Before & After: Totally doable interior updates

  • BEFORE: Drab cabinets and dated appliances bring this kitchen down. Design Recipes

  • AFTER: The same kitchen gets a light and bright makeover, with a new countertop, stainless steel appliances, and peel and stick vinyl tile. Design Recipes

  • Shown from a different angle, these photos reveal the power of paint in transforming dated cabinets. Adding new hardware is another easy upgrade. Design Recipes

  • AFTER: The same kitchen after repainting the cabinet fronts and adding new hardware. Design Recipes

  • BEFORE (left): A bathroom in need of some aesthetic TLC. AFTER (right): The same bathroom, after adding inexpensive wainscoting, an affordable pedestal sink, a new toilet, a fresh coat of paint — plus a few fresh accessories. Design Recipes

  • AFTER: The same bathroom after adding in expensive wainscoting, an affordable pedestal sink, a new toilet and a fresh coat of paint. Design Recipes

Tribune News Service
Published: 1/11/2019 10:48:47 AM

Looking for ways to have your home look and feel different and refreshed in the new year? If the cost and prospect of an extensive renovation is undesirable, consider taking on smaller projects that can give your home a new look on a budget.


First and foremost, have a budget. Decide how much money you can allocate as renovation dollars.


Before you spend any money, first determine what design or functionality needs you wish to accomplish through your upgrades.


Whether it's going to visit model homes, retail showrooms or perusing magazines and online sources, research — before purchasing any materials or appliances — will go a long way to help maintain focus and clarity for your project goals.



■ Repaint existing cabinets and or replace hardware.

■ Add porcelain ceramic tile. Porcelain tile comes in different patterns and grades and is an affordable alternative to stone. Consider vinyl tile for a more budget-friendly option. Select a tile that is groutable for a more realistic look.

■Replace a countertop. This can help make a kitchen feel refreshed. Consider a durable quartz or sealable surface. An attractive laminate can be a desirable choice on a budget.


■Replace a sink. This can serve as an instant and affordable refresher.

■Replace faucet fixtures. An affordable design fix can often be achieved by replacing faucets and handles. Go a step further and replace showerheads as well.

■ Replace a toilet. Ask any home flipper and they'll admit this is one key, affordable way to refresh a bathroom.


■Add hardwood flooring. Many homeowners prefer hardwood flooring. In many instances, flooring can be installed in a day. Pre-engineered flooring can be a durable and budget-friendly option.

■Repaint. Whether an accent wall or entire rooms, a fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into tired, worn spaces.

■ Add an affordable architectural feature. From molding and trim, chair railing to wainscoting, these decorative features can invigorate a space without breaking the bank.

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