Home Home Improvement Transform Your House Into Your Dream Home

Transform Your House Into Your Dream Home

by Katy Byrom
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Do you have a Pinterest board where you’ve compiled images of what your future dream home will look like? If you’re in the market for a new home, you may have been hit with the realization that you may not exactly be able to afford all four of those bedrooms, marble countertops, and a big backyard with a pool, all in the hottest neighborhood in your area. With skyrocketing home prices, many buyers are facing the prospect of compromising on the features and even the size they want in a home. You might be dealing with small spaces, dark spaces, spaces with awkwardly placed windows, low ceilings, cramped kitchens, outdated bathrooms, and more. The reality is, you’re going to have to get creative. It may require a bit more work and patience, but it isn’t impossible to make even the most challenging space feel like home.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 affordable ideas for turning “the house you could afford” into the home you love. 

Can’t Afford Your Dream Home? Here’s How to Transform the Home You Have:

  1. Personalize with Paint
  2. Install New Flooring
  3. Knock It Down
  4. Light It Up
  5. Fix Your Fixtures
  6. Update Your Countertops
  7. Add Interest to Walls and Ceilings
  8. Change Window Treatments
  9. Select the Right Furniture
  10. Update the Exterior

1. Personalize Your Home with Paint

Have you found a home with good bones, but the inside is in some serious need of updating? Don’t let outdated or wild wall colors stop you from seeing the potential in a space. A fresh coat of paint throughout your home can make a big difference without a big investment. In fact, it can cost as little as $50, depending on the scope. Don’t forget about other areas of your home that could be easily spruced up with a coat of paint. Breathe new life into your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, add a pop of color to your front door, or even make a bold statement and paint your entry ceiling a bold color. 

If you are planning on a larger scale project that requires professional painters, Paintzen simplifies what can sometimes be an overwhelming process. From interior and exterior painting to wallpaper installation and custom murals, they do it all. Paintzen works with local professional painters and an experienced team to guide you step by step through the process. 

Before and after of dining room paint upgrade
Grace and Good Eats

2. Install New Flooring

If there’s one thing you should prioritize when it comes to fixing up your home, it’s the flooring. It may require more of an investment, but it will make a tremendous and immediate difference in the overall look and feel of your home. Not only will new flooring brighten a fixer-upper visually, but tackling this type of change early on can be much easier logistically. Once you’ve moved in and your furniture and personal belongings fill every room, redoing flooring can be a huge inconvenience. 

If you’ve always dreamed of having real hardwood, but just can’t swing it, you may be surprised at the quality of luxury vinyl plank wood flooring. Our partners at Empire Today have tons of vinyl and laminate options that are only a fraction of the cost of real wood. Luxury vinyl plank is also water-resistant and can be used in bathrooms. An increasingly popular way to elevate the look even more is by having the planks laid out in a chevron or herringbone pattern. 

Before and after photo of a home that had tile but was replaced with hardwood.
Not Your Average Girl

3. Knock It Down

Some simple renovations can make a huge difference to a home. Such changes like opening up a wall or repositioning a door can really change the ambiance of a room and create new, usable space. We’d suggest hiring a licensed and trusted professional for this job since demolishing a wall is likely a bigger project than the average homeowner can take on in a weekend. 

If you plan to expand your kitchen or combine awkward living areas to create your dream great room, make sure you find out which walls are load bearing first, as they may not be able to come down. Before you ditch your original remodeling plans, you’ll want to speak with a demolition specialist to determine what solutions are possible.

Before and after photo of opening up a space by knocking down a wall.
Caitlin Houston Blog

4. Light It Up

There is a whole world of affordable lighting options out there, so say goodbye to that ‘80s brass chandelier. There is absolutely no need to work around builder basics or outdated relics. With plenty of under $100 lights available, you can swap out a fixture and have a room looking like a brand-new space in under an hour. If you want to take it one step further, you can even customize your home’s ambiance by switching out the bulbs and installing dimmer switches.

Aesthetic light fixtures in bathroom.
Caitlin Houston Blog

5. Fix Your Fixtures

Now that your space is freshly painted and you’ve installed stylish new lights & flooring, it’s time to address those outdated fixtures. Swapping out the little things may seem small next to kitchen renovations or big budget additions, but they will make a huge difference.

Those changes will never add up if you never get started. Start bringing in the finishes and styles you love by swapping outlet covers, doorknobs, hinges, faucets, and other hardware.

