DIY Home

12 Ways to Add Value to Your Home Reno or Remodeling Project

April  3, 2018

Got the itch to redo part of your home? You’re not alone. According to a recent survey from Trulia, 76 percent of Americans have plans to renovate their living space, focusing on remodeling the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. Not only are these rooms fun to personalize but, updated with key elements in mind, they can add loads of value to your home.

The truth is, most of us will probably be operating under a budget, so it’s important to pick upgrades that provide the most bang for your buck. Here are 12 suggestions from the Trulia Design Panel, an expert group of interior designers, home stagers, and organizers across the nation, to help update your home, whether the goal is to give it a solid refresh or to add value (or both!).

In the Kitchen

According to Tulia, 48 percent of people would love to focus their renovations in the kitchen. Here are a few projects that can make a big difference in this common area.

1. Replace the Countertops

Old, worn countertops can be an eyesore. One easy way to give your kitchen an instant lift is by installing a lovely new slab of stone.

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“Nothing dates a kitchen more than an old countertop, and nothing updates a kitchen more than a fresh slab of marble or quartz,” Hannah Crowell of Crowell + Company tells Trulia. Engineered from stone chips, resins, and pigments, quartz has started to give granite and marble a run for the money as the go-to material in higher-end kitchens, according to Consumer Reports.

2. Paint Cabinets

If you’re looking for a DIY project, why not give your cabinets a new coat of paint? White cabinets are popular right now, and experts say this light aesthetic will make the room feel spacious.

“A fresh white to brighten your kitchen space and make it feel larger,” interior designer Becki Owens recommends to Trulia.

3. Replace Hardware

Another quick, easy project that can have a big impact in your kitchen is updating the hardware. Hit up the nearest home improvement store to find budget-friendly, modern hardware for your cabinets and drawers—you’ll be surprised at how it can transform the space!

4. Create Pantry Storage

For a bigger project, the Trulia experts suggest creating a pantry to increase storage space in your kitchen. If there’s a closet or nook that you can transform into the pantry, you’ll be increasing your home’s value, as well as improving the overall functionality of the space.

In the Bathroom

Tied with the kitchen for most popular renovation area is the bathroom, with 48 percent of survey respondents saying they want to update this space. Here’s where experts recommend you invest your bathroom reno budget.

5. Integrate Tile

To add the most value to your bathroom, your best bet may be to add tile to the room: “The best place to put your money in the bathroom is hands down on tile,” Crowell says.

Classic white subway tile is always a great option, but you can get creative, too, incorporating fun shapes or patterns into the walls and/or floor.

6. Replace Fixtures

Tired of your boring old faucets and shower head? Give new life to your bathroom simply by upgrading to modern fixtures.

“I have purchased many an old home with dated, drippy faucets, and simply changing those out for a modern fixture makes a major difference!” Crowell explains.

7. Add Storage

Boost the functionality of your bathroom by integrating new storage options. There are several ways you can do this, whether it’s by installing a linen closet, opting for cabinets, or even just putting up a few floating shelves.

8. Replace Cabinets and Vanity

Just a pretty bathroom ✨

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For a more cost- and labor-intensive project, you may want to consider updating your vanity and/or cabinets. This can completely redefine the aesthetic of your bathroom, and many retailers sell package options with a vanity, sink, and mirror that won’t completely drain your bank account.

In the Bedroom

Finally, 27 percent of respondents to the Trulia survey said they wanted to redo their bedrooms. Luckily, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to update your sleeping area.

9. Invest in New Rugs

It can be quite pricey to install new flooring, so if your current bedroom floor is an eyesore, you may want to purchase a new rug for the room.

“Layering a new rug in a bedroom can distract the eye from undesirable carpet or tile flooring,” says Owens.

10. Upgrade Your Bed

A new bed frame can do wonders for the overall feel of the room, but you can also just dress up your existing bed with a fresh duvet, throw blanket, and decorative pillows.

11. Update Lighting

Trulia’s experts recommend swapping out tired bedroom lighting for updated, statement pieces. Look for a hanging light for the ceiling and chic bedside lamps.

