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5 Small Home Renovations That Make A Big Impact

Are you dreaming of breathing new life into your home and maximizing the space at the same time? We all know that renovations add to your property’s appeal and if done properly will also significantly increase its value. The challenge is that remodeling is quite an investment. Fortunately, by focusing inspiration from the latest trends in home renovation and decor, you can update your home without breaking the bank with lower-cost “inspired by” products and projects. As an expert home flipper, and kitchen and bath designer, I have seen a lot of success and a few failures! All of the photos in this post are from projects I have completed or industry shows I have attended. Let’s take a look at five cost-conscious home renovation trends that will improve the look, feel, and value of your home.

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The Balance of Stylish and Cost-Effective Materials

When it comes to home renovation, finding the perfect balance between style and cost-effectiveness is essential. In the quest for a beautiful home that doesn’t break the bank, selecting the right materials can make all the difference. Let’s explore how you can achieve the ideal balance of stylish and cost-effective materials in your renovation projects. 

1. Flooring.

Opting for cost-effective flooring options doesn’t mean buying cheap materials. Today, there’s a wide range of materials available that offer the look of the more expensive lines at an affordable price point. Consider luxury vinyl plank flooring that mimics the look of hardwood or tile at a fraction of the cost. These materials are budget-friendly, easy to install, durable, and easy to maintain. 

2. Countertops.

Quartzite and quartz countertops may look fabulous, but they often come with a hefty price tag. Thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives that provide a similar aesthetic without breaking the bank. Explore options like level 1 granite, post-form laminate countertops, or acacia wood tops at a more budget-friendly price point. Pro tip: speak to your local countertop fabrication shops about remnants that might work for your job but can be purchased at a deep discount. 

3. Cabinetry.

Cabinetry can quickly eat up a renovation budget. Being a kitchen and bath designer I can assure you that ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets offer quality craftsmanship and customizable features at a much, much lower cost. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can create a beautiful and functional kitchen or bathroom without blowing your budget. 

4. Light Fixtures. 

Access to gorgeous and affordable light fixtures has gone through the roof in the last 5 years. When I started renovating homes in 2005, the pickings were slim for lighting fixtures that kept me on budget. The styles and finishes are endless and more affordable than ever before. So, let your creativity run wild! Pro tip: I love chandeliers and large pendant lights. They pump up the look of a room for me. If I’m renovating an area that I feel can use a larger light fixture I start at local thrift shops and Habitat for Humanity. If I don’t like the finish, but the style and size are right, a couple of cans of spray paint can change it completely. I used “summer pedicure” on this one!

Creating Multifunctional Spaces

In the era of smaller living spaces, the demand for multipurpose areas within a home is on the rise. Think about how you can make the most of your available space. For instance, you could create a workspace that also serves as a guest room when needed. Likewise, a well-planned kitchen island can function as the dining area leaving space for an open-concept living and dining room.

Furniture and cabinetry that integrates storage solutions is an invaluable asset in these multifunctional spaces. Built-in shelving, hidden storage compartments, and cleverly designed organizers can help keep these spaces tidy and free from clutter.

The design of these spaces should be centered around adaptability. Consider your needs now and how they may change over time. Also, consider resale value. Would your open-concept kitchen, dining, and living space appeal to buyers? Spaces that can easily transition from one function to another will provide the most value and convenience.

Making a Statement with Ceilings and Walls

When it comes to budget-friendly renovation, it’s essential to not overlook the potential wow factor of your home’s walls and ceilings. Transforming these spaces can dramatically change the overall ambiance without significant costs. Trends are moving away from plain, undecorated walls and ceilings and embracing a touch of individuality and pizzazz.

Affordable architectural detailing options like crown molding, wainscoting, or shiplap. These elements can give your rooms a refined, upscale appearance, without the corresponding high-end price tag. Additionally, these details can draw the eye upward, making the room seem larger and more spacious.

Changing the color palette of your walls can instantly give your room a fresh, new vibe. If you want to take it a step further, consider implementing a chic, textured wallpaper that can add depth and dimension to a space.

Embracing Retro and Vintage Styles

Retro and vintage themes, popular in the world of interior design, can offer cost-effective solutions for homeowners looking to spruce up their spaces. The clever use of vintage furniture and decor, which can often be found at thrift shops, estate sales, or even in your garage, can add a unique charm and nostalgic touch to your home, all while keeping within your budget.

Cabinet door hardware is another area where you can introduce vintage elements without burning a hole in your pocket. Swap out your current knobs and pulls for some with a vintage design to bring about a subtle yet impactful change in your interiors.

Do not shy away from embracing the quirks and character of vintage style. It is all about celebrating the beauty of past eras while adding a unique and personalized touch to your home. Keep an eye out for pieces that hold a story, as these can often become conversation starters. Also, consider mixing and matching different eras and styles to create a setting that reflects your personality and taste. Pro tip: Wicker and Rattan furniture can be found in just about any thrift shop. It’s easy to move and even easier to paint. Tired of the color you painted it? Give it a new coat in a new color and make it new again!

Exploring Outdoor Living Spaces

The beauty of your home shouldn’t be confined within four walls. Instead, it should extend to your outdoor areas, creating a seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors. Outdoor living spaces are popular, offering an affordable way to expand your living area. Whether you have a sprawling backyard, a cozy patio, or a compact balcony, there are countless ways you can transform these spaces into functional and enjoyable extensions of your home.

Consider adding a budget-friendly deck or paver patio to your outdoor space. This structure will serve as an outdoor living room. Large umbrellas can provide much-needed shade during hot summer days, making your outdoor area a comfortable place to relax or entertain. A nice outdoor space is sure to add an element of style and sophistication to the look of your home.

For those who enjoy hosting, an outdoor kitchen or dining area is a fantastic addition. These spaces not only provide the perfect venue for alfresco dining but also bring the outside in. They can be done without extensive renovations or a hefty budget. A simple grill, a durable table, and comfortable seating can make a world of difference.

A fire pit is another affordable yet impactful feature you can incorporate into your outdoor living space. It creates a cozy atmosphere and allows you to enjoy your outdoor area, even during colder months.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of landscaping and lighting. The right plants, trees, and shrubs can create a lush and inviting environment, while strategically placed lighting can accentuate your garden’s best features and create a warm, welcoming ambiance after sunset.

Remember, the goal of creating outdoor living spaces is to extend the comfort and style of your home to your exterior areas. With a little creativity, thoughtful planning, and budget-friendly solutions, your outdoor spaces can become valuable additions to your home. 


Renovating your home isn’t just about updating its appearance; it’s about enhancing its functionality, increasing its value, and creating a space that reflects your lifestyle and personality. In our exploration of five small home renovations with significant impact, we’ve laid out cost-conscious trends that can breathe new life into your living space without breaking the bank.

As you embark on your home renovation journey, remember that thoughtful planning, creativity, and attention to detail are key. By incorporating these small but impactful renovations into your home, you can achieve the transformation you’ve always dreamed of while staying true to your budget and personal style. Here’s to creating a home that not only looks beautiful but also feels like the perfect reflection of you.

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