Anyone who’s done an extensive home renovation will tell you that it’s a hell of a lot less fun than The Block makes it look.
It’s messy, stressy, and dusty.
And, if you’re DIYing it with your partner, it can also be a bit shouty and what-have-we-gotten-ourselves into-y.
But, with a bit of know-how, home improvements don’t have to be a nightmare.
If your home is looking and feeling a bit tired, there are loads of ways you can refresh and beautify it without going the whole hog.
Or, if you’ve recently waved farewell to your savings to buy your first pad, you can fancy it up and make it feel like yours without spending a tonne of cash.
FURNISHD.’s design team have drilled it down to nine ways that you can update your home without major renovations.
And even if you don’t go the whole nine yards (see what we did there?), making just one or two of these changes will make a huge difference to your home space.
Think of it as a little glow-up for your home – a refresher that will make the world of difference, without having to go through the horrors of a full face-lift.
Image courtesy of @maison_pierre_ernest
TIP 1: Declutter to create a sense of space
We bang on about decluttering a bit, but clearing out all the mess and unnecessary stuff in your home is one of the most important steps in any home improvement.
Once the clutter is gone, or is better organised, your home will instantly feel bigger and more open, and you’ll feel more relaxed as well. Win-win, right? We’re not saying it’s an easy or particularly enjoyable job, but holy Kondo, the pay-off is worth the pain. To make it easier, tackle one room at a time, and don’t feel like you have to do the whole house in one day.
Recruit the family to help (or boot them out of the house, whichever works for you), crank up your favourite tunes, and just get it done.
Once you’ve decluttered, stand at the entry to each room and look in as though it’s the first time you’ve seen the space.
Does the furniture arrangement hinder easy movement around the room? Rooms that have easy ‘flow’ always seem larger, so move (or remove!) furniture to make moving around the rooms and between spaces easy.
If you have bulky furniture that you’ve fallen out of love with, consider replacing it with more space-saving pieces that don’t compromise on functionality or comfort.
And if you have the wall space, a mirror hung opposite a window makes the room seem bigger and brighter.
Image courtesy of @dylan_farrell_design
TIP 2: Spruce up walls with paint, wallpaper and artwork
Nothing spruces a place up quite like a fresh coat of paint or some spanky new wallpaper.
Fresh white will open up smaller rooms and make them feel lighter and brighter, and provides an easy backdrop for a wide range of home styling trends.
If you’ve chosen to decorate your home according to a specific style, do some research into the best wall colours to set the scene.
Feature walls are great in bigger rooms to provide a focal point and some depth, and can be achieved with a coat of contrasting paint, or with luxe wallpapers.
If the thought of hanging wallpaper has you reaching for a paper bag to breathe into, go for the removable kind.
They’re easy to put up, and it’s no drama if you make a mistake or you change your mind down the track.
If you want to go one step further in your home improvement mission, displaying wall art and decor is another surefire way to beautify the walls.
Choose pieces that mean something to you, that suit your design style, and that complement the decor.
“Feature walls are great in bigger rooms to provide a focal point and some depth, and can be achieved with a coat of contrasting paint, or with luxe wallpapers”
TIP 3: Carpet, boards or tiles - give your floors a facelift
Beautiful flooring can make your home feel more luxurious and spacious, and can be updated without major renovations.
Start off by assessing what you already have.
Sometimes all it takes to glow-up your floors is a good steam clean for the carpets and a high-cardio mop and polish for the floorboards.
If things are in really bad shape, consider installing plush new carpets, or investing in beautiful rugs to hide the sins underneath.
Not only will rugs cover up any floor damage, they also stamp out a space for each living area and help designate zones.
Tiled floors can be revived by regrouting, or if the ugly extends way beyond the grout, painting tiles with special floor tile paint can be a surprisingly effective option to tide you over until you can rip it all out and start again.
Image courtesy of @kellywearstler
TIP 4: Choose window furnishings to wow
Great window furnishings do for windows what a bit of mascara can do for your peepers.
They frame them, draw attention, and can make them seem bigger and more beautiful.
And, on a practical level, they go even further and make your rooms warmer in the colder weather, and darker at night time to promote a better quality of shut-eye.
And the best part is that this is one area in which you don’t have to spend a bomb to make a huge impact on your home improvements.
Ceiling-to-floor drapes are luxurious, and make rooms seem bigger by giving the illusion of more vertical space, and are also an opportunity to introduce pattern and texture to your room.
Plantation shutters are a classic option, and allow you to control the level of natural light and privacy, while sheers can be perfect for a bit of privacy while still letting light in.
Image courtesy of @petrabindel
TIP 5: Update the lighting
If the rise of video calls has taught us anything, it’s that poor lighting is nobody’s friend.
