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7 Ways to Update Your Home Without Major Renovations

May 24, 2021

A woman pulling up the blinds to look out a window in her apartment

Thinking of renovating your home “Property Brothers” style, but are held back by the thought of taking a sledgehammer to your walls, having to pay big bucks to hire a contractor and even bigger bucks for all of the remodeling and interior updates? We would be, too.

Luckily, there are easier, less destructive and way more affordable ways to update your home without the hassle and commitment of a major “reno.” Bonus: it’s actually easier and less stressful than you might have originally imagined.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade or create a fresh new look and feel, here’s how to do it on any budget.

Delight in Decluttering and Organizing

Whether this is a large or small makeover, cleaning up and organizing is one of the first orders of business. Just this one jumping-off point can help you feel less overwhelmed in the short term, and can inspire you to do more long-term improvements in the room or throughout your home.

Depending on your unique situation, this task could range from a simple straightening up to a complete decluttering and deep cleaning from floor to ceiling. Don’t know where to start? You can find some great tips online from home-organizing experts that will make the process simple and doable, even if you feel it might be an overwhelming task. And while it’s not the most fun thing to do in the world, the process will give you a sense of calm and peace once you’re done.

Give Your Walls a Fresh Coat of Paint

Whether you stick with a similar color as before or take a chance on a brand-new hue, freshly painted walls can instantly take your home from drab to fab. It’s simple, affordable and it may just be exactly the change you were hoping to make in your home without having to do a total gut job.

If you’re not sure it will make a difference or you see nothing wrong with the walls as they are now, do a little experiment: Pretend to take inventory of things from a “visitor’s eye.” When you are home day after day, you stop noticing the little things — so someone else may zero in on something you might overlook. By taking a different perspective, you may see that there are some paint chips, small scratches and time’s general wear and tear that needs addressing. If you do, then it’s time to head to the paint store and have some fun!

Make Wallpaper Your Friend

Yes, you read that right, but hear us out. Fortunately, gone are the days of feeling like you had to commit to a pattern for life because any attempt to remove it was such a chore. Most wallpaper choices these days are easy to install and remove by simply peeling them off, which is great if you want to experiment with different options. And if you’re unsure about going all out, just wallpaper one accent wall to create an exciting focal point that really pops.

Today there are so many fresh, unique, modern wallpaper designs out there; from shapes to geometric patterns to clean lines and more. So there are likely a few that are bound to catch your eye. For a newly renovated, professionally interior-designed look, you still can’t go wrong with this staple. 

Rearrange, Relocate or Reposition What’s Already There

Whether or not you believe in feng shui, there is something to be said about the way simply rearranging a room’s furniture and accessories can create a completely new vibe for your space. If you’ve always had the couch, coffee table, chairs and rug in the same place for years, try moving them around. Have them face a different direction. Create a different seating arrangement. Take items from one room and have them switch places with something in another. Sure, you’re working with the same pieces, but just varying the placement of your things can make your whole room look and feel new without having to spend any money.

Modernize Your Light Fixtures

There’s nothing wrong with the builder’s features your home might have had when you moved in. But you don’t have to live with them forever. Lighting fixtures and ceiling fans are easy to replace with something that’s more on-trend or that better suits your personal style. If you’re trying to figure out what that actually is, check out our article about discovering your interior decor preferences.

If you’re in the dark about what to choose, opt for cooler light colors, recessed lighting, modern chandeliers, interesting table or floor lamps and shades, drop-down pendant or track lights. It’s just a matter of shopping to see what you like, but once you’re done you’ll be amazed how much new lighting brightens up the look of your house (literally and figuratively).

Grab New Cabinet Hardware

Old-fashioned and lackluster handle pulls and knobs on kitchen and bathroom cabinets (or having none at all) can seriously date your home. Though they seem like relatively small details, you’d be surprised how updating these accessories can create such a big decorative payoff.

Luckily, they are really easy to install or replace with an updated design. It’s fun to shop around for different shapes, sizes and finishes, especially because there are a ton of modern choices to choose from. Go all knobs, all pulls, or mix and match. Maybe the new hardware will also inspire you to paint the cabinets a fresh color to take your new look to the next level. 

Trick Out Your Window Treatments

Windows are a lot like walls: they tend to blend into your home and get overlooked. But when you add drapery, blinds or any other type of window treatment, they instantly become a natural extension of your home’s interior decor.

Of course, there are window treatment options for all decorative tastes. If you need new ideas, consider going white and clean for a minimalist feel. Try bamboo or wooden blinds to capture a boho essence. Go glam with overly long drapes in bold colors and fabrics that puddle on the floor. Or to create a look that matches any style, simply match curtain panels to the color of your walls. Boom — you’ve instantly elevated your home’s interior.

Bonus Tip: Replace Large Items Affordably

These are just a few of the many ways you can make easy upgrades without committing to a time- and money-intensive redesign. You’ll find that even just a few adjustments can create a huge difference. And you can start now by simply taking a look around your house, deciding what’s most important (or easiest) to update first and then go from there.

Along the way, you might also decide that you want to replace some of your furniture pieces or appliances. Well with Acima, that’s easy, too. Just shop your favorite name-brand retailers that offer Acima’s lease-to-own alternative to furniture and appliance financing.* With Acima, it won’t be a strain on your budget to bring in a few new, trending pieces to replace older, outdated ones. It’s just another way to help update your home — no major renovations needed. Who knows, once you get something new in place, it might inspire you to keep going!