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George Nicola

George is a seasoned interior designer and property marketing strategist with over 13 years of experience. He specializes in transforming properties into visually stunning spaces, helping clients recognize the potential and beauty in each property. With an impressive international client base of exciting projects throughout Europe and America.

Table of Contents

Renovating a home doesn’t always have to be a daunting, expensive task. With the right approach, anyone can make significant improvements that refresh their living space without breaking the bank.

This article focuses on 30 engaging renovation activities that can transform any home, ensuring a blend of creativity and functionality.

A construction worker wearing a yellow hard hat and safety vest is sitting at a workbench, reviewing blueprints in a building under construction. It's critical to hire a real estate contractor who ensures that every detail meets the highest standards.
A construction worker wearing a yellow hard hat and safety vest is sitting at a workbench, reviewing blueprints in a building under construction. It's critical to hire a real estate contractor who ensures that every detail meets the highest standards.

From quick upgrades that take less than an hour to more involved weekend projects, these activities cater to various skills and budgets.

Whether it’s enhancing a single room or giving an entire home a new look, the activities highlighted will inspire homeowners to take charge of their environment and make lasting changes.

Planning Your Home Makeover

Planning your home makeover involves thoughtful preparation and decision-making, starting with setting a budget and choosing a design style that reflects your tastes.

Setting a Budget

The first step in planning a home makeover is to create a detailed budget. List all potential expenses, including materials, labor, permits, and any unexpected costs. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of these costs.

Consider getting multiple quotes from contractors to ensure you are getting a fair price for labor and materials. Allocate a portion of your budget to unexpected expenses to avoid surprises.

It’s helpful to categorize expenses into essential and non-essential items. For example:

A table showing expenses and their categories for activities in a home makeover. Paint is categorized as essential, while a new sofa is categorized as non-essential.
A table showing expenses and their categories for activities in a home makeover. Paint is categorized as essential, while a new sofa is categorized as non-essential.

Keep in mind, sticking to your budget helps ensure that you don’t overspend or face financial stress during the renovation.

Choosing a Design Style

Choosing a design style is a key part of planning your home makeover. Look at different design inspirations from magazines, websites, or social media to identify styles you like. Decide whether you prefer traditional, modern, rustic, or eclectic designs.

Mood boards and sample swatches can be very helpful in visualizing the end result. Gather samples of paint colors, fabric, and materials to see how they look together. Consider the functionality of the design as well, especially if you are planning to renovate highly-used spaces like the kitchen or bathroom.

Involve your family in the decision, as their input can be valuable in creating a space everyone loves. Once you’ve chosen a style, stick to it to ensure a cohesive look throughout your home.

Core Renovation Activities

Core renovation activities involve significant updates such as making structural changes, upgrading electrical systems, and overhauling plumbing. These steps ensure safety, efficiency, and modernization of the home.

Structural Changes

Structural changes are essential in many renovation projects. They may include removing walls to create open floor plans or adding support beams to improve stability. Foundation repairs might also be necessary if there are signs of cracking or settling.

Roof replacements are another key structural activity, ensuring the house is protected from weather elements. Flooring updates, whether replacing old carpets with hardwood or installing tiles, can significantly enhance the home’s look and feel. Attention to these elements ensures the home remains safe and visually appealing.

Electrical Updates

Electrical updates are crucial for both safety and efficiency. Older homes often have outdated wiring that can be a fire hazard. Upgrading to modern wiring and adding circuit breakers are important steps.

Installing energy-efficient lighting such as LEDs reduces electricity consumption. Another key activity is adding more electrical outlets and charging stations to accommodate modern needs. For safety, consider including ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in bathrooms and kitchens to prevent electrical shocks.

Plumbing Overhaul

A plumbing overhaul addresses issues like leaky pipes, low water pressure, and outdated fixtures. Replacing old pipes with new, durable materials such as PEX or copper ensures longevity and reliability.

Updating bathroom and kitchen fixtures not only improves functionality but also enhances the home’s aesthetic. Installing water-saving fixtures such as low-flow toilets and faucets can reduce water usage significantly. Addressing plumbing issues upfront helps prevent more serious problems and water damage in the future.

Note: These core activities are critical for a successful home renovation and ensure the house is safe, efficient, and up-to-date.

Aesthetic Enhancements

Changing the look of a room can make a big difference. Using different painting techniques, flooring options, and lighting ideas can transform a space.

Painting Techniques

One popular painting technique is accent walls. This involves painting one wall a different color to create a focal point. For example, in a bedroom, painting the wall behind the bed a bold color like navy or a soft hue like lavender can add depth.

Ombre walls are another technique, where the color gradually changes from light to dark. This creates a gradient effect that can make a room look larger.

Stenciling is great for adding patterns without wallpaper. Choose simple shapes or intricate designs to match the room’s theme.

Textured paints can add dimension. Options include sponge painting, rag rolling, and stucco finishes, which give walls an interesting look without needing extra decor.

Flooring Options

Flooring sets the foundation of a room’s aesthetic. Hardwood floors are timeless and come in many finishes, offering durability and warmth. Light-colored woods like oak can make a room feel spacious, while darker woods like mahogany create a cozy atmosphere.

Laminate flooring provides the look of wood at a lower cost. It’s easy to install and maintain, making it a practical choice for busy families.

Tiles are perfect for adding style in kitchens and bathrooms. Consider ceramic tiles for a classic look or porcelain tiles for durability. Patterned tiles, like Mediterranean or Moroccan designs, can add a unique touch.

Carpets bring warmth and comfort, with options like deep-pile for a luxurious feel or low-pile for easy cleaning. Select colors that complement the room’s overall color scheme to tie everything together.

Lighting Ideas

Lighting is crucial in changing a room’s feel. Layered lighting combines ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a balanced look. Chandeliers or statement light fixtures make a big impact in living rooms or entryways.

Recessed lighting offers a modern, clean look. It provides even light distribution without taking up space and is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.

Floor lamps and table lamps add light where needed and can be stylish decor pieces. Use dimmers on light switches to adjust the mood. Soft lighting can make a room feel cozy, while bright lighting is great for activities like reading or cooking.

Recycled Materials

Incorporating recycled materials is another sustainable practice. Reclaimed wood can add a rustic charm to floors and furniture. Recycled glass can be used for countertops and tiles, providing a unique look while diverting waste from landfills.

Salvaged materials from other buildings can be repurposed for new projects, reducing the need for raw materials. Recycled metal is often used in fixtures and fittings, offering durability and aesthetic appeal.

Using materials that have been certified for sustainability, such as those with a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label, ensures they come from responsibly managed sources. This practice not only reduces the environmental footprint but also often enhances the beauty and character of a home.

1) Painting walls

George Nicola from TALLBOX: Painting walls is the simplest way to refresh a home. It can change the whole look of a room quickly. Picking the right color is key. Soft tones can make a room feel calm. Bright colors can add energy.

Prep work like cleaning and priming is important. It helps the paint adhere better. Using painter’s tape ensures clean edges.

Good brushes and rollers matter too. They can make the job easier and the finish smoother. Painting walls is a cost-effective way to make any space feel new.

A construction worker wearing a yellow hard hat and a plaid shirt reviews architectural plans at a building site with scaffolding and sunlight streaming through windows—a scene that reminds you to hire a real estate contractor for your next project.
A construction worker wearing a yellow hard hat and a plaid shirt reviews architectural plans at a building site with scaffolding and sunlight streaming through windows—a scene that reminds you to hire a real estate contractor for your next project.

2) Repainting Kitchen Cabinets

Repainting kitchen cabinets is a cost-effective way to update a kitchen’s look. It involves choosing new colors and applying paint to the surface of the cabinets.

Homeowners often use two-toned cabinetry, painting upper cabinets one color and lower cabinets another, to add visual interest.

Using light colors on upper cabinets can make the space feel larger and brighter. Alternatively, darker colors on lower cabinets add elegance and depth.

Painting cabinets is a popular DIY project that can drastically change the kitchen’s appearance with a relatively small budget.

A modern patio featuring two wicker chaise lounges with white cushions, a dining table set with chairs, planters with vibrant greenery, and a sliding glass door leading to the interior. Hire a Real Estate Contractor to bring this vision to life effortlessly.
A modern patio featuring two wicker chaise lounges with white cushions, a dining table set with chairs, planters with vibrant greenery, and a sliding glass door leading to the interior. Hire a Real Estate Contractor to bring this vision to life effortlessly.

