31 Affordable Ways to Upgrade Household Items

Real Estate

31 Affordable Ways To Upgrade The Old, Outdated Things Around Your House


1. Add carriage-style magnets to your garage door to give it some undeniable charm that demands veeery little work on your part. They're made of a super durable UV- and weather-resistant plastic, so you won't have to worry about them rusting! Promising review: "If you're looking for instant curb appeal with little effort, you need to get these. These haven't moved in large rain storms or excessive wind and hopefully won't rust out like the more expensive drilled sets like my neighbors have since there are no exposed screws or hardware." —SG

2. Apply a decorative faux-wood paneling in any room that could use a refresh. These resin panels *look* realistically like wood and are super affordable so you can master a mini reno on a budget. They are easy to install and attach to the walls with adhesive tape (the tape is included). You can even cut the panels with a utility knife or hacksaw, so this is a DIY project I know you can handle! Promising review: "What a great product!!!! It is ridiculously easy to put on the wall. I used an Exacto knife to cut around the window and it looks like a professional did it. I get a ton of compliments every time someone goes into my bathroom. The wall used to have tile on it, so I just chipped off the old tile and used the double-sided tape to put on the new wall panels. Looks awesome!" —Jerome

3. Ditch the drab recessed lighting for some cute pendant lights by using a handy conversion kit. The installation is fairly simple and straightforward, and now I know what you'll be doing next weekend! The kit includes a decorative medallion that *can* be painted to match your ceiling color. Promising review: "I took the advice of others and watched the YouTube video for easy installation. Definitely take the time to drill pilot holes to avoid getting frustrated. Also make sure the bracket is completely centered before tightening the screws in the center. (Trust me this is important). Great price and an awesome product. I reviewed many options and shopped around before purchasing this but I couldn't be happier." —Sharon Moore

4. And since you're now in the market for pendant lights, hang these vintage-style glass lights with some Edison bulbs for a sophisticated look that won't require a pricey renovation. The cord measures 10 inches so you have the freedom to adjust the height as desired. Promising review: "I received lots of compliments and when I tell them I got them on Amazon, they're surprised! They're especially shocked when I tell them how much I paid. You definitely can't beat the price! It's a simple design with a 'WOW!' statement. I definitely recommend these pendants!" —KMags

5. Swap any fingerprint-stained light switches and outlet plates for new vintage-style covers. Hello, operator — this is the kind of minimal effort I am looking for. Promising review: "Feels quality, not flimsy. Installed in a bathroom and adds a nice classy vintage touch to my switch. The metal is not highly reflective, closer to a brushed look. Great for disguising fingerprints and blends in with other non-reflective metal hardware. When the light switch is frequently the first thing someone looks at and reaches for in a room, having a quality cover like this gets noticed and enhances a room very easily. I can't believe I'm still writing about how much I enjoy a light switch cover." —Tom Generic Dude

6. Give your worn out exterior door a makeover with a fresh coat of paint. It's a water-based paint designed to prevent fading, so whatever color you pick will stay vibrant and beautiful — just like the day you painted. Promising review: "Excellent product. Very easy to use. We were able to paint our front door with two coats and be finished all in one day. The product is a very thick consistency that doesn't cause it to drip, run, splatter, or ruin your paint brushes. And there is very little prep work and clean up." —Jay

7. And! Hang a set of funky address numbers to your door or house siding because the outside of your home deserves some pizzazz, too.

8. Make your bedroom a feel like five-star hotel by building your own ceiling canopy. All you need are drapery rods, brackets, and a few tools and you can get this dreamy vibe — no need to go out and buy an expensive canopy bed!

9. Add frosted films to windows and other glass surfaces so you can enjoy some dang privacy without having to rely on heavy curtains. It also looks fabulous on display cabinets! Promising review: "So easy to use. Quick and beautiful solutions to unique window needs. I love this window in my apartment but was force to hide it behind a curtain for privacy. This finally allowed me to showcase the window and make it a unique focal point with the design. Used my Cricut craft machines to cut even 10"x10" squares. So easy." —N.R.

10. Use a sweet lil' stencil and some paint to charm up any boring furniture you've been thinking of getting rid of...'til now!

