One of the services we offer is a consultation where we spend about an hour together and you get to pick one of our designer's brain on whatever is most helpful and important to you regarding home updates. And aside from "We're about to embark on a significant renovation, where do we start?", the next most popular question is something like, "We will probably sell our home in a few years, so we want to make some small updates that make our house more enjoyable to us and more appealing to future buyers. What should we do?" Great question!
I’ve found that paint is the absolute cheapest way to make a big statement. There are two ways to think about this. The first is to freshen up your entire home with a new paint color. Sometimes, you just need a lighter, brighter color to liven up your space. Obviously, this should be a pretty neutral color, and I'd recommend something in the gray/greige/white family. Some of my favorite go-to, whole-home colors are:
Alabaster - Sherwin Williams
Swiss Coffee (at 75% strength) - Benjamin Moore
Agreeable Gray - Sherwin Williams
Classic Gray - Benjamin Moore
Gray Owl - Benjamin Moore
The second is to add accent colors - either paint one wall in a room or an entire room one color. I love adding accent walls behind a TV or behind the focal wall in a dining room or bedroom. It's also nice to paint an office an entirely different color to add some interest. Paint can truly change the feel of a home and add tons of personality.
I'm seriously passionate about this one. Light fixtures make such a big difference in a house. If you are in a somewhat new build, you know the "builder's grade" fixtures that every single house in your neighborhood has. If you're in an older home, you probably have fixtures that someone updated at some point in the 80s or 90s. By changing out fixtures, you add your own flair and interest. But you can also literally brighten a room (or even make it more intimate if a previous light was glaring). Don't underestimate the power of a light to change the actual feeling you get when you're in the room.
I recommend changing out all the lights in the main living spaces (included hallway lights). If you can swing bedroom lights or fans, do that, too. Some of my favorite places to buy lights are Shades of Light, Pottery Barn, West Elm, World Market, and Wayfair.
Door & Cabinet Hardware
Another really easy, relatively cheap thing to update in your home is door and cabinet hardware. And if you're somewhat handy, you can probably do this yourself. I recommend buying both kinds of hardware from Amazon to maximize your budget. There is no one right answer on finish, but just be consistent. And if those things haven't been updated in a while, I promise whatever you pick will be better than what is there.
If you can update these three things, your house will feel so different (and likely, more like you!) You don't have to spend a ton of money on any of these things and many of them you can do yourself (there's a YouTube video for everything!) Now go make your house feel like home!