3) Installing New Light Fixtures

Updating light fixtures can transform a room’s look. Outdated fixtures can make a space feel stuck in the past.

Modern fixtures bring a fresh and contemporary feel. This can be as simple as switching to energy-saving LED lights. These not only improve appearance but also save on electrical costs.

Consider the style of the fixture to match the room’s decor. For a modern touch, think about mid-century designs or sleek, minimalist options.

4) Upgrading bathroom tiles

A minimalist bathroom featuring a large rain shower with a fixed shower screen, a rectangular stone sink, a round mirror, a wall-mounted pendant light, a wooden stool with a vase, and a hanging towel.
A minimalist bathroom featuring a large rain shower with a fixed shower screen, a rectangular stone sink, a round mirror, a wall-mounted pendant light, a wooden stool with a vase, and a hanging towel.

Transforming your bathroom doesn’t always require a complete overhaul. Updating finishes can make a significant impact without breaking the bank.

Tiles:

  • New tiles offer endless possibilities in terms of colors, shapes, and sizes.
  • Vertical tiling: Creates a sense of height and spaciousness.
  • Bold colors and patterns: Make a statement and add personality.

For a modern luxury look, homeowners can try vertical tiles. This can add height and make a bathroom feel more spacious.

Microcement:

  • A modern, seamless alternative to tiles.
  • Applied as a thin layer over existing surfaces, minimizing demolition and waste.
  • Available in various colors and textures, creating a sleek and contemporary look.

Large-Format Porcelain Slabs:

  • Mimic the look of natural stone or concrete with fewer grout lines for a cleaner aesthetic.
  • Durable and easy to maintain.
  • Available in various colors and patterns to suit any style.

5) Regrouting Bathroom Tiles

Regrouting bathroom tiles is a key activity in any home renovation. It keeps the tiles looking fresh and prevents water damage.

To start, remove the old grout using a utility knife or a grout removal tool. Make sure to be gentle to avoid scratching the tiles.

Once the old grout is cleared, clean the tile surface with a damp sponge. Ensure the area is dry before applying new grout.

Mix the grout as directed. Using a grout float, apply the grout at a 45-degree angle, pressing it firmly into the joints. Clean any excess grout with a damp sponge. Allow the grout to cure properly.

6) Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Refinishing hardwood floors can transform the look of a room. It involves sanding down the surface to remove old finish and scratches. The floor is then cleaned, and a new finish is applied.

This process can increase the resale value of a home. It also makes the floors easier to clean and maintain. The new finish helps prevent dirt and dust from settling into cracks.

7) Replacing Old Carpets

Removing old carpets can refresh a room instantly. Begin by pulling up a corner and detaching it from the tack strips. It’s easier if the carpet is cut into smaller sections for removal. Handle the underlay and tack strips next. Be sure to dispose of the old carpet properly. This step sets the stage for beautiful new flooring.

8) Wallpapering Accent Walls

Wallpapering an accent wall can transform a room with minimal effort.

Choose patterns or designs that complement the room’s existing decor.

Popular choices include floral patterns, geometric shapes, and nature-inspired prints.

Proper application is key. Clean the wall, apply adhesive evenly, and smooth out bubbles.

Peel-and-stick wallpapers are a great option for beginners.

9) Upgrading Kitchen Appliances

Upgrading kitchen appliances can significantly improve the efficiency and aesthetics of a kitchen. Newer models often come with advanced features that make cooking easier and more enjoyable.

Choosing energy-efficient appliances can also help reduce utility bills. Look for devices with high energy ratings.

Modern appliances usually offer sleek, stylish designs that enhance the overall look of the kitchen space.

10) Installing Smart Home Devices

Installing smart home devices can bring many benefits to a house. These gadgets can improve security, efficiency, and convenience.

Homeowners can consider smart door locks, video doorbells, and security cameras for enhanced safety.

Smart thermostats and lighting systems can save energy and money. Integrating USB-C wall outlets and smart appliances can also add a modern touch to any renovation.

