11 Ways to Update Your Home without a Major Renovation

I have never seen so many clients asking for renovation-free updates as they are right now. And frankly, it’s not quite a surprise. 

In case you haven’t heard yet, the demand for materials, products, and services in the home industry is booming, and while there’s a lot of good that comes from that, supply chain issues have made it hard for supply to keep up. As a result, prices for building materials are crazy high right now…and really difficult to quote with any kind of accuracy. 

If you’re committed to renovating, it can absolutely be done, so there’s no need to stop those big plans. But if you’re budget-conscious and looking for a quick transformation, a renovation probably isn’t the best way to go right now. Just being honest. 

So, what can y’all do instead? 

A LOT, thankfully! 

To help, I’ve rounded up 11 ways you can start updating your home without major construction. Bookmark this post, pull up your calendar, and make your way through the list for a total transformation…

1. Declutter, organize, and simplify.

Sometimes our homes’ beauty is simply hiding underneath all of the “stuff” we’ve accumulated over the years…especially if you have kids. Guilty.

The good news is that decluttering and organizing even one space in your home can reveal that beauty and impact the way you feel. It minimizes the volume your eyes have to look at (and that your brain processes), simplifies your routine, and can even inspire deep, relaxing breaths. 

I recently decluttered my bathroom drawers (see above), and am still thrilled with the results weeks later. Though it took some real self-motivation to get started, I spent a good 30-45 minutes getting rid of unused beauty products, throwing away expired medicine, and consolidating any bottles that were lying around. 

Now, when I open those drawers each day, it feels fresh and new and brings a smile to my face. And that’s just a few drawers! Imagine a whole home.

If you’re up for some spring decluttering, I suggest picking just one space at a time to keep it from getting overwhelming. Here are some ideas:

  • Closets in bedrooms and hallways
  • Bathroom drawers, cabinets, and showers
  • Kitchen drawers, cabinets, and counters
  • Refrigerator (how many of us have expired or abandoned condiments in there?)
  • Garage (this is a big one for a lot of people, so do it in bite-sized chunks)
  • Any open shelves around the house
  • And more…you know your home best!

2. Give a room or space in your home a new function.

Changing the function of a room can give a home a new look — say, turning an unused dining room into an office or music room. Especially if you have a space that just isn’t getting a lot of attention, breathing new purpose into it can help it become a new destination in your home. 

It’s difficult for me to give you some exact advice here, since it will depend on the space you have and your family’s lifestyle and hobbies, but this post on creating multi-functional spaces will give y’all some great ideas.

3. Add a fresh coat of paint.

If you have been reading this blog for a while now, I may sound like a broken record on this one. But this tip is golden. A fresh coat of paint, even one that is the same color you have now, always makes a space feel fresh. However, if you are going to paint your walls, why not breathe a new hue into the space while you’re at it? 

Learn how to select the right paint color for your space here. I personally love to stick with neutrals for wall colors and then spice up the rest of the home with pops of color in the decor. Which brings me to…

4. Infuse new color into your home.

Y’all know that I love color, especially blue, green, and pops of yellow or orange. To me, these are the perfect colors to balance warm and cool, make a home feel fresh and inviting, and inspire comfort and health. However, when it comes to color, it isn’t about what I love — it’s about what you love. Color inspires an emotional response, and it’s unique to each of us. 

If you’re ready to feel different about your home, I suggest thinking about how you want to feel in your spaces. If your kitchen feels tired, imagine how you would like it to feel instead. Inspiring and creative? Calm and soothing? Now, what colors make you feel that way? That’s the color you should be infusing tastefully into the decor. 

For more tips, here’s another great read on how to bring tasteful color into your home.

5. Get creative with styling.

If you have been in your home for a while, it’s common to go a little blind when it comes to the decor. After all, you’ve seen it day in and day out, likely for years. Your brain has already processed that information, stored it as unimportant to your survival (lol), and you no longer consciously see it. 

