Buying old homes and transforming them into modern, new-looking houses is all the rage right now. Don’t believe it? Just turn on HGTV and you’ll catch dozens of shows attempting to work magic on home from the 80s and 90s, or earlier.
However, we can’t all afford to completely flip a house, nor do we want to spend the time and energy staging a full remodel. Instead, rely on these five key cosmetic home improvements that will have a dramatic effect - without sucking your bank account dry.
1. Paint or Stain Your Kitchen Cabinets for a Fresh Look
Let’s be honest - your kitchen cabinets might not be the most attractive feature in your home. If you’re looking for ways to update and make your home look “new,” starting in the kitchen is always a good idea.
If you’re looking for a smooth, modern appearance, painting might be your go-to option. It’s a relatively cheap way to brighten up a kitchen, making everything look a bit cleaner and neater. Should you decide to paint your cabinets a new color, you likely won’t need to touch them again for another 10 years - another win for the passive homeowner.
Willing to take on a bigger challenge to improve your kitchen’s aesthetic? Consider staining, which will give the wood a more natural, traditional look that lasts for years to come. However, not everyone knows how to stain - you’ll need to refer to a woodworking guide to learn what kind of stain you want to use on your type of wood, how to hand wipe, and what hues to watch for.
2. Install New, Attractive Doors
While you’re thinking about the interior of your home, others are noticing the exterior. One of the first things people often notice is your door.
- Does it have visible cracks?
- Does it creak like an entry to a haunted house when it opens?
- What about the paint? Is it chipped and peeling?
Installing a new front door, or even a back or patio door, can make your home look years younger. Additionally, you could end up saving money on energy. Lots of your cold/hot air is lost through drafts in loosely fitted doors.
If you really want to boost your home’s curb appeal, install a new front door that makes a statement. This could be a door with a textured window or something simple painted in a bright, eye-catching color. Either way, you’ll make a great first impression on visitors and passers-by.
3. Update Your Bathroom Fixtures
Although you might not spend as much time in your bathrooms as you do in other parts of your house, they have a huge influence on the overall impression (and value) of your home. When your bathrooms are outdated and grungy, the rest of your home feels older, too.
According to HGTV, even a minor bathroom remodel could give you up to a 102 percent return when you sell the home - that’s how big of an impact your bathroom has on the entire feel of the house.
Start with the most effective change you can make quickly: update the fixtures. Swap out your old rusty showerhead from a new rainfall option shipped from Amazon. Pick up a new faucet head or a sink that makes a statement and draws your eye away from old tile or an outdated layout.
You can even pick out a new toilet that takes your bathroom from “meh” to oh-so 2020. For a couple hundred dollars, you can replace your gross old option with something sleek and shiny.
4. Take Your Hardwood Floors to the Next Level
Before you decide to completely remodel your home, turn your attention to the floors. Sure, you might sweep and mop your hardwoods regularly, but are they looking a little tarnished? That can seriously detract from the quality feel of your house.
The first thing to do, after cleaning up any obvious spills or dirt, is to buff dry your floors with a microfiber mop that doesn’t leave ugly streaks. Then, consider the stain on your floors - if they weren’t ever sealed with a polyurethane finish, your wax might actually look pretty dull.
Consider stripping off paste wax with mineral spirits and refinishing the floors ASAP. Although hardwood floors can last for decades without being refinished, it all depends on your foot traffic. If you are constantly walking on the floors (kids and animals, too), it might be high time for a new finish job.
5. Repaint the Walls for a Dramatic Change
A general rule of thumb is to paint the inside of your home every five to seven years. Even if you don’t notice it, your walls go through a lot - splattered food, scuffs, scrapes, nicks, stains, you name it.
Take a look around and take note of the state of your walls. Chances are, they could use a facelift.
Not only will a fresh coat of paint improve the feel of your home, it will also protect your walls from long-term damage. Interior paint can serve as an effective method of protecting your home from moisture damage. So, if you want your home to look new for years to come, keep up with regular paint jobs at least once a decade, if not more frequently.
For walls that will make your rooms feel big and spacious, go with light colors such as white, off-white, pale pink, or soft blue. If your rooms were originally painted a darker color, you’ll find that switching to something brighter and less heavy on the eyes will make the areas feel brand new.
Heading to the furniture store and buying heaps of expensive accessories won’t necessarily make your home look “new.” You’ll have much better luck tackling the improvements you see listed here. Not only will they improve the appearance and feel of your home, but they’ll make it last longer and potentially help you resell it for a higher price someday.