12. Create an Accent Wall

We are snuggled in at the ranch this morning looking out at a fresh blanket of snow and I am thinking a big pot of chicken soup is on the menu today. I'm supposed to head into town to shop for tile and slabs for our new guest cottage, but it is seriously cozy right now and I'm not ready to bundle up and brave the cold. . In the meantime I am scrolling through my IG bookmarks, looking for inspiration for our new cottage and I came across this INCREDIBLE bedroom from Erin over at @cottonstem. I am seriously loving every detail and wondering how I can convince my sweet husband to let me wallpaper the wall behind the bed. (yes that's wallpaper!) He actually likes to be involved in all of the small details, which can make me a little nuts, but I would rather compromise and have us both be happy, then hear him tell me how much he dislikes something for five any of you have this issue or do I have the only wanna-be decorator husband?! . If you like this bedroom, you NEED to run over and see the rest of Erin's is AMAZING and her family is just adorable. Hope you all have a wonderful day! . . . . #bedroomdecor #farmhousestyle #accentwall #bedroomdesign #bedding #bedcover #farmhouse #fixerupper #farmhousedecor #cottagestyle #cottagedecor #modernfarmhouse #vintagefarmhouse #fixerupperstyle #countryliving #rustic #neutraldecor #rusticdecor #bedroom #rusticchic #bed #wallpaper #cementtile #southernliving #housebeautiful

A post shared by Karen~ (@sanctuaryhomedecor) on

Completely transform your bedroom with the addition of an accent wall. If you’re a minimalist, this could be as simple as painting one wall a different shade. However, if you’re ready to go bold, shop around for a fun (temporary!) wallpaper or vinyl covering that will make the wall pop.

Have you made any improvements to your home recently? Share your experiences with us below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • sam960
  • susangwallace
  • kim
  • BerryBaby
  • Smaug
Freelance writer, product tester & baking enthusiast.


sam960 January 29, 2021
If your house needs remodeling you have to use good materials and quality so you can assure that your house is good please visit us
susangwallace October 28, 2020
Remodeling our home should be organized correctly especially if we are aiming for a quality budget home remodeling. Being artistic on room paint color or being creative on organized storage, we can sometime do it on our own or may have a little help from contractors. I once had a help from a home remodeling contractors in my area, on renovating my home ( and had my bathroom renovated. It was a wise decision that we did because it was adding value.
kim July 17, 2018
BTW ~ painted by hand with brush and small rollers. Kind of like doing embroidery, or knitting, sewing, baking, gardening, macrame, cleaning, or, uhm, something else one does by hand a little bit automatically, while letting your mind's not for everyone, but I enjoyed the process. And the new look, and the $ left in my account......
kim July 17, 2018
I sure did paint my own kitchen cabinets ~ all 30 plus door and drawers of them! Yes, they were solid golden oak, late 80's. I just needed a much lighter space. Took off every bit, cleaned, primed, painted uppers creamy white, lowers celery/light sage green, replaced the hinges, handles and pulls, and had myself a gorgeous, brand new light bright fresh new kitchen. Used an excellent paint for cabinets. Time consuming? Yes. But I wasn't doing anything else while my girl was in nursery school. Easy? Surprisingly! Took it a bit slow, cleaned and sanded and primed before painting, but it came out beautifully. $ Saver? YES!!! By thousands, reckoning from the quotes we had received. Don't be afraid to paint cabinets if you feel like it. And HUGELY cheaper than new ones, or even refaced. I enjoyed my time doing it, if you are into that kind of meditative, diy, home crafty thing (I am), and 2 years later I am still loving my very own results. I had to get rid of too many brown rectangles in my home. This helped enormously! Glass knobs and pulls, brought everything out into the light. I LOVE my kitchen. And I love that I painted it myself!
BerryBaby June 25, 2018
We did a kitchen update last countertops (quartz), new appliances, had floors sanded and sealed, fresh paint on walls, installed canned recessed fixtures (so easy they fit into existing light holes). I did not paint the beautiful solid
oak cabinets. They match the floor and, besides, we like them! Rarely do I see solid cabinets in even new homes anymore.
Smaug June 25, 2018
By all means stick to your guns on the cabinets- painting is actually not appropriate for the majority of cabinets. On solid wood it's an outrage, on laminates it's a bad idea any way you look at it. Nor is it a casual project to paint cabinets they need to be disassembled and sprayed- not inconceivable to do in place, but a major hassle. Solid wood cabinets are indeed a rarity- frame and panel type doors are still often made of solid wood, but the boxes almost never.
Smaug June 25, 2018
Seems to me that things like replacing hardware and repainting belong more I the category of maintenance than remodeling. More substantive changes, such as changing counter heights or moving walls, are often more a matter of personal taste and may not pay off in resale value, particularly if you count in the rather considerable inconvenience of the remodel process. Following current trends in things like counter materials or flooring is extremely dubious as an investment. But one hopes your home is more to you than a financial investment.
Catherine C. April 9, 2018
I love all the tips! Most of them I have already incorporated in my home and they have really had a positive impact on its looks, value and atmosphere. But I did one more thing in the kitchen. Along with some of the best Melbourne architects ( I have created an open plan kitchen! That has changed so much in the dynamics of my home and my small kitchen doesn't feel so overwhelmed now. It's a sincere recommendation for a remodelling project!