.
20. Mirror modern
If you have a long vanity with two sinks, you may want to consider installing two separate mirrors with bold frames. You can even hang a mirror with LED backlighting for a more modern hotel-like look.
21. Shower showcase
The shower curtain is one of the first things people see when they walk into a bathroom. Using it as an opportunity to reflect your style can be simple. Introduce a new look by finding a curtain with a cool pattern and adding a new curtain rod and rings.
22. Spa retreat
A bamboo bath mat that’s easy to clean and water-resistant can really elevate your space. So can candles and diffusers. Combine these with decorative shelves and you’ll instantly create a serene scene that could compete with any day spa.
Also consider donating your old towels and purchasing new high-quality ones to fit your new decor.
If you neatly display everyday items like a soap dispenser and toothbrush holder on a decorative tray, you can easily give your bath a tidy boost. You can also corral clutter by storing cosmetics in drawers.
24. Grout out
No budget for new tiles? How about putting some elbow grease into cleaning the grout on your existing tile floor and walls? Chances are you’ll end up with a noticeably cleaner, brighter space.
Your bedroom should be your haven after a long day of work. That’s why it can be helpful to create a peaceful setting so you can relax and get your best rest.
25. Bed frame & headboard
For a few hundred dollars, you can find an upholstered headboard that’s both fashionable and easy to assemble. It can create a dramatic difference in your bedroom’s appearance.
It’s pretty easy to refresh your walls over a weekend. If you want to liven up your space with some color, you can opt for soft hues such as pale blue or gray. For something more dramatic without the commitment, you can look into removable wallpaper.
27. New linens
To quickly liven up a boring bed, you can replace old sheets, blankets and pillows. You may want to consider colors and patterns that will create a peaceful sleeping environment.
Whether you have wooden floors or carpet, layering an area rug can help to create a sense of room separation and lend to a more cozy environment. If you want added texture, you may want to try shag or sheepskin rugs.
Designing a unique lighting setup doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. You may be able to freshen up your space by installing sconces on each side of your bed. It can save table space and add decor to your wall.
30. Side tables
For a budget-friendly furniture refresh, you may want to consider replacing your side tables, especially if they’re not multi-functioning. Finding those with drawers can add extra storage space.
31. Closet clutter
Custom closets can get expensive very quickly. But you can give your closets a custom feel by Installing affordable hanging bars and shelves that not only look good, but help you organize your wardrobe.
32. Floor mirrors
Adding a full-length floor mirror to your bedroom can serve two purposes. Not only will it reflect light and make your room look bigger, but it can come in handy when you’re trying to pull together your daily outfits.
33. Art & photos
Many designers suggest thinking of your walls as a blank canvas to display your style and the people you love. You can achieve this by hanging your favorite photos or artwork in eye-catching frames.
From mid-century modern to bohemian chic, even small changes can make your home feel new again. Before you start, you may want to get design inspiration from home magazines and websites. Figuring out how much you want to spend can help you prioritize which changes are most important to you. And finally, you can make staying within that budget a lot easier by choosing upgrades that you can do yourself and by shopping online to compare prices.
And if you’re so inspired to tackle a larger home makeover project that requires a bit more effort, a home improvement loan may be the way to go. SoFi’s no-fee home improvement loan could help you foot the bill of your kitchen reno or bathroom demo, with no collateral required. Plus, it’s possible to get your funds the same day* which can help fast track your remodel.
* Same-Day Personal Loan Funding: 92.6% of typical SoFi Personal Loan applications, excluding Direct Pay personal loans and personal loan refinance, from January 2021–April 2021 that were signed before 7pm ET on a business day were funded the same day.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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Photo credit: iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz