Update Now: 4 Home Improvement Ideas for Any Budget


You were finally able to put down a deposit on your very own place, but now you need cheap home improvement ideas that you can use in the meantime while saving for a big reno. Following are cost-effective tips you can use to fix up your space, right now.


So you’re looking for home improvement ideas for now. First off, congratulations on your new home in NYC! You’ve had to scrimp, save, and go without, and yes, maybe you became a bit too acquainted with packaged ramen noodles, but you were finally able to put down a deposit on your dream co-op apartment in the city. And you’re thrilled with it, even if the kitchen floors are dingy linoleum and the kitchen appliances were old when your grandparents were married. You can live with it, right?

Um … no! Just because you’ve used all your money for the purchase doesn’t mean that you have to party like it’s 1969 in your apartment until you can afford to change stuff. Yes, the majority of your paycheck will be going towards your shiny new mortgage, real estate taxes, and maintenance fees, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live in shabby digs because you need to wait to renovate. If you’re looking for tips that will help bring about quick, easy, affordable and real change, read on.

paint tin with blue paint

Image Source: Flickr

1. Just Add Paint

You may not be able to afford $80 gallons of Farrow & Ball paint, but even a mid-level paint can transform walls in need of an upgrade. You’re probably so sick of hearing the phrase “just throw some paint on it,” but listen: Painting walls with a fresh coat of quality paint really will make a huge difference. Color has an immediate and powerful impact on our brains. It’ll be as if you’re buying new walls!

gorgeous doorknob with light shining through

Image Source: Flickr

2. Change Knobs, Pulls, Faucets …

A diamond necklace can turn a simple dress into a spectacular outfit. The same trick works with fixtures. Don’t believe us? Take an hour and swap out the old wooden pulls on your kitchen cabinets for some pretty jeweled ones. You’ll be astonished at the difference. For being one of the simplest home improvement ideas, it’s amazingly effective.

Herringbone flooring

Image Source: Flickr

3. Disguise Ugly Flooring

Few things can put the old damper on house pride like ugly flooring. If your floors are in bad form, not even the finest furniture will hide them. While waiting for the reclaimed pine flooring for your dream kitchen, check out alternative options you can live with.

Look into vinyl. Today’s vinyl and laminate is affordable, it comes in hundreds of realistic-looking styles, eye-catching colors, and patterns, and you can simply float it on top of existing flooring. The floor in the pic above? Vinyl herringbone planks! Attractive temporary flooring solutions can make living in your home a lot more enjoyable as you save for the big reno. In a single afternoon, you can lay down beautiful vinyl flooring that can work as a beautiful stand-in until you get the flooring of your dreams. Check out NYC shops like PID Floors and Wood Floor Planet to see some options up close and in person.

eames chair w/chandelier and sheepskin rug

Image Source: Flickr/Katherine Esposito

4. Go Bargain Hunting Online

Scour sites like craigslist.com and chairish.com for high-end items. A friend just scored a free — free — Mitchell Gold sofa in awesome condition. Why was it free? The previous owner was moving overseas and needed to unload all his stuff quickly. But remember: You snooze, you lose. If you’re looking for a specific item, set up alerts so you’ll get notified whenever someone posts an item you want. Don’t forget to check out the free section. Everything from expensive paint to brand-new Kohler faucets turns up there.

Main Image Source: Flickr


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