Little Updates, Big Impact - Making the most of your home without remodeling

Ahhh, dreams of remodeling.....

"I'd love to rip the roof off and put on a second story, give the kids a place to chill or study, maybe have another bedroom/bathroom option."

 whole house remodel in Rollingwood near Austin Texas

Big changes are DREAMY, and yes Camelot CAN make them happen for you. (we do it all the time, just give us a call!) But what if all you really need to scratch that remodeling itch is a few, inexpensive updates?  Here is our Top 10 List of affordable updates to make you feel like you did a big refresh:

1. Paint.  Just a can of paint!  You don't have to paint much to make your house feel fresh again. Paint the exterior trim a new color.  Paint the ceiling in your front entry.  Paint the wall behind your bed.  Paint the woodwork with a fresh, shiny coat of white -- baseboards get beat up over time, spruce them up with some oil-based paint.  The latest greatest latex interior wall color all the designers are using?  Sherwin-Williams 'Worldly Grey'.

2. Hardware.  Replace your interior doorknobs, towel rods, drawer pulls.  There are tons of great places to buy these things both online and locally:, Restoration HardwarePush Pull Open Close. Nobody should still have 1989's brass doorknobs. Nobody.

3. Window Treatments.  Why settle for blinds when there is a world of cool window coverings out there?  Not every room has to be the same, either.  You can put wood shutters on the windows that face the street, curtains in the dining room, and a roman shade over the kitchen sink window.  A great local place for window treatments: Austin Shadeworks.  And while we're talking drapery, a great local place for all fabric: Interior Fabrics.

4. Ceiling Fans.  Are yours at least 10 years old?  Fans on the market these days are designed to fit into a complete look. Still have the brass fans that came with your house?  It's time for a switch out. We get ours at Lights Fantastic, but even big box stores like Lowes have great selections.  Or for an even more affordable ceiling fan update, read this article.

5. Lighting.  Do you have those frosted glass, upside down ceiling dome lights that every home in Texas has? Probably with a brass ring around it?  Ick! Recessed can lights are a great update, but you don't even have to go that far.  Stop by Lights Fantastic in Austin for an updated version of a flush mount.  And what about your hanging fixtures?  Replace what's hanging over your kitchen or dining table.  We'll say it again, Lights Fantastic is your source for excellent fixtures. Or try Rejuvenation, a really great source for fresh lighting.  For an even more affordable change, just take it down and spray paint it. Sometimes the fixture design is fine, just the color is dated.

6. Kitchen Back Splash.  A whole new kitchen can cost a pretty penny. What if your cabinets are just fine and your counter tops are tolerable?  Just replace your back splash.  Yes, it can be done.  Fresh tile will feel like a facelift.  Our favorite tile source:  PorcelanosaTravis Tile, Alpha Granite & Tile.

7. Rugs, Pillows, Linens.  The fabric side of home decor is sometimes the last thing people think about when they're itching for big change. But take a trip to some decor stores...we love Home Goods and Crate and Barrel right now. Switch out some decorative pillows in your house, lay down a new rug, donate all of your old bath and kitchen towels and get yourself some new ones.  Check out the photo below to see what special powers a new rug has -- the old one was dark, too small, out of fashion.

8. Light switches.  Ewwww, they get really gross over time.  Fingerprints and age take their toll on these .33-cent switch plates most of us have in our homes.  Change 'em out!  Did you know you can even change the outlets and switches in the wall, not just the plates?  If you just painted your living room a groovy charcoal grey, you can also switch out the plugs, switches, and all switch plates to a groovy charcoal grey.  Hire an electrician for the wiring, it's still an affordable upgrade.  Try Lights Fantastic or Leviton

9. Bathroom Mirrors.  Replace with new mirrors with picture-style frames.  OR, if you're crafty, frame out your existing bathroom mirror.. You can do it yourself if you have a chop saw and basic geometry skills.  There are even companies who sell kits, no saw required. Check out MirrorMate.

10. Plumbing Fixtures.  Refreshing a bathroom with a new faucet doesn't cost a lot.  Just do it.  We love Morrison Supply and Ferguson. Get yourself a new shower head to match.