17 Clever Home Improvement Ideas Under $200
Home improvements aren’t just projects that involve a wood, hammer, and nails. Any project that makes your house more comfortable, beautiful, or functional is a home improvement—and we have 17 smart ideas for under $200.
Add some green
“Plants are an easy home improvement that adds color, freshness, and beauty to your home,” says Marina V. Umali, CID, LEED AP ID+C, Licensed Interior Designer & Feng Shui Consultant owner of Marina V Design Studio. Plants are an inviting addition to those sad areas of your home that are unfulfilled. Outdoor plants soften the harsh lines of a patio or deck and tall potted plants create privacy. Find out which powerful plants can actually detox your home.
Elegant finishing touch
“Adding architectural trim creates a finished look and adds a sense of elegance, and it can completely change a room without the expense of a renovation,” says Sherry Hope-Kennedy, interior designer and founder of Studio SHK. Precut molding and millwork for window and door casings or ceiling or floor molding is available at any home improvement store. Habitat for Humanity ReStore may also have just what you want; plus, you’ll be saving money, and the proceeds further the mission of providing affordable housing for everyone. Here are more ways you can make your home look more expensive on the cheap.
Make room for guests
You love to have guests but grandma and grandpa aren’t too keen on sleeping on an air mattress in the living room. Too bad you couldn’t just pull a bed out of thin air. Wait… maybe you can. “Building a Murphy bed is one of the easiest ways to get more out of your home. Lots of homeowners want to have a guest bedroom that serves a second purpose,” says Kyle Marquardt, owner of Lori Wall Beds. These DIY Murphy bed kits offer you the ability to entertain overnight guests by providing a real bed in your home office or man cave. Don’t forget to offer your guests these 12 things to make them feel more welcome.
Who would think a utilitarian object like a mailbox could be so influential in curb appeal, but according to interior designer Dawn D Totty of Dawn D Totty Designs, it is. The size, shape, and condition create a lasting impression on what visitors may expect of the interior of the home to be like. If it’s seen better days, a fresh coat of paint is warranted. Next up, lose the worn out, tiny doormat. “It’s usually too undersized to make a statement or to be truly functional,” says Totty. Don’t forget about your yard: These secrets from landscapers will make your yard the best on the block.
Breathe new life into the mouth of your house
“Your home’s first impression starts right at the mouth of the house—your entry/foyer!” says Totty. “Creating a beautiful foyer will set the tone for your entire home.” A pretty piece of wall art and an entry table with a vase of flowers or a few treasured mementos offers a warm and inviting welcome. “Keep your foyer clean, simple, and functional by implementing just a few key items, such as a couple wall-mounted hooks or a small decorative bowl for easy access to keys, a large basket for daily shoes, and a new area rug suited to complement the overall décor of the home,” says Totty.
Kid-approved home improvements
A spare room or unused space in the basement will be more enticing for kids to hang out if it’s welcoming and cozy. Dayna Hairston, owner and interior designer at Dayziner LLC, says you can accomplish that with some simple home improvements. “Change up your look with carpet tiles. They are easy to clean and a fun way to add pops of color,” says Hairston. “Breathe new life into furniture by painting old pieces vibrant colors and paint your walls with a marker board finish.” Instead of kids coloring on painted walls, give them their own wall to create art with a chalkboard or dry erase DIY paint.
“Lighting can be as transformative in a room as fresh paint or new furniture, and it doesn’t need to be as expensive,” shares Jeffrey R. Dross, corporate director, education and industry trends for Kichler. “Start by replacing those dated mini-pendants in the kitchen. For under $200, you can rid your home of those old cobalt blue or red tiny pieces and select an on-trend larger piece with clear class and vintage lamps or an over scale pendant.” Not sure how to get started? Dross suggests consulting a light pro at your local specialty lighting retailer, who should be able to find something that fits your space—and your budget.
Read on for the home improvements that double the value of your home.