11) Adding a Backsplash in the Kitchen

Adding a backsplash in the kitchen can transform the space with minimal effort. Popular options include subway tiles, Moroccan tiles, and colorful geometric designs. Subway tiles give a clean and classic look. Moroccan tiles add vibrant colors and patterns, creating an exotic vibe.

Installing a backsplash involves measuring the area, cutting the tiles to fit, and applying adhesive. It’s a project that homeowners can typically do in a weekend. Regular cleaning helps maintain its appearance. A backsplash not only adds style but also protects the walls from spills and splashes.

12) Crown Molding Installation

Crown molding is a classic way to add elegance to any room. It creates a clean line where the walls meet the ceiling, giving the space a refined look.

In bedrooms, crown molding adds a touch of luxury. It elevates the room’s aesthetic without overwhelming it.

In kitchens, it hides gaps between cabinets and the ceiling, offering a seamless appearance. Installing it around an archway can also turn an ordinary passage into a stylish transition.

Choose colors that complement the walls. A slight contrast can create a calming and sophisticated atmosphere.

Proper installation requires precision and attention to detail. Using high-quality materials ensures durability and a professional look.

13) Creating a Home Office Space

Creating a home office space is essential for productivity and focus.

Adding a statement piece, like a bold orange chair, can give personality to the space. Pairing it with a lacquered desk adds a modern touch and makes the room feel larger.

Use dark blue paint, framed photos, and a comfy leather desk chair for a warm and stylish environment. Adding a fiddle leaf fig tree and a live edge desk can enhance this look.

A minimal approach like sliding walls with chalkboard paint can save space while keeping the area functional and sleek.

14) Expanding Closet Storage

One way to make more space is by adding a lower rail. This allows for double the hanging space without needing more square footage.

Slimline hangers save space on the rail. Thinner hangers mean more room for clothes.

Adding a dresser inside the closet creates more storage for folded items. This keeps everything organized and accessible.

15) Custom shelving in the living room

Custom shelving in the living room can transform the space. Built-in shelves not only look elegant but also add functionality. They can be designed to fit any layout and style, making them a versatile addition.

Mixing materials like wood and metal can create an appealing look. Floating shelves offer a minimalist option that frees up floor space, adding both form and function.

16) Converting Attic Space

Converting attic space is a smart way to add living areas to a home. This project can turn unused rooms into functional spaces. Homeowners often create bedrooms, home offices, or even bathrooms in attics.

Dormer windows are popular in loft conversions. They bring in natural light and increase headroom. Another trend is installing skylights to make the space feel more open and airy.

Attic conversions also include essential upgrades. Insulation, heating, and reinforced floors are key to making the new space comfortable and safe. Proper planning can transform an attic into a cozy and practical area.

17) Basement waterproofing

Basement waterproofing is key to any home makeover. Preventing moisture can protect the home’s foundation and prevent mold.

Cementitious waterproofing is popular for its cost-effectiveness. It uses a cement-based compound mixed with bonding agents to seal walls.

Another method involves installing sump pumps and drainage systems. These systems help manage water flow and prevent flooding.

18) Deck Refurbishment

Deck refurbishment can greatly enhance the outdoor living space. Replacing worn-out wood with composite decking is a popular option. Composite materials resist weather damage and require less maintenance.

Upgrading the deck railings can also make a big difference. Modern, modular railings are both stylish and functional. Adding LED deck lights creates a warm and inviting atmosphere for evening gatherings

19) Replacing Exterior Siding

Replacing exterior siding can transform the look of a home. It not only boosts curb appeal but also protects the house from weather damage.

Homeowners can choose from various materials like fiber cement, vinyl, wood, and metal. Each type has its pros and cons in terms of cost, maintenance, and durability.

Siding installation usually takes five to seven days. The cost generally ranges from $10 to $11 per square foot, including labor. Picking the right siding material and color can significantly enhance the overall aesthetic.

20) Landscaping Yard

Landscaping the yard can completely change the look and feel of a home. Adding plants, trees, and flower beds enhances curb appeal. Installing pathways and garden structures like trellises adds interest.

Using different materials, such as mulch or pebbles, creates contrast. Integrating garden furniture, lighting, and water features can turn a simple yard into a beautiful outdoor retreat.

