Simple, economical remodeling updates

Simple, economical remodeling updates


If you are in the mood for simple and easy remodeling or updating, but your pocketbook isn’t, there are inexpensive ways to get that refresh you want without breaking the bank. Here are some uncomplicated ways to enhance any space in your house.

First, the kitchen: I think we would all agree that this is the place where family and friends gather together. The good news is the kitchen can be improved upon in small ways that can almost make you feel like you have a new kitchen!

If your kitchen cabinets scream the 1970s, ‘80s, or ‘90s (pick your decade), and the wood or style is dated but not in a way that conveys vintage cool or elegant, a brighter makeover doesn’t necessarily mean replacing those gloomy boxes with all-new ones. As long as the frames and doors are structurally sound, you can clean them up and brush on some new paint. Painting over wood cabinets in a color that coordinates with your newer upgraded style is an uncomplicated and cost-effective way to make the overall look current.

Whether your paint or not, you can change out knobs, pulls, hinges and other hardware and transform the appearance inexpensively. New cabinet hardware can make your kitchen pop. There are an almost unlimited number of options available. Just measure your existing hardware to ensure that replacements will fit in the same space.

Another kitchen idea that adds interest is installing an eye-catching backsplash. While tiling can be complicated, putting up a backsplash made from a single sheet of solid surface material may be just what you need. It is not difficult or expensive to shape, cut, and glue stock material — for example a bead board backsplash, which comes in a variety of colors and patterns, is a gorgeous decorative element.

An additional instant transformation is installing new faucets in your kitchen or bathroom. Rather than embark upon a costly bathroom remodel, simply paint the cabinets and changed out the faucets and voila — modernized décor at a fraction of the cost.

Sometimes, your decorating woes are simply a matter of you feeling that your room looks washed out and dull. Take heart. There are so many exciting new paint colors out there that will instantly change your assessment. In addition, I always tell people to try painting the ceiling something other than white. Colored ceilings add interest to any room.

And speaking of looking up as you assess where and what to paint, look down as well. If you cannot afford to refinish or replace flooring, many floors can be painted as well. You can even block off shapes with a little tape to create stripes, checkerboards, or other interesting patterns.

If you feel that your space just seems plain and that it needs a little touch of elegance, a simple solution to renovate and bring charm and value to your home can be achieved with crown molding. There are many options on the market today and they can be painted to match your color palette.

Another fun and interesting way to add a little decorating interest is to refinish your wood front door. You may have noticed lately that the front door surface is rough and dried out from the effects of wind and sun. If you can save such a lovely element in your home, breathe new life into your old door and again, paint it an unexpected color.

Finally, here are some really fun decorating ideas that anyone can do to improve their space. Try covering the back of a bookshelf with wallpaper. Change out your lampshades for new ones. Have a mirrored glass cut to fill a beautiful frame. Reupholster furniture in a gorgeous new fabric. Any one of these ideas is an inexpensive update.

It is easy to do some small things that will make you feel like you have remodeled your home. The best part is, you won’t have to break the bank to do it.

Deborah Macdonald is the Napa-based owner of Napa At Home, an interior design enterprise. For more information about her products and services, visit her website at call (707) 255-0246; or email

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