I get asked a lot by prospective sellers what they can do to update their house. A lot of the time, they don’t have a big budget. Here are some of my favourite things:
#1 Change the light fixtures. You can get nice, inexpensive lights at big box stores and even less expensive ones if you are willing to scour Kijiji. But sometimes it’s worth it to splurge. Here’s the “before” of a dining room I transformed recently. It wasn’t bad, but I wanted it to look modern. Here’s the “after” (cost, by the way, was around $ 450):
# 2. Paint out the oak strip on those kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinets in the 80s often had an oak strip at the bottom or top of the doors that really date them. Here’s an inexpensive fix. Prime it and paint it out with a matching paint. It’s that simple! Here’s what it looks like when you’re done.
# 3. Get a framed bathroom mirror. A lot of bathrooms have a large mirror fixed to the wall above the sink. You can really pretty up a bathroom by taking that down and putting up a framed mirror. Cost? I paid $ 99 at HomeSense for this beauty. (For some pics where I’ve done this, see # 5 below.)
# 4 Buy new bedding! New bedding is a major transformation every time, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. I like to mix it up, laying a quilt at the bottom of the bed and getting shams and pillows separately for an expensive look. Check out this before-and-after! I bought two large off-white Euro shams ($ 50) and the quilt and shams at the bottom of the bed for $ 60.
I love the way this twin bed set turned out. The quilt was only $ 40 at Quilts at Carlingwood and I bought the pillow for around $ 30 at HomeSense. (In fact, after I staged this house, the homeowner bought all the bedding, and I went back and bought more of this pattern because I liked it so much.)
#5. Buy a new shower curtain. So many homes have plastic shower curtains, or ones that don’t match or are just plain ugly. Why not put up a really lovely shower curtain? I bought this one (below) at HomeSense for $34.99. (This, by the way, is another example of a bathroom where I took down the fixed mirror and replaced it with a handsome framed one.)
Here’s another shower curtain I often use when staging properties. I paid all of $ 20 for it at Superstore. (And see that bathroom mirror? Once again, we took down the fixed one and put up this up instead. So much nicer!)