1. Switch out your switch plates
Did you know that one fast, simple and small update can improve the look of your home immediately? Look at the switch plates in each room: do you have any that are dingy or yellow? If so, check out Wallplatesonline.com and change up those switch plates, pronto! Take a look at their gorgeous Flocked Damask Black Plastique plates starting at $4.90 or their regal-inspired Imperial Bead Antique Bronze plates starting at just $5.83.
2. Nix your old knobs
It is amazing what one seemingly small change can do to the overall look of a room – specifically the kitchen. If you have outdated, chipped or just plain ugly kitchen knobs, consider this easy fix: KnobDeals.com has a great selection of finishes, such as rubbed bronze, satin nickel, acrylic and glass, and they come in a variety of styles and shapes. KnobDeals is one of the best places to shop online for cheap knobs, and they are able to offer such low prices because they buy closeout and overstock hardware. Speaking of cheap, right on their home page is a section for knobs and pulls all under $1.00 each. At these prices, you can quickly update any room in your house! You may also want to consider replacing the knobs on dressers, vanities and bathroom cabinets.
3. Reinvent your vent covers
One item that may be outdating your home are the vent covers on your floors. Most homebuilders use low-cost metallic covers (often white) that cheapen a home's look. You can easily replace these with a variety of vent cover options. Visit SignatureHardware.com and take a look at their gorgeous Victorian Brass Floor Plates starting at $14.95, or if you prefer wood, check out their elegant Egg Crate Finish Floor Plate, starting at $12.95. If wood or brass is not your style, they have other finishes including bronze, cast iron and steel.
4. See the light
If you are looking for an economical and easy way to modernize any room, freshen up your light fixtures. Throw out any old chandeliers or cheap, built in fixtures that do not match your style. Stores such as IKEA have great lighting options that are inexpensively priced (their MINUT series starts at just $19.99).
Another option is refinishing your current fixtures with a new coat of paint. If your fixtures are plastic, try Krylon Fusion paint, specifically designed to adhere to plastic. You can pick up a bottle at Sears for $4.99. If your fixtures are metal, you will need to apply a coat of etching spray primer first. Once it cures, apply your fresh coat of acrylic paint and get ready for a new look! Rust-Oleum's Self-Etching Primer is designed for metal, aluminum and fiberglass surfaces and can be found at Walmart for $4.97.
5. Wave goodbye to tacky wallpaper
One thing that can instantly date your home is old, unsightly wallpaper. Welcome your walls to the 21st century buy purchasing spray-on wallpaper remover, which costs around $5.00 at your local home improvement store, or better yet, make your own. You can quickly produce wallpaper remover in your kitchen by combining equal parts vinegar and warm water and pouring it into a spray bottle. After applying the mixture to your walls, let it soak for 20 minutes and scrap off the paper. The acetic acid in the vinegar works as a solvent and eats away at the wallpaper paste.
Before applying a primer and a fresh coat of paint, check out the Valspar Paint website and use their free Virtual Painter program to see how different combinations and styles of paint may work for your room.
Sometimes, the smallest changes you make in your home can have the greatest impact. There are so many inventive ways to update and improve your home even with the most limited budget, why not get started right away?