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Interior Design Lifestyle

Approachable Interior Design Upgrades

January 14, 2019

By Cathy Hobbs, Founder & Creator of Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes

Looking for ways to make your home look and feel different in 2019? If the cost and prospect of an extensive renovation is overwhelming, consider taking on a few smaller projects that can give your home a refreshed look on a budget.

Getting Started:

Set a budget. First and foremost, determine how much money you can comfortably allocate to “renovation dollars” before the project starts. Don’t let a surprising bill or stalled installation ruin what should be an exciting change. 

Separate your needs from your wants. In order to stick to the budget you’ve set, you’ll want to outline what can and cannot fit into it. Create a wish list of items, features, and functionality, and then divide it up into two columns: essential versus non-essential. This will help you see which upgrades to move forward with, and which should be left on the table for the time being.  

Research and plan. Now that you have a good sense of what you’ll need to buy in terms of materials and appliances, do your research before you take out your wallet. Whether it’s going to visit model homes or retail showrooms, or perusing magazines and online sources, research will go a long way to help you maintain focus and clarity as it relates to your project goals.

Now that we got the planning out of the way, let’s get into some specifics in terms of types of feasible interior upgrades…    

Kitchen Updates:

Repaint existing cabinets and/or replace hardware. Applying a fresh coat of paint to your cabinets in a new color can truly transform the overall look of your kitchen. Take that update a little further by replacing the hardware on those cabinets. Even a detail that small can make a big difference, and these days you can find endless creative options, like handles in the shape of utensils.

Change up the tile. Available in a wide variety of patterns and grades, porcelain ceramic tile is an affordable alternative to stone. For an option that’s even friendlier on your budget, consider vinyl tile.  When you’re choosing a tile, select one that is “groutable,” which will give it a more realistic look.     

Replace the countertops. Simply replacing your countertops can help make a kitchen feel refreshed. When choosing the new material, consider a durable Quartz or sealable surface. For a less expensive option, look for an attractive laminate. 

Bathroom Updates:

Replace the sink. Because bathrooms (especially in NYC) are generally small, the sink takes up a lot of real estate. For an instant refresher, replace your current sink with a new one in a different style. For example, a farm sink doesn’t only belong in the kitchen…

Switch out faucet fixtures. If a new sink isn’t in the budget, replacing faucets or handles can serve as an affordable design fix. Want to go a step further? Consider replacing shower heads as well.    

Replace the toilet. Ask any “home flipper” and he or she will likely admit that installing a brand new toilet can be an affordable way to completely refresh a bathroom’s overall look.

Other Home Updates:

Add hardwood flooring. Many homeowners prefer the look and feel of hardwood flooring, as it can completely open a space up in addition to transforming the style of the room. Installation often takes just one day, meaning you won’t be put out for long. For a durable and budget-friendly option, consider engineered flooring. 

Re-Paint. Whether it’s an accent wall or you’re tackling multiple rooms, a fresh coat of paint can breath new life into tired, worn spaces. The best part? If you take a chance with a bold color and come to regret it, you can always paint over it.

Add an eye-catching architectural feature. Have you considered decorative molding or trim? Features like chair rails and wainscoting can invigorate a space, typically without breaking the bank.

Interested in more design ideas that you can tackle without breaking the bank or calling in the professionals? Check out my recommendations for ways to incorporate Pantone’s ‘Color of the Year’ into your home.

Cathy Hobbs photo and byline| LivingIn

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