If you freshen up the way your decor is styled, your brain will suddenly see those spaces as new again. Then, you’ll notice and admire them when you walk into the room each day, creating a new source of joy. Easy as that.

There are a few ways you could approach styling. You could restyle the accessories you have, moving them from one room to another to make “old” look new. Or, you could add in newly purchased accessories, such as greenery, vases, new framed photos, art, etc.

Either way, have fun with it and use these designer styling tips to help.

6. Consider a new sofa or chairs.

Several clients who have hired us lately have been eager to update their furnishings, especially the big items (like sofas and chairs) that take up the most space. We can absolutely do this, and it gives your home a totally new look without construction.

When making these selections, I always suggest that you have your overall color palette in mind before making any purchases. These items will need to coordinate well with the fixed features in the room (fireplace, flooring, walls, etc.). If you can get fabric samples to test in your space first (or work with an expert who understands color), it will go a long way to helping you invest wisely.

You can learn more about how to spot quality sofas and chairs here. Or, reach out to us directly if you’d like support furnishing your home — that’s what we do!

7. Add new drapery, panels, or window treatments.

Window treatments include curtains, Roman shades, relaxed Roman shades (shown above), valances, panels, and more. These are the unsung heroes of many spaces. They soften a room and, based on the pattern or color you choose, they can literally add any feeling your heart desires. 

Window treatments can also make a room feel taller or wider. They protect your floors and furniture from harsh sun. And they offer functional privacy and light control. What don’t they do, right??

If you haven’t considered your window treatments in a while, I guarantee that a new model will breathe fresh life into your home. If you’re working with a designer, we’ll select or custom-design the perfect option for you. If you’re trying this on your own, I recommend reaching out to a local custom workroom to do the same. When it comes to window treatments, custom is always, always better than retail. They are not made equal.

8. Replace your area rug.

Rugs are another item that takes up a lot of visual space in a design and comes into contact with your feet every day. If yours is looking a little uninspired or distressed, it may be time for an upgrade. Your rug is also a great place to bring in fresh color. (See Tip 4.) Here are 5 other reasons to embrace rugs, along with some tips for finding one you love.

9. Make a statement with new light fixtures.

My love of stunning light fixtures may be a close tie with my love of color. Lighting is the jewelry of the home, dressing your space up or down however you choose. In many homes, we see old light fixtures that don’t inspire our clients but do dramatically date the home. I’m happy to say that it’s an easy fix, and there are SO many wonderful options available. Get my best tips for how to select lighting here — and then go find some styles that really light you up!

10. Refinish or paint your cabinetry.

Y’all have probably seen the kitchen and bathroom transformations that go from dark and dated cabinets (usually oak) to light, bright, and fresh. It looks so simple — they only added a coat of paint! In theory, yes, changing the look of your cabinets is a simple approach with big visual impact, and is potentially the most transformative on this list.

However, the actual method of refinishing or painting cabinetry is far from simple. I highly, highly recommend getting a professional to do this. And while it isn’t construction per se, it will require your kitchen to be out of commission for several days, so just another thing to keep in mind. 

Y’all can learn more about how to refinish your cabinets here.

11. Update your hardware.

Last but not least: new hardware. By hardware, I mean the knobs and pulls on cabinetry and even the plumbing fixtures in your kitchen and bathrooms. These get dated from decade to decade, and while they might seem too small to have an impact on the overall design, they really do. 

Updating to a more modern finish (like trading oil-rubbed bronze for nickel) and a more modern shape will make a world of difference. Again, this may require some help with installation, but it is faster and easier than taking on a reno. Here’s a great example:

And that’s 11! Transforming a home is in all of these details, big and small, and y’all are pros now. 😉

If your heart is still set on a renovation, I completely understand. You can book a call with us to see what the timeline and investment might look like, and get the info you need to start planning. 

If you’re convinced that updating without a reno is the way you’d like to go, we can help you there too. If you want us to, of course. Simply book a discovery call with me, and we’d love to chat with you about your project.

Until then, I hope this has been inspiring for you. I wish y’all the best start to this beautiful spring!

xo,

E

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