11. Or! Try your hand at a stencil tile backsplash. It definitely requires a little patience and practice, but the payoff is worth it (and your wallet will be soooo happy).
12. Exchange that dated bathroom sink faucet for a modern, waterfall one. It's a small job that'll make a big, big difference. Promising review: "What a gorgeous faucet! Not only does this waterfall faucet have the good looks and style one would expect in an expensive faucet, it is high quality - but at a ridiculously low price! We wanted a unique look in our remodeled bathroom and could not be happier with this faucet. P.S. The cats love it too. ;-)" —FlamNgoil

13. Plop your sweet plant child in a trendy seagrass basket. There's no need to repot and spill soil everywhere to upgrade your plant's home. Promising review: "I got this basket in the 15-inch size and it's exactly as pictured. There are many of these on Amazon, but I ordered from this brand because of their size chart, which shows the dimension of the opening. I wanted to put a specific plastic pot inside, and the chart was very helpful to select the right size basket. A wonderful bonus is that the basket can be folded in to create a shorter, handle-free basket, which is pictured. It pops in/out very neatly. No flaws, and color is exactly as pictured, will be ordering more." —Stargazer
14. Or if you want to go a little of the box, use them to make some freakin' cool, conversation-starter pendant lights.
15. Trade in any heavy-linen curtains for a sheer option because it'll heighten the room while also brightening up the space. Just peep this living room! *Swoons.* Promising review: "I LOVE THESE! I was looking for something to brighten my apartment up and to make it feel bigger. I’m so, so, so glad I decided to go with these! I was so scared while opening them. I ordered four white 95-inch sets. I just threw them in the dryer for 2-3 minutes to de-wrinkle them and hung them. These are amazingly cheap for how nice they are! Definitely makes my apartment feel like HOME. I would recommend these to anyone." —Amazon Customer

16. Upcycle and add height to old furniture by changing out the legs for hairpin legs. Promising review: "I needed a really narrow coffee table for my family room as I'd just purchased a fairly deep leather couch. I decided to use a really cool piece of reclaimed lumber we found on the side of the road two years ago. I sanded, stained, waxed, and added these 16-inch legs. OMG I'm in LOVE! They not only arrived fast, but were in perfect condition, and came with screws and great instructions. They're well-made, sturdy, and I love the matte finish." —Timothy Johnson

17. If you're tired of staring at an egg-shell white wall, paint an eye-catching ombré effect with just a few materials.
18. And if paint isn't really your ~thing~, try a self-adhesive fabricto get that same ombré look.

19. Get a roll of marble contact paper and go to town. Really — you can use this to transform countertops, furniture, picture frames, and the list goes on (and on...). Promising review: "I used a little more than one roll for a quick makeover on an ugly fireplace in a rental apartment. It's easy to cover the tiles with the film. It makes a huge difference for minimal effort/price." —Zhen
20. Try peel-and-stick tile as a great kitchen backsplash dupe that'll look like you dropped a good chunk of cash and time for the real thing. Promising review: "Love how it turned out! We laid out the entire area to line up squares and match grout lines before cutting. Applying to the wall takes caution and patience to get it right but it is beautiful in the end. I have a guillotine paper cutter that was great to make long straight cuts. Scissors also worked fine on smaller cuts. We also took the advice of other users and cut out the 'overlap here' squares. Took about four hours to complete." —Virginia S OHara

21. Breathe some life back into dated furniture with a couple coats of chalk paint. Chalk paint adheres well to furniture, so it only requires a bit of prep work on your end. Chalk paint is thick and dries quickly. And because of its consistency, you don't have to spend hours sanding. Just give your piece a quick cleaning and light sanding, and your prep work is done! Promising review: "I just moved and have been refinishing a lot of furniture to match my new design. This paint has been amazing. It only requires a little elbow grease (just washing furniture clean and a light sanding) and it's ready to paint and finish! So much easier than before requiring endless sanding and preparation. I did a large dresser with just half a can of this paint and it turned out great. Highly recommend." —Christina Gomes

22. Create a new bed and couch aesthetic by changing up the look of your pillows with these elegant, checkered pillow covers. It's such a little thing, but it makes all the difference! Just keep in mind these are pillow *covers*, so you'll need to select a size to fit your current pillows, OR buy pillow inserts. If you like your pillows fuller, make sure you size down the pillow covers by two inches so you can achieve that firm, fluffy look.

