Jill Abelman, interior designer and owner of Inside Style Home, shares tips on how to get a remodel started without breaking the bank and where to best invest hard-earned time and money.
If your budget is limited, what are the smartest rooms to remodel first?
The powder room is a great place to start, as everyone who visits your home will see it. Give it a facelift with updated lighting fixtures and hardware, such as new door and drawer handles, towel racks and faucets. In the living room, add new accent pillows, area rugs and a fresh coat of paint.
What are some projects that can be done without the assistance of a professional?
Painting is the least expensive way to make the biggest impact—not only on the walls, but, perhaps, on a piece of furniture. I just painted a favorite nightstand in my guest room bright orange and I love it.
With a substantial budget, what should homeowners splurge on?
Flooring is always a game changer and an investment that makes a huge difference. Our clients request we replace carpeting with wood or tile.
If you want to concentrate on the kitchen, obviously new cabinets, appliances and countertops will make the most impact. The kitchen is the heart of the home and most often updated first. After all, this is the space where we spend the most time. If this is too much for your budget, simply change the stain color of the cabinets; add a backsplash material and new handles. There are so many great backsplash options to choose from that will completely change the look. This remedy should only take a week or so in labor time once materials arrive.
What would people be most surprised to hear about the ROI on some popular remodeling projects?
Wallpaper is an excellent way to change a space in a big way for a minor investment. We often wallpaper just the bed wall in a bedroom and use accent paint colors to pull it all together. We concentrate on selecting interesting textures instead of prints so that the wallpaper is classic and timeless. New lighting fixtures throughout the home can make a big difference, and there are tons of high-impact, low-cost options.