Whether you’re a new homeowner, you’re considering putting your home on the market and a few mini makeovers wouldn’t hurt, or you’re simply craving a refresh, you might want to consider one of these home updates. Designed to make your home look more polished (and in some cases, more expensive), each project comes in at $1,000 or less. Here’s some great inspiration for your next home project that won’t cost you a fortune:
Give your curb appeal a lift
Repaint your front door with a cheerful, welcoming color, such as the Pantone Color of the Year (coral), refresh the house numbers and the mailbox (consider spelling out numbers to really set your home apart), and redo the landscape surrounding your front door, and you can easily stay under a $1,000 limit.
Change light fixtures
Lighting can make a huge impact on a room and how you feel when you’re in it. Walk around your home and identify which lighting fixtures you’d most like to change. If you budget around $200 for each, you might be able to switch out quite a few. Another option is to spend it all in one place, such as above a kitchen island, if you think the impact will be worth it. Look for LED bulbs that cast flattering soft light to save money, and consider changing your light switches to dimmers, so you can adjust the mood in any room.
Spruce up your kitchen
Other than your bedroom, the kitchen is likely where you spend most of your time. It’s also one of the key things homebuyers look for when shopping for new digs. For less than $1,000 in materials, you can typically repaint, re-tile a backsplash, and update all of the hardware on the cabinetry (depending on the size of your space, you may also be able to replace light fixtures). Save even more by choosing affordable, classic tiles (like subway tiles) but lay them in an interesting pattern, such as herringbone.
Make glass a class act
Rather than redo all your cabinets, which will cost in the thousands, try replacing a couple of cabinet doors with glass doors to brighten up the room and bounce light throughout it. Just two will run you about $500. This is perfect if you have classic dishware or collectibles you’d like to show off.
Re-tile your bathroom floor
The average square footage of a full bathroom is 40 square feet, with about half of that being floor space! Think of it like a blank canvas with the potential to make a huge impact, and opt for the patterned cement tiles that are on trend right now. The cost to have a pro re-tile is anywhere from $10-$40 per sq ft, materials and labor included. Bottom line: Keep your tile selects under $5 square foot (totally doable) and you can have a new bathroom floor for $1,000.
Power your shower
Replacing your plastic tub surround with a tiled shower costs about $1,000 but makes a big difference, and for an extra $100 to $150, you can also add a recessed alcove for shampoo bottles and soap.
Make a statement with bath accessories
Another route to go if your bathroom floor is fine but the rest, not so much: Put in a new sink, new light fixtures, a new water-conserving toilet (bonus: it will help you save on any water bills), and even a new spa-like showerhead. You can do all of this pretty easily for about $1,000. You can also replace just your vanity and light fixtures for about the same amount.
Replace your garage door
The average cost of a new garage door is $1,079, according to Home Advisor, and the impact on your curb appeal can be significant. Replacing a garage door also offers an excellent return on your investment — usually about 100 percent. You might want to consider repainting it instead of replacing it and spend the money flanking it with eye-catching light fixtures.
Upgrade small appliances
A fancy juicer, a slick espresso maker, a colorful hand mixer and toaster oven — there are plenty of small kitchen appliances that cost less than $1,000 but make a kitchen feel more luxurious.
Move furniture around
Here’s something that’s absolutely free but packs a huge punch: Rethink your room layouts. You might even consider moving furniture from one room to another. You’d be amazed how different your home can look with just a few switches. Whether it’s taking a loveseat from the living room to the foot of your master bed or moving the hallway table by the door to create a drop zone for keys and mail, the placement of furniture can have a huge effect on how a space looks and feels.
Ana Connery is former content director of Parenting, Babytalk, Pregnancy Planner and Conceive magazines as well as parenting.com.
While editor in chief of Florida Travel & Life magazine from 2006-2009, she covered the state’s real estate and home design market as well as travel destinations.
She’s held senior editorial positions at some of the country’s most celebrated magazines, including Latina, Fitness and Cooking Light, where she oversaw the brand’s “FitHouse” show home.
Ana’s expertise is frequently sought after for appearances on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and CNN. She has interviewed the country’s top experts in a variety of fields, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and First Lady Michelle Obama.