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Whether you are looking to sell or to dwell, there is always room to infuse a fresh, new look into a space that may be perceived as tired, worn or outdated. While a full renovation may be an option, it doesn’t have to be. With a bit of creativity, planning and perhaps a bit of do-it-yourself work, making your home feel inviting and refreshed doesn’t have to break the bank.

 


What's worth it? What' s not?

It is a common dilemma for many homeowners. Where should you invest your renovation dollars? A good rule of thumb is to invest in areas that may potentially add value, such as upgrading a bathroom or kitchen. Next, look to outdoor areas that can enhance the appearance or curb appeal, such as a new door, fresh siding or enhanced landscaping.

 

Quick, low-cost refreshers

First, set a budget. Even a small budget can go a long way with proper planning. The key is to maximize value by selectively choosing to spend money on key items that may be viewed as a valued upgrade, especially as it relates to resale value, should you ever decide to sell your home.

 

 

Some ideas for quick low cost refreshers include:

— Replacing a kitchen countertop.

— Repainting cabinets. This is one of the least expensive ways to infuse a fresh modern look into an older kitchen.

— Replacing basic appliances such as a dishwasher or refrigerator. Stainless steel remains the most desirable.

— Installing an inexpensive vinyl tile over an existing floor. A 12-by-24-inch tile tends to be a more modern look, compared to a 10-by-10 inch tile.

— Replace basic, elements such as toilets and faucets in a bathroom. This is a prime example of how a little can go a long way.

The Design Recipes design team was recently asked to implement some low-cost refreshers to help transform a 1950s home located in southern New Jersey.

Here’s some insight into how an outdated home was transformed into one that is now more modern and fresh.

 

LIVING ROOM

Refreshers:

— Slipcover for an existing sofa

Cost: $95

— Toss pillows

Cost: $45

— Wall mirror

Cost: $0 (removed from above a bedroom dresser)

— Artwork

Cost: $125

— Area rug

Cost: $125

— Coffee Table

Cost: $0 (a pair of repurposed bookcases)

— Floor lamp

Cost: $45

KITCHEN

Refreshers:

— New stainless steel dishwasher

Cost: $350

— New stainless refrigerator

Cost: $995

— Repainting of kitchen cabinetry

Cost: $60 per gallon of paint. Approximately six cans used.

— New cabinet hardware and hinges

Cost: $100

— Groutable vinyl tile, 12-by-24 inches

Cost: $1.25 per square foot

BATHROOM

Refreshers:

— Groutable vinyl tile, 12-by-24 inches

Cost: $1.25 per square foot

— New toilet

Cost: $195

— Cabinet with sink

Cost: $285

— New faucet and showerhead

Cost: $155

— Medicine cabinet

Cost: $125.00

MASTER BEDROOM

Refreshers:

— Fresh coat of paint

Cost: $60 per gallon

— Side tables

Cost: $45

Bedding

— Cost: $75

— Table lamp

Cost: $55

— Toss pillows

Cost: $45

— Area rug:

Cost: $95

SECOND BEDROOM

Refreshers:

— Fresh coat of paint

Cost: $60 per gallon

— Headboard

Cost: $65

— Side table

Cost: $25

— Bedding

Cost: $95

— Cotton area rug

Cost: $45

THIRD BEDROOM

Refreshers:

— Fresh coat of paint

Cost: $60 per gallon

— Console table

Cost: $85

— Bedding

Cost: $185

— Table lamp

Cost: $55

— Toss pillows

Cost: $45

 

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at info@cathyhobbs.com or visit her website at www.cathyhobbs.com .

 

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