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Simple DIY Ideas to Freshen Up Your Home

September 28, 2023 By: Great Midwest Bank
A man kneels on the ground, holding a level next to newly constructed cabinets while his dog looks on.

As a homeowner, sometimes you just want or need something “different”—a new look, feel, or function to your living space.

Luckily, small home improvements can have a big impact! You can also keep it simple by hammering out many home projects yourself. We’ve gathered some simple and affordable ideas to freshen up your home. If you ever need some extra cash to fund these home improvement projects or other renovations, consider a home equity loan or line of credit.

Tackle a project, watch your home transform and be proud of the work you did!

1. Expand Your Storage Areas

Storage is easy to overlook, but has a tremendous impact on your home’s function and feel. Add built-in shelving, storage cubes and drawer units to places like closets, pantries and the garage. Many space savers are inexpensive and easy to install. Other options such as custom wire shelving in closets or pantries tend to be more expensive—but can pay off in how well they help maximize your space.

Better storage keeps the clutter out of your life. Once you’ve improved your storage solutions you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it years ago!

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2. Freshen Up Your Kitchen

There are lots of DIY possibilities in the kitchen. It’s one of the rooms your family likely spends the most time in. Why not spice it up?

Add a Backsplash

Freshen up your kitchen with a new backsplash. If it’s blank wall space above your counters, try wallpaper or tile sheets for a cost-effective DIY project. If there is an existing backsplash but it’s outdated, look into more modern tiling options such as geometric, stone, or sea glass tiles. Have fun choosing a backsplash and giving your kitchen a new look!

Install New Appliances

If your family loves to cook, upgraded appliances can be a smart investment to improve both the atmosphere and functionality of your kitchen. Update your microwave, dishwasher, stove, fridge, or other kitchen appliances. Look for ones that fit your daily needs. You’ll be amazed at how much investing in the right kitchen appliances can improve your quality of life.

Cabinet Updates

If your cabinets are looking a little dull or outdated, don’t get out the sledgehammer just yet! Instead of replacing your cabinets, save money by giving your existing cabinets new life. Refinish and restain your cabinets or give them a fresh coat of paint.

To prepare, you’ll remove the cabinet doors and drawers, and also the hardware. Once repainted or restained, consider replacing old drawer knobs and cabinet handles for a modern new look. To make the switch easy, use the same screw sizes and hardware with the same number of screws to avoid extra drilling or fitting.

Why stop at the kitchen? Replace knobs and hardware on bathroom drawers, doors, bedroom dressers and other furniture. This subtle yet impactful change can liven up a whole house!

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3. Upgrade Window Treatments

New window treatments can help brighten up—or darken— a room. Quickly add a pop of color to a space and make it easier to adjust the amount of daylight that comes in.

Hang New Blinds

Whether you have blinds that constantly hang lopsided or you just want a different look, sometimes updated blind treatments are just what a room needs.

One standard option found in many homes is Venetian blinds. They have horizontal slats typically made of aluminum or plastic, and you can raise and lower them with a cord. They can sometimes be flimsy and prone to breaking but tend to be cheaper than other blind options.

If you want to add extra flair to your space, invest in blinds that elevate the room and will look nice for longer. If you enjoy how your Venetian blinds function but want to improve the look, consider wooden—or faux wood—blinds.

Other options like roll-up bamboo blinds, panel blinds and cellular blinds can add extra personality and ease of use to your home. One of the best parts: blinds are easy to install yourself. Transform your space in a weekend!

Frame Your Windows with Curtains

In addition to—or in lieu of—updating your blinds, adding or replacing curtains in your house is one of the easiest ways to mix up your home decor. The blinds or curtains you choose will change the lighting in the room, not only serving a functional purpose but also changing the feel of the space.

Go bold with accent colors or interesting prints—or keep it subtle and classic. Curtains are easy-peasy to put up and there are endless affordable options out there to choose from to make your rooms unique.

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4. Refresh Walls, Doors and Trim

Your home’s rooms are framed by their wall treatments, trim and doors. It’s easy to overlook opportunities to freshen these elements up. But, it’s also easy to make small changes to them that make a big impact!

Paint or Wallpaper Your Walls

Take a weekend to pick out a new paint color for one of your spaces, then put on some old clothes and get to painting! The payoff is immediate and you can completely change the atmosphere of a room.

If you’re feeling bold and ambitious, wallpaper a room or start with an accent wall. Do your homework beforehand to ensure you do it the right way!

Replace or Paint Doors

If your doors are looking dated, dingy or maybe just scream for an upgrade, why not spruce them up?

Repaint doors or refinish them to give them new life. If you’re looking for a bigger change, pick out new doors that fit your taste. While you’re at it, replacing or painting your front door can be a great way to make your home feel more inviting and add curb appeal!

Paint or Add New Trim

Baseboards and trim around doors get scuffed and damaged over the years. Freshening existing trim with paint or replacing it with new trim adds extra polish to your home. If your trim is natural, worn wood, a coat of white paint will add a more modern, finished pop that instantly elevates the space.

Add Crown Molding

Install crown molding to add another level of style and sophistication to your home. You’ll need to cut it to size, including angled cuts for inside and outside corners. Make sure to research the process to ensure the project goes smoothly and you get a beautiful end result. Measure, measure, measure! You’ll use a nail gun to secure it in place, and paintable caulk can be used to fill in small gaps and nail holes.

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Use a Home Equity Loan to Finance Your Project!

Need advice on financing your DIY home updates with a home equity loan? Or, perhaps you’re considering a large-scale renovation to better support your needs. Whatever your home goals are, talk to one of our loan officers today. Our friendly experts can help you make your home goals a reality. Apply online for your Home Equity Loan, or stop in at your local Great Midwest Bank branch!

This post was originally published in March 2017. It has been updated as of September 2023.