We’ve all gushed over the stunning homes we see in magazine. For some reason they always look expensive. While expensive furniture, high-end finishes and lots of natural light can make any space look amazing, there are some simple DIY fixes that can turn any old room into something fresh, modern and gleaming what “that” expensive look.
If you are a DIY pro then some of these will be very easy for you to do. We can all do with a bit of sprucing up and whether its your kitchen, bathroom or even the bedroom, there’s always something simple you can do that will have a huge impact.
The danger of many home DIY projects is that they end up looking cheap. These ones are different. If done well, you really can make any room in your house look like a million bucks by following some simple design guidance.
Something as simple as painting (see #5 and #15) can make a huge difference to the overall appearance of a room in your house.
Painting, re-arranging furniture, adding frames, re-upholstering ec. – these are all relative simple tasks that even a DIY novice can get right. All it takes is a bit of time and effort.
Whether you just want a better looking home, impress your friends or get ready to sell your home these are all simple interior and exterior DIY jobs for you to consider.
Renovating on a budget can be a lot of fun. In some cases a sheet of wallpaper can transform your kitchen (see #3 and #7) from old and tired to fresh and modern.
Replacing kitchen cupboards can be very expensive. If your kitchen looks old and tired then there is a much simpler solution. Paint it! You can do it very cheaply and it can have a big impact on the overall look of your kitchen.
This works really well if your kitchen is quite neutral. By adding a colorful splashback you can make your kitchen look very fresh and modern. You can do this by using color-back glass or a gloss tile. Both options are relatively inexpensive. The tiling is much more flexible and if you choose small mosaic tiles you have an infinite amount of options.
Stainless steel appliances look sleek and modern. If you are stuck with an old standard white or black dishwasher then there’s a simple trick to upgrade your appliances to stainless steel without replacing them. Simply use stainless steel contact paper and stick it over the top of your dishwasher or even your fridge.
By adding a beautiful mirror frame you can transform the look of your bathroom. A frame will make it look more sophisticated and refined. You can also hide the ugly edges that start to come off in most bathroom mirrors. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a color that’s subtly different to the wall color.
Accent walls are out. Accent ceilings are in. By keeping your walls neutral why not add some bold colors to your ceilings? It can look very modern and be a lot more subtle than painting a feature wall a bright color. Always keep your overall color scheme in mind and don’t go too dark if the room is quite small.
We all have storage areas that look far from great. In most cases its okay because its out of sight. This does not mean that it has to look shabby. You can easily make open shelving look very tidy by simply hiding the mess behind a curtain. Use this to add some color to otherwise depressing spaces like the garage or laundry.
The fridge is such a key component of every kitchen. While most modern fridges look quite sleek they rarely add much to the decor of your kitchen. There is a simple way to make any old fridge look fantastic. Simply cover it with wallpaper! This way it can contribute to the decor of your kitchen and become a feature element. You can also use something as simple as black tape to create a striped effect.
Who doesn’t want a canopy bed!? Its stylish and makes any bed feel luxurious. Buying a canopy bed can be very expensive and most people can’t fit them into their existing bedrooms. By using crtaint rods screwed into the ceiling you can easily create the same look and feel for a fraction of the cost.
Framed mirrors are relatively inexpensive. By simply painting the frames to match your cupboards you can glue them to the cupboards for a very stylish look. It also adds to any room by making it look bigger and anyone can use a few extra full-height mirrors to admire their latest outfit.
The stainless steel look is definitely the ”in” thing when it comes to kitchen appliances. Almost all new fridges come in stainless steel but if you are still stuck with your 1990’s white fridge, do not despair. There’s a liquid paint that can give you that effect and turn your old white fridge into a sleek and modern piece and help to upgrade the look of your kitchen.
We all have some old pieces of furniture that have that 1980’s timber look…stained in a dull brown. This can make any space look outdated and even cheap. The good news is that some paint stripper and a good amount of sanding can take you right back to the raw timber. Now you can apply a number of stains to bring it back to this century and make it look new and modern.
The television has become an integral part of every living room. Thankfully TV screens have become very thin and being able to mount it on the wall it a big step forward for interior design. If you have your TV wall-mounted, why not frame it to make it blend in with the rest of the room.
Light switches can be very ugly, especially if you use color on a wall. Light switches pretty much come in one color – white. One simple way to make it look much more expensive is by framing it. This way it blends in much better with a colored wall and it becomes feature instead of just another unsightly wall switch.
You can buy Suede cord covers from most craft stores and it can make any old lamp look new and modern. Its great for any electrical device that has an ugly old cord that’s very visible.
Half painted walls are great because apart from adding a color contrast it makes any room look much bigger by adding the illusion of height. If you have rooms with low ceilings then this is a must. To add an extra splash of color you can introduce a band of (bright) color.
Wall mounted TV’s are great because it can save you a lot of space. It also gives a much cleaner look to any living room. The problem however is that there’s always a mess of cables dangling down. One easy solution is to use a shower rail to run all the cables inside. You can also use a square electric duct (its plastic but you can paint it) to hide your cables.
Placing rugs correctly is a bit of an art. Most people places rug in a way that shows either too much or too little of the rug. Buying the right size rugs is also really important in the overall balance of the room and the decoration.
Nothing says 70’s like a vinyl floor. While it may have been ”it” back then its just a dead giveaway to a cheap and old look for any room in your house. Before you think about ripping it out, why not paint it? A simple black and white stripe can be great or if you feel more adventurous in your DIY exploits you can add some patterns.
Light switch covers can look old, tired and untidy, especially after a few paint jobs where the painters went over the edge. A simple DIY fix is to cover them with fabric to create a fresh new look.
Nothing looks as cheap as exposed block work and foundations where the siding does not cover it. Painting it a dark color can help to hide it but for a more expensive look, why not tile it with a slate tile or cover it with a stone siding to make it look really great.
Old plastic ventilation covers can look really old and tired. Its a dead-giveaway that your home decoration comes from the mid 1980’s. All that can change with a simple spray job. A dark metallic spray can instantly transform it into something that looks very contemporary.
High skirting boards can make any room look more stylish. Replacing them entirely can be very costly and time consuming. With this simple trick you can get the exact same effect for a lot less money. Simple add an additional drip and paint everything with a color to match.
Replacing old house numbers with a font that looks more modern can make a big difference. Modern fonts look more sleek and if you can fin it in aluminum or stainless steel its even better. If you have an old plastic intercom/door bell then you might want to consider replacing that with something in metal as well.
Accentuating door frames can look really stylish. The one caveat is that your door frames are quite prominent as some modern door frames are almost entirely built into the wall. Most older homes have proper door frames which means you can incorporate it into your color scheme. Don;t be afraid to use bold colors if your color scheme allows it.
This might sound like a cheap trick but painting “windows”on to your garage doors can really have a great effect. By simply painting black “windows” it will create the illusion that the doors are more expensive and you can even add some fake hinges (just screw them to the door) for that carriage door effect.