23. Get the stainless steel appliances you've always wanted (but never wanted to spend an entire paycheck on) courtesy of this liquid stainless steel kit. I mean, hello, these results!!! Promising review: "Very pleased with the outcome. I followed the advice of other posts. I did a light sanding with 600-grit paper since the microwave was shinny black plastic. I then hit it with one coat of Rust-oleum primer paint. I let that dry for 24 hours. BE PATIENT! This is NOT a one day project! I then did five coats of the base at it looked better and better with each coat. I did two coats of the top coat. $24 vs. $250 for a new unit was a win for me. Great product! BE PATIENT!!!" —GoodyNP

24. Upgrade that crumbling ceiling medallion with an ornate option that won't break the bank. I'm not kidding, this comes with a $10 price tag, and my eyes feel so fooled! Promising review: "We thought it would be a lot harder to remove our outdoor ceiling fan to install the new ceiling medallion so we kept putting it off, but it wound up being much easier than anticipated and now we don't know why we didn't do it sooner. The old medallion was plastic and as old as the house and clearly showing its age. This was a big improvement and it no longer draws your eye in a negative way. This one is a bit larger than the medallion we replaced, which we would recommend doing as it helps hide any discoloration/markings left by the old medallion you are replacing." —Kelliar

25. Apply copper tape around pictures frames or in an abstract design to give your gallery wall a simple but sweet update.
26. Swap any bulky furniture legs for something more modern and sleek. Your Ikea furniture is about to like it ~walked~ straight out of a West Elm catalog.
27. Spend 10 minutes top replacing your worn-out duvet cover for a trendy geometric option. We love minimal effort and big results! Duvets are a great investment because they are easy to change up. The covers take up minimal space and are easy to wash, and when you're ready to give your room a new look, just throw on a new duvet cover and you're set! Promising review: "I was a bit apprehensive buying this duvet cover online, mostly because I have pretty sensitive skin, and a lot of fabric will irritate it if I'm not careful, and not being able to actually feel the product was a bit of a risk factor for me. However, the fabric is comfortable and breathable (Note: it's not super soft, but soft nonetheless), the print is GORGEOUS and looks almost exactly like the picture. Overall, a great product; I highly recommend it." —Tarini

28. Give dull wood surfaces some vibrancy back by going over them with a miracle polish. It'll add a layer of protection while restoring its luster. I cannot speak highly enough about this product! It added beautiful, rich color back into my coffee table and now I want to use it on everything. Really this stuff is so good. Promising review: "I was extremely impressed with this product! My first try was on my front door. The pictures speak for themselves. Wow! Then I used it on every wood surface. Huge Difference! I highly recommend it." —Amazon Customer

29. And you can do the same thing for any kitchen wood surface with a food-grade mineral oil. Think: butcher blocks, cutting boards, and all your wood bowls and utensils. Promising review: "I recently took it upon myself to refinish my family's ancient '60s cutting boards...you know, the ones that slide out from the counters and are an original part of a horribly outdated pink-tiled kitchen. I have three of these cutting boards in total. I sanded them down and finished up the wood with this product. My cutting board looks gorgeous and brand new! I've included a picture of the one I refinished (left) and one that hasn't been refinished (right) yet just to give an idea of the transformation. Great product, beautiful cutting boards!" —Shannon Courser

30. Spray paint anything around your house — and I mean anything — that is still functional but needs a little TLC. This chair could've been a goner, but with some paint and upholstery it looks brand new! Promising review: "If used correctly, this achieves excellent coverage. I have used it on (sanded) aluminum, on previously powdered coated steel, on raw mild steel, on brushed titanium. With proper application, the results were always excellent. That said, it's not an easy paint to use. If you just 'spray and pray', without surface preparation and with only one coat, it will make for a very terrible, blotchy finish. But if you know what you are doing, this is an excellent product." —Filippo Beretta
31. And lastly, ditch the '90s cabinet hardware and opt for some super sleek pulls. You'll have this done with so much time to spare, you may end up starting another home project.



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Article by: Kayla Suazo