Simple Home Swaps that Make a Major Difference

I love a complete gut and reno just as much as the next person, but not everyone has the time, money, or energy to invest in the laborious process. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have until you can complete the next big project. This doesn’t mean that your home needs to be neglected in the meantime. If you’re anything like me, your brain is always devising a plan to tweak something here and there while not spending a lot of money. With this list of simple home swaps that only take a day out of  your weekend, you can spend the rest of the time relaxing and enjoying the difference that results from your hard work. 

  1. Hardware
    Whether you’re living in brand new home or you’re still renting, chances are the hardware (i.e. the doorknobs, cabinet pulls, and outlet switch plates) are nothing more than standard. Even though you literally touch these items every single day, rarely do we think about what a difference a simple upgrade could make. Consider switching out your brass doorknobs for a matte black, and see how it transforms your builder grade doors.

    This how-to post from Better Homes & Gardens is very helpful!

    The same sentiment can be applied to your bathroom and kitchen pulls. Without having to drill new holes, you can take your cabinets from boring to beautiful in a couple of hours. And renters, don’t forget to take your investments with you when you leave! Chances are your next home will need a facelift too. 

  2. Lighting
    Whether it’s the Hollywood style vanity lighting in the bathroom or the dreaded “boob” light in each and every bedroom, builder grade lighting leaves a lot to be desired. Luckily, there are lots of affordable options out there that require little electrical experience to install. Just remember to turn the breaker off! This step by step tutorial was incredibly helpful for me when I replaced our bathroom lighting. Once you’ve conquered those projects, maybe it’s time to turn your attention to that standard dining room chandelier? Is it making the statement that you really want?

  3. Bathroom Mirror
    The mirror is an unbiased reflection of how you look everyday, whether you’ve got the flu or you’re looking fly, but maybe it’s time to cast a little judgement on the mirror itself. While those plate glass, frameless mirrors get the job done, they lack character and style. One option that adds more charm than you might expect is creating a simple frame for the mirror. If you’re handy, you can construct one in a day, but for those that are less likely to use power tools, there are a variety of sources that can ship a custom frame to your doorstep. Installation is a breeze. Of course, if you’re feeling determined, you can always get rid of the plate glass mirror entirely. Depending on the size of your mirror, you may need an extra set of hands and grips with suction ability are essential if you want to avoid seven years bad luck. You’ll probably have some sanding, hole patching, and painting to do, but the end result will be well worth the effort. 


  4. Window Treatments
    There’s no denying that curtains can make or break a room, but it might be time to push them aside and take a good hard look at those plastic mini-blinds. Although they do the job, switching them out with a sturdier version means no more broken tips and better light diffusion. But if you aren’t feeling the blinds at all, there are other options. Patterned roller shades are a convenient way to add another element of design into the room and grasscloth shades are an excellent way to add a textural feel to your windows. There are also tons of DIY’s out there that show you how to convert your mini-blinds to functioning roman shades. While all of these option work with existing curtains, they might be so pretty, you don’t want to cover them up. 

    window treatment


Moral of the story: you don’t have to put in six weeks of work to make a difference in your home. Sometimes the biggest differences are in details.