Budget-Friendly Tricks for Updating Your Older Home

When it comes to updating an older home, you can make big style statements on a small budget, experienced decorators say.

“Start with a pop of color,” Keysha Jillian, owner of Jillian’s Designs in Tampa, Fla. told Reader’s Digest in an interview. “Paint the front door—and the shutters, if you have them. If your mailbox sits out front, paint it, too. You’ll protect them from the elements and create a fresh, new look for the cost of a gallon or two of paint.”

Indoors, Jillian recommends a few of these small, but mighty, do-overs:

Toss out your throw pillows. Replace them with fuller, crisper new ones, mixing and matching colors and textures to add a fresh breath to your living space and bring your color scheme together.

Add an area rug. An area rug can transform any room, grounding furniture groupings and adding interest and definition to your living space.

Change out the hall light. Make a statement in your entry way with a chandelier or other contemporary ceiling fixture that brightens the space and welcomes guests with a flourish. (Adding table or floor lights may help your living space look larger.)

Add artwork and accessories. Stroll through stores like HomeGoods, Target or Tuesday Morning to find framed artwork and a few accessories to coordinate with your new throw pillows. It can bring a room together and add a fresh, new look without replacing older furniture.

Replace the light switch plates. Switch out those old, faded plastic switch plates for brushed nickel or other designs for as little as $5 per plate.

Throw on a backsplash. It can jazz up an old kitchen or bathroom instantly without breaking the bank. For as little as $10 per foot in most big box stores, you can find a choice of DIY designs, including mesh backing for easier installation. If that sounds too intimidating, consider creating an accent wall behind the sink with a contrasting and bright colored paint.

Install closet organizers. Most older homes come with small closets. Maximize the space with inexpensive closet organizers available at most big box stores.

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