Following my story on ways to boost your home for less than $75, I’m upping the ante and exploring some tips and tricks around the $400 mark. Even if you’re not planning to sell your home anytime soon, these touches could help you make a welcome change to your home environment for a relatively low price.
1. Update a shower screen. Many of us have a combined bath and shower, but that doesn’t mean we need to put up with awkward shower curtains to control splashing. Reinforced glass screens are a great way to make a room feel bigger and give a bathroom a more custom feel.
Be sure to have it fixed to something solid and sturdy, because the glass is heavy and may occasionally be used for support. Shower screens are easy to fit yourself if you’re confident with a little DIY.
2. Throw down a rug. Replacing an entire carpet can be an expensive business, but if your existing one is in reasonable condition, you might be able to jazz it up a little with a small addition. Rugs can give a floor, and indeed a room, a new lease on life — particularly if you go for a statement design.
3. Dress a window with care. There’s nothing like a poorly hung blind to make a window look unloved and forgotten about. A huge range of blinds is available, and you can pick one up fairly easily for less than $400. Spending a little time thinking carefully about where to position it and how to hang it can make a world of difference in how it looks.
Measure carefully before ordering, and make sure you consider where exactly you will position the fixings.
4. Swap in a glass-paneled door. All too often, hallways and corridors are a little on the dark side, and they rarely have access to much natural light.
A great way to resolve this is to swap your existing solid doors with some glass-paneled ones that will pull light into the darker areas and help create a feeling of space. Just be careful to check — and double-check — the dimensions of your new doors so they match the existing frames.
5. Lift your laundry. Finding space to hang laundry is a challenge faced by many as living spaces get tighter. But have you considered the space above your head? Clever systems on pulleys, such as this one from Pulleymaid, can lift your laundry up and away and leave your living space for living in.
6. Banish the bin. Trash is exactly that — trash — and I can think of very few instances where it enhances a room. If your existing kitchen bins are rather unsightly and are constantly drifting around the room, why not see if you can integrate them into your kitchen?
Most kitchen suppliers sell clever systems that will fit bins into a range of drawers and cabinets, thus keeping your trash bin tucked behind closed doors.
7. Refresh a kitchen. Obviously a brand-new kitchen can’t be bought for less than $400, but you don’t need a whole new one to boost your cook space. There are many ways you can give your kitchen a quick and easy update for a fraction of the cost.
Consider replacing cabinet handles, painting doors, regrouting tiles, adding a new bead of sealant at the back of your countertop or even replacing your sink fixtures. It might require a little DIY to come in under budget, but it will definitely be worth it.
8. Embrace LED lighting. A great way to change your quality of light and even save you a little extra money in energy bills is to swap out your existing lighting for energy-efficient LED bulbs. Don’t worry, you won’t necessarily have to rewire the whole house. Often you can simply replace the lightbulb. Or strip lighting can be cleverly added for an interesting effect.
9. Unearth your floorboards. Numerous period homes have hidden gems in the floor. It’s not uncommon for quality wooden floorboards to be covered by carpets and forgotten.
If you’re prepared to do the hard work yourself, consider renting a floor sander. Many can be rented for less than $150 a day and, with a good set of ear protectors and a lot of patience and elbow grease, you can completely transform the floor for a great finish.