Updating Your Living Space Without Breaking the Bank

Published July 19, 2012

You both agree the space you have purchased is perfect for you but when you look around it feels lacking in style. It’s not the layout or the size of the rooms but rather the colours and fixtures look a bit outdated and the paint could probably use a lift. So where do you start? Believe it or not you can make a strong design statement with just little changes in the right places. The key is knowing where to make the changes to get the most bang for your buck.

The kitchen is an important place to start. Cabinetry is the main element in the kitchen from an aesthetic point of view. Consider replacing aged and tired cabinetry by removing only the doors and replacing them with new glass or acrylic panels. This will add a contemporary twist to the look of the kitchen. Update your backsplash by adding new glass or subway tiles or perhaps a new paint treatment. The cabinetry hardware is another area where you will notice dramatic results. Replace the old hardware with new brushed nickel or perhaps an oil-rubbed bronze variety.

Paint is another option that you may want to consider. It’s probably the least expensive change you can make and get the most results from it in the end. I love the Benjamin Moore sample containers that can be purchased at paint stores. These little samples should cover a 7-foot by 7foot space to let you see how the colour plays out in the room. Too many times a paint colour looks great in the store but when you bring it home, it looks entirely different due to the light and other colours influencing it from the inside and outside. Choose a completely new colour to brighten the room. You will be surprised at the results.

The Bathroom is one room where changes can be made simply and easily. Consider framing your existing mirror in a stained or painted wood finish. This will give definition to space and bring attention to the mirror. Change your light fixtures and cover the outdated floors with a new area rug. It’s always a good idea to invest in good quality faucets as well. These few changes can give an amazing lift to the room.

Sometimes a quick rearranging of the furniture can provide surprising results. Create a focal point in your living room by rearranging the couches and chairs to provide a cozier feel for conversation. Use your fireplace or a view as the focal point and arrange the furniture around these. Adding light fixtures can also warm up the room and provide a warm ambient light in the evenings.

It’s always a good idea to walk around furniture showrooms and look through an array of decorating magazines to get a feel for what you like and dislike. After awhile you will notice a theme emerging and this theme will provide the direction you should proceed.