Before and after photos of renovated bathrooms.
Charleston Crafted

6. Update Your Countertops

Old, damaged countertops do nothing but detract from the value and beauty of your home. The good news is that there are many ways to get inexpensive countertops that still look beautiful. Whether your outdated kitchen or bath is sporting salmon-colored tile or stained and cracked linoleum, it can be easier and far cheaper than you might think to update your countertop. For affordable options, consider preformed laminate, or check out costs for a remnant stone slab for a luxury bathroom update for less. 

If you’re looking for a weekend DIY project, the least expensive way to cover up old countertops, especially old wood, or linoleum countertops, is to paint them. Just sand, prime and then paint. Another easy option is to cover existing countertops with different materials such as wood, veneer, or metal. Peel-and-stick vinyl is another popular option and can be adhered directly over your existing countertops. It comes in a variety of colors and styles, including faux marble, granite, gold, soapstone, and concrete. 

Before and after pictures of renovated kitchen countertops.
Trubuild Construction

7. Add Interest to Walls or Ceilings 

It’s amazing how hanging wallpaper or adding a decorative wall trim can transform a space. Peel-and-stick wallpaper makes it easier than ever to customize your home with endless options like shiplap, bold florals, and dreamy boho watercolors.  

Take it even further and customize your space with millwork. Even if you don’t have a stash of power tools, you can easily add wainscoting, trim, or a board and batten accent wall to dull bedroom walls or ceilings. These finishes look high-end without all the cost. Choose prefinished materials to cut down on labor time or finish it yourself to save even more on your renovation budget. If hanging wallpaper or trim just isn’t your thing, TaskRabbit, a leading online and mobile task platform, can connect you with skilled people to handle everyday to-dos so all you have to do is sit back and relax. 

Before and after photo of bathroom with improved wall accent.
Rachel Teodoro

8. Change Window Treatments 

New fabric, new shades, or a combination of the two can give a dramatic facelift to any room in your home. There are plenty of  sew-it-yourself options that go a long way in hiding older windows (which would be very pricey to replace). If sewing isn’t for you, Blindsgalore offers custom blinds, shades, and shutters that are made for a perfect fit and a designer look, without a designer price tag.

If you’re purchasing drapes or curtains, you might be surprised at how much bigger windows look and how high ceilings can feel with the right window treatments.  To make small windows feel larger, hang draperies high above to draw the eye up, making the ceilings seem higher. 

Before and after photo of drapes.
One Good Thing

9. Select the Right Furniture

Now that you’ve made some updates to your home, you’ll want to add some new furniture to complete the transformation. It’s important to choose pieces that will compliment your home’s new, updated aesthetic. But what if you buy something and end up hating it? CORT has the solution – As an expert in home staging, CORT has an extensive inventory of the latest trends in furniture and interior design. Instead of shelling out thousands on a piece you’re not 100% thrilled about, CORT will let you rent some options for a month at a time (or even longer). That way, you will never be stuck with an eyesore. 

Before and after photo of office with upgraded furniture.
Making Manzanita

10. Update the Exterior

Don’t forget about your home’s curb appeal. Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint on your home’s exterior to give the entire property a new lease on life. Even paint that hasn’t begun to peel can begin to look dingy or dull over time, so updating the color of your home to something a little lighter, brighter, or more contemporary could help enhance its style.

One of the hottest trends in home exteriors right now involves using bold colored accents. This can be on the front door, shutters, trim, or decorative woodwork. Look for trim colors that complement the rest of your home’s exterior, while still catching the eye and attention, such as bold red, royal blue, or even yellow. Just be sure to use these colors in small amounts so you don’t overwhelm the rest of your home’s palette. In addition, adding some well-placed shrubs and plants up against your home can hide a multitude of sins, while at the same time bringing some much-needed color and life to the area. Just remember not to cover windows or light sources as you plant.

Before and after photo of home with upgraded exterior.
DK Design

Your Dream Home Might Be More Affordable Than You Think

Lastly, if you’re considering buying a home that may need some work, REX has you covered. REX Home Loans will provide a competitive, no-obligation quote on your new home. We can also walk you through lending options that cover repairs and upgrades. As loan advisors working on salary, rather than commission, our job is to lay out all the options and help you zero in on the one that’s right for you. From helping you upgrade into a new house to securing a home improvement loan for the one you currently have, we’re here to help you love the place you call home.

Interested in buying or selling a home? We would love to help!

Give us a call at 855-205-0599.

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