21) Refinishing Wooden Furniture

Refinishing wooden furniture is a great way to give old pieces a new life. It involves stripping the old finish, sanding the wood, and applying a new finish.

Stripping removes the old finish, making sanding easier. Sanding smooths the wood and prepares it for staining or varnishing.

Finally, applying a stain or varnish protects the wood and enhances its natural beauty.

22) Building a Garden Shed

Building a garden shed can offer extra storage space for tools and equipment. It’s a great project for anyone looking to organize their outdoor area.

Choose durable materials like treated wood or metal to ensure the shed lasts. Adding elements like trellis or paint can enhance its appearance.

Consider features like sturdy shelving and hooks to maximize the space. A well-planned garden shed can also double as a cozy retreat or workspace.

23) Installing a Home Security System

Adding a home security system is a crucial step in any renovation. It’s not just about enhancing safety; it’s also about convenience. Modern systems come with various features like cameras and alarm sensors.

Wireless systems, such as those offered by SimpliSafe, can be set up quickly. They do not require complex wiring, making them ideal for DIY installation. Just place the devices in strategic locations.

During renovations, homeowners have the perfect opportunity to integrate security systems without hassle. This ensures both safety and ease of use, blending security with the overall design.

24) Soundproofing a room

Sealing gaps and cracks is an essential step in soundproofing. Noise can enter through small openings around windows, doors, and electrical outlets. Using an acoustic sealant helps block these pathways.

Adding dense materials like wall paneling or heavy curtains improves sound absorption. Timber paneling and thick curtains both work well in reducing noise from entering the room.

Installing acoustic panels provides additional soundproofing. These panels absorb sound waves, making the room quieter and more peaceful. These steps help transform any room into a quieter, more serene space.

25) Adding a Sunroom

A sunroom can transform the look and feel of a home. It provides a bright, relaxing space with large windows that let in plenty of natural light.

Homeowners can use the sunroom for various activities such as reading, entertaining, or growing plants. Choosing the right furniture, like a cozy bed swing or a potting bench, can add to the comfort.

Using a large rug can create a cozy atmosphere and add color and texture to the space. Adding a glazed roof can maximize light, making the sunroom an even more inviting space year-round.

26) Upgrading Window Treatments

Upgrading window treatments can dramatically change a room’s look and feel. Popular options include installing cafe curtains, which provide both privacy and light.

Sheer curtains are effective for minimizing an undesirable view while letting light through.

Using continuous curtain rods can optimize corners, allowing more flexibility with drape arrangements.

27) Installing Under-Cabinet Lighting

Adding under-cabinet lighting can greatly enhance the look and functionality of a kitchen. These lights offer better visibility for cooking and prep work. They also add a stylish touch.

Start by choosing the type of lighting, like LED strip lights. Measure the space under the cabinet. Cut the lights to fit if needed.

Prepare the surface by cleaning it. This helps the adhesive stick properly. Peel off the backing and apply the lights. Wire the lights to a power source.

Installing under-cabinet lighting is a simple DIY project that can brighten up any kitchen.

28) Garage Organization

Organizing a garage can make a big difference in how the space is used. Start by clearing the floor space to make more room. Use sturdy shelves to store items off the ground.

Tubs and pegboards are great for keeping tools and gear tidy. They help you know exactly where everything is.

Lighting can also improve a garage. Overhead lights or task lighting above work areas can make it easier to see and work in the space.

29) Building a Pergola

Building a pergola can transform a backyard into a relaxing retreat. Pergolas are versatile structures that provide shade and a place to hang plants. They come in various styles, from traditional to modern.

Materials for pergolas include wood, metal, and vinyl. Choosing the right material ensures longevity and matches the home’s aesthetic. Adding climbing plants like wisteria or clematis can enhance the pergola’s charm.

30) Installing Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is a popular choice for modern home makeovers. It offers a sleek, clean look by being embedded into the ceiling.

Plan the light placement carefully. Decide which areas need direct lighting and avoid placing lights too close to walls. This helps distribute light evenly.

Hiring a qualified electrician ensures safe wiring and installation. Recessed lighting can brighten up any space, adding both functionality and style.