Home Remodeling Ideas on a Budget

Michael Jordan  |

Remodeling doesn’t have to be a scary word. In fact, remodeling can be light, fun, and affordable for those who are a little handy and a bit creative. Whether you are looking to refresh an old house or spruce up a recently acquired property, these small and inexpensive tips will help give your house an exciting facelift.



While tossing around remodeling ideas, one feature that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention is the closet doors. Believe it or not, simply altering these bland features can revamp an entire room—and for relatively little money.

If you’re dealing with a closet that contains the standard, and frankly ugly, bi-fold closet doors, there is a simple way to spruce it up a bit. Purchase two cheap, hollow-core doors from your local hardware store. Attach wooden panels to fill in the difference in the size gap and paint. Finish off with some snazzy, contrasting hinges and you’re all set.

Another quick fix to freshen things up is to add a closet organizing system. You can purchase full kits to do this with or buy simple pieces, like secondary closet rods or shelving units. Add a color theme with some cute storage baskets and you’re all set—quick, painless, and relatively cheap

If you’re working with plainer, flat doors, affix some framed mirrors to them. Mirrors open up a room, giving an illusion of a larger space, and they help reflect natural light. They’re also extremely practical, especially if they’re in the area you’ll be getting dressed—ie: the closet. While you can purchase mirrors with beautiful frames already on them, you can also purchase simple mirrored panels and add your own trimming in order to fully customize the look.


If you’ve ever watched an episode of the Vanilla Ice Project, you’ll know that ceilings make a big difference in a bedroom. The former rapper turned house flipper has a penchant for adding flare to the master bedroom by installing beadboard or ceiling tiles in just about any house he renovates. This simple process can completely change the appearance of a room in one shot.

You can find these materials at just about any hardware store. They’re generally pretty simple to install—measure, purchase, cut, and stick. Of course, with any project, you’ll want to be very diligent with your measurements to avoid any waste of materials during the installation process.

Another simple way to spice up your ceiling is by adding crown molding. By adding this elegant trimming material to the ceiling, you can give your room an elongated look and a touch of class. It’s also relatively easy to install and shouldn’t take more than a couple hours.


Your bed is the focal point of the bedroom, whether you want it to be or not. A simple change in the bedding used can push the entire room into a different direction, but what seems to get overlooked in this process is the headboard. While you can purchase nice, fancy headboards, you can also make them for half the cost. Depending on your decorating style, you can use everything from an old door or a wooden pallet to padded cushions or just merely paint on the wall above the headboard.

Another simple way to spruce up the focal point of the room is to add a bench to the foot of the bed. You can find these relatively cheap online in a range of styles, mostly for under $200, but you can also repurpose old benches by adding new paint or reupholstering them. A large trunk or wooden crate can also be used to fashion a seating area by adding a cushioned top. This will also give you storage room that you may not get with a regular bench.



A super quick and extremely quick bathroom refresh can be accomplished by simply switching out the handles on the cabinets. There are literally hundreds of styles to choose from that cover everything from elegant crystal and rustic to quirky and child-friendly designs. This is a project that will take less than an hour to complete, but will immediately change the appearance of the room.

Matching Sets

Don’t underestimate the use of a good towel set! Pick a theme and run with it, getting matching sets of body towels, accent hand-towels, rugs, and the shower curtain. Adding accent pieces to the counter, such as a color-tied in toothbrush holder or storage basket and you’ll tie the room together nicely.


More often than not, the space above the toilet is wasted space. You probably have a picture hanging there—if anything at all. You can utilize this space by adding shelves, affixed directly to the wall, and create a beautiful display while you’re at it. If you’re looking for a rustic look, adding uneven, stained wood to the wall will give the room a cottage feel. If you’re looking to go more elegant, simple black shelves will pull a room together. If it’s a kid’s bathroom, adding brightly colored or uniquely shaped shelves can help create a quirky, whimsical feel. This is quick, cheap, and useful in every way.


The bathroom is one of the smallest rooms in the house—usually. Adding new flooring is an inexpensive way to give the room a facelift as the floor space itself is limited. Vinyl tile is a cheaper alternative to tiling, as well, allowing you to mimic the appearance of tile or wood without the expense.

Mirror Refresh

If you have a simple, clipped on bathroom mirror, adding a frame will give the room a new look. Purchase cheap trim from your local hardware store and paint or stain it to match your bathroom’s look. Adhesive picked up from the same store will affix the mirror with a simple step.


If you don’t want to install new cabinets, you can refresh your existing ones with a quick coat of paint. There are a variety of paint techniques that can give your cabinets everything from a vintage feel to a rustic appearance. If elegant is more your style, a dark, earthy tone will set the right mood, especially when paired with decorative handles.

Living Room


If you have a fireplace in your living room, be assured it is the focal point of the room. No matter what else you have going on in the room a person’s eye will always be drawn to this feature. When a fireplace has been neglected over time, it can become an eyesore, not a pleasant feature. Update your fireplace easily by stripping any ugly or dilapidating brick or stone. Once you have a bare base, you have a bevy of options available to you depending on the style of the room.


Wall paneling can give any room a classy look quickly and inexpensively. These can add texture to your room, while breaking up any extended sections of exposed walls. When paired with the right paint color combination, it can also give a stylish, classic feel to the room.

Wall Shelves

Affixing shelves directly to the wall gives the room a more open, less cluttered feel than having several units lying around the space. If you’re not quite handy enough to build shelving from scratch, some old bookcases, some paint, and some trimming will make the job a little easier for the first-time DIYer.


As mentioned earlier, adding a mirror to a space will give the room a more open feel while helping to reflect natural light, thus making the room appear larger. Adding a freestanding, large mirror to a living room can enhance the room quickly and cheaply. Finding one with a large, decorative frame will give your living room a refresh with hardly any work involved.

Light switches

While it seems silly, sprucing up simple things, such as light switches and plug covers can go a long way in refreshing a room. Pick up some cheap picture frames from the dollar store and paint them to match your light switch covers. If you don’t feel like being a little crafty, there are plenty of decorative switch covers available online or in your local hardware store that are a little more expensive but offer a variety of colors and textures to fit your room’s color theme.


Most homes come with the standard lighting. It’s simple and effective, but quite common. Changing out these common lights for decorative lighting is quick and easy to budget. Adding standing lights or table lights to the room can also be an easy way to spruce up the space. There are a wide variety of artistic lighting choices for tables and freestanding spaces available online and in your local thrift stores. You can also find table lamps at yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores that, with a bucket of paint, can be a wonderful addition to your living room.

When trying to give your home a quick revamp while maintaining a thrifty budget, keep in mind it is often the little things that go the furthest. Ceiling fan chain pulls, door knobs and hinges, framing and crown molding, and a quick dash of paint are all little additions that will make your home feel brand new with minimal spending and work on your part.

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