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5 Easy and Affordable DIY Home Updates

Easy Affordable DIY Home Updates | PorchLight Real Estate Group | Denver, Boulder

Fall in Love with Your Home All Over Again

Giving your home a fresh, new feel doesn't always require a costly, full-blown renovation. A few smart changes and a bit of creativity just might be all it takes to make your living space feel brand new. No need to knock down walls or break the bank. 

So, put away the sledgehammer and save demo for another day! Check out these five simple yet affordable ways to transform your home—many of which can be accomplished in a weekend:

1. Add Paint, Wallpaper, and Window Treatments

Paint: One of the most impactful, yet cost-effective ways to update your home is paint. In 2024, popular colors include earthy tones like terracotta, olive green, and warm beige (yes, beige is back). Rich colors such as eggplant, merlot, and even brown are also gaining momentum.

And instead of an accent wall, consider painting the walls, ceiling, door and trim all in the same color. It can make a room feel seamless and larger while still being cozy. Changing up the shade or tone can create depth. For subtle contrast and dimension, try this—a flat or eggshell finish for walls, then a satin for trim, and gloss or semi-gloss for doors.

Wallpaper: Wallpaper has been making a big comeback in recent years, with bold patterns and textures becoming a staple in modern homes. A feature wall (or ceiling) can instantly add depth and interest to any room, even a utilitarian space like a laundry room or mudroom. 

If you’re hesitant, start small with a powder room and see how huge of an impact wallpaper can make. Have glass front cabinets in your kitchen? Line the backside with a vivid wallpaper (peel and stick is fine) for a touch of subtle drama. 

Window Treatments: Update the look of your windows and rooms with contemporary options like sheer curtains, Roman shades, or bamboo blinds. These not only add style but also help control light and privacy. You can also mix bamboo with a bold fabric drape if you can’t decide on just one. For those who prefer neutral walls and furniture, window treatments provide the texture, pattern, color, and warmth a space needs to feel complete and pulled together. 

2. Update Hardware, Fixtures and Lights

Cabinet Hardware: Replacing old cabinet knobs and pulls with modern designs can dramatically change the look of a kitchen or bath. Matte black, brushed gold, and mixed metals are trending in 2024. So are textured options and even leather. If you have builder-grade, honey oak cabinets, consider substantial black hardware. The contrast will allow the hardware to pop, not the oak.

Whether you prefer to mix or match your metals, don’t forget to tackle the plumbing fixtures when you update knobs and pulls. Swapping faucets in a kitchen and bathrooms go hand-in-hand with your cabinetry hardware. While it doesn’t have to be match-matchy, it should be complementary. 

Lighting: Say goodbye to your outdated and builder-grade light fixtures. It’s just a few wires for you to manage—or hire an electrician/handyperson if you don’t feel comfortable. Instead of all overheads, layer ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a more homey, inviting atmosphere.

Think pendant lights and sconces in shapes and textures that fit your home’s era or your design aesthetic. Add a vintage or sculptural chandelier to the dining area—in a bold color if that’s more your vibe. Consider LED strips under cabinets, smart bulbs, and dimmable lights. And don’t forget to retrofit recessed lights with a simple LED kit—install is as easy as screwing in a new lightbulb. 

Easy Affordable DIY Home Updates | PorchLight Real Estate Group | Denver, Boulder

3. Declutter, Organize and Deep Clean

Visible clutter can make a room feel smaller, chaotic and unfinished. So, whether you have piles of paperwork, too many toys left out, or open shelving jam-packed with knick-knacks, a thorough decluttering is your first step. Ruthlessly purge items into three categories: sell, donate or toss.

Closed Storage: With your “stuff” paired down, you can then find functional storage solutions to organize problem areas. Closed cabinets and bookshelves, custom closet systems, IKEA hacks, modular shelving, even stylish, matching baskets can help corral items and reduce visual clutter. 

Retrofitting Cabinets: Take your organization efforts and storage needs to the next level. In your kitchen and bathrooms, install pull-out drawers (like this), add dividers, organizer trays, and even a lazy Susan in that odd corner cabinet. This will help maximize usable space and accessibility, as well as make it easier to get ready in the mornings or prepare a meal.

Deep Cleaning: It’s inevitable that once all your surfaces are clear of clutter, dust and grime will become more apparent. While this is nobody’s favorite project, a deep clean can bring the sparkle back into your home. Check out this recent blog for a complete checklist. 

Don’t forget to deep clean your carpets as well. Along with removing unsightly dirt and stains, you can greatly reduce allergens hiding in the fibers. Go ahead and rent a carpet cleaner or hire a professional. Still have problem areas? Rugs over carpet are a stylish solution.

4. Refresh Your Landscaping and Front Porch

Landscaping: Don’t forget the exterior of your home and improving curb appeal. Tackle updates like adding new plants or flowers. Mulch flower beds and around trees. Fertilize and seed your lawn. Trim bushes, hedges and trees. Consider xeriscaping with native plants and drought-resistant options that are both sustainable and low-maintenance. 

Front Porch: Spruce up your front porch with fresh paint on the door, new hardware and house numbers, and a seating area if you have space. Frame the door with tall potted plants, statement lighting and a stylish doormat or outdoor rug to welcome guests. Don’t forget lighting–solar along pathways, uplights on lush trees, downlights on deck steps, and cafe lights for al fresco dining. 

You can also take on exterior projects beyond the front porch such as pressure washing your home’s siding. If you have shutters, repaint them to match the front door. Adding window boxes with real or faux plants can instantly give the home more charm and dimension. 

5. Install Smart Home Technology 

A beautiful home should also function well, and not just when it comes to the layout. With today’s smart technology, the possibilities are endless. Here’s how to get started

The Ecosystem: If you don’t have one already, pick from popular options like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple HomeKit. This primary hub is where you’ll manage settings and controls—so, as you build out your system, make sure all components are compatible. 

Smart Features: While the smart home universe continues to expand, some good places to start are exterior cameras and door locks for security, your home thermostat for energy efficiency, and interior lights that can turned on/off, timed and dimmed. Once you’re comfortable with the tech, you can add anything from a smart garage door opener to a rain-sensing sprinkler system, even appliances. Yes, get the oven preheated when you’re on your way home from the grocery store or make sure the garage is secure from your office!

Keep in mind that with a larger home or smart components on multiple levels, you may also need to install a WiFi extender that amplifies your signal and ensures optimal connectivity.

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