Your home is no exception, and inadequate or outdated lighting will make your home look smaller and dingier than it really is.
But the good news is that it’s easily updatable, and will make a huge difference to the look and feel of your home.
If you have corners of your house that remain shadowy even when the ceiling lights are on, pop a floor lamp in to light it up and your room will instantly feel bigger.
Layering your lighting with a table lamp here and there will allow you to customise the level of light, and create mood and ambience.
If you have ceiling fixtures that make your toes curl, replace them with something you really love that complements the style of the room.
Pendant lights hung over the kitchen bench and dining table are practical, but also give those spaces a sense of occasion.
If you want to go all out, find a sparky to help you plan out a lighting overhaul that will suit your house.
And, while we’re at it, if your light switches are a bit meh, they are easy to replace and there are heaps of stylish options that will really elevate your home.
Image courtesy of @michaelwaltersstyle
TIP 6: Don’t forget the doors
Like a middle child, they often get forgotten, but beautiful doors will totally transform your home and can be a relatively easy improvement.
If you’ve got the budget, replacing bland or damaged doors with new ones will give your home a whole new look, without the hassle of a full renovation.
But what if your doors are still in good nick or you don’t have the cash to splash on a whole new set?
Give them a lick of paint (hint: it’s best to take them off and spray them to get a perfect finish), or for the quickest of fixes, replace the door handles with something that reflects the style of the home.
Simply updating the door handles will make a huge difference and can make you feel as though you have a whole new set of doors.
Your front door is important too – it’s the entrance to your home and a good one can make it feel grand and welcoming.
If you don’t love your front door, consider replacing it with something you want to come home to.
Otherwise, a coat of shiny paint in a colour that complements your external colour scheme will transform the entry to your home.
Image courtesy of @molly.h.williams
TIP 7: Rub-a-dub-dub (that’s one manky tub). It’s time to make your bathroom beautiful
Bathrooms often get left to decay because they’re so bloody expensive to rip out and replace, but a beautiful bathroom will completely elevate your home and make it feel like a luxurious place to be.
On the flipside, a grungy bathroom will drag an otherwise beautiful home down.
If your bathroom is tired and run down, there are ways you can make it fresh again without having to rip it out for a full renovation.
Start with the tiles.
If the grout is grungy, scrape it out and replace it – it can make it feel and look as though the whole bathroom has been retiled. If you don’t want to go that far, a grout pen can refresh the look of the existing grout and make it feel cleaner and brighter. If the colour of the tiles is really dated, or just plain ugly, they can be painted if re-tiling isn’t an option.
The range of tile paints available now are effective, easy to apply, and can make a huge difference to the look of your bathroom.
Painting is also an easy way to update bathroom vanities, as is replacing cupboard doors (or even just the knobs).
New tapware will bring your bathroom up to date, and faucets and taps are generally easy to replace.
And finally, style the bathroom up with some pretties – plants, designer bathroom accessories that complement your colour scheme, a luxe shower curtain, beautiful towels and a new mirror.
Image courtesy of @leberrevevaud
TIP 8: Give the kitchen a freshen up
They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and we couldn’t agree more – it’s where we cook up storms, entertain, hide from the kids to eat the hidden chocolate – and it’s where the wine glasses live.
But it’s also one of the areas of the house that dates and wears quickly, and is hella-spendy to renovate if you want to remodel.
If you’re embarking on some home improvements and your kitchen is less than inspiring, you can tart it up with a few easy fixes that’ll make a huge difference.
Replacing or painting cupboard doors and updating the knobs will give your kitchen a whole new look, and if your bench top has seen better days, replacing it will completely transform the whole space.
Replace the tapware to suit your style, and style it all up with quality tea towels, a well-stocked fruit bowl, fresh flowers and gleaming appliances.
TIP 9: Style your home with beautiful finishing touches
Ok, this is the fun bit!
It’s also the bit we here at FURNISHD. can help with if you need a hand, because updating homes with furniture and décor is our thing.
New furniture pieces, soft furnishings (like cushions, rugs, bed linen etc), rugs, art and décor can (and do!) totally transform homes.
Pour yourself a glass of wine and settle in for a night of hardcore Pinterest.
Collect inspiration (and a no doubt a good case of Pinterest-induced fomo), find a decorating style that really gets your heart racing, and write a list of bits and pieces that will elevate your home and turn it into a space that you’ll have to drag yourself away from, and that you’ll be racing to get home to – because that’s the sort of home you deserve.
We know how busy you’ll be with furnishing and those home improvement plans, so if you’d like us to take the styling off your hands, get in touch!
We’d love to help (and we’re pretty damn good at it too, just quietly).