By Elly Leavitt

Published on January 25, 2018

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Photography by PHUONG NGUYEN

Did your New Year’s resolutions include home renovation? If you’re anything like most Americans, they might have. According to a new study conducted by Harris Poll for Trulia, 76 percent of Americans have plans to renovate or remodel their homes, with the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom being cited as top priorities.

The survey polled 2,105 adults aged 18 and over in the United States, and found that while the vast majority expressed an interest in giving their homes a refresh, plans to do so are contingent on budget. For those polled, the average maximum amount they were willing to spend on a home renovation was $8,879.

If you feel the same way and are wondering how exactly you’re going to perform a large-scale renovation under $10,000, Trulia is here to help. Their in-house design panel—who have previously offered up their assistance on some of the biggest decor trends for 2018—recently compiled a long list of tips any financially-responsible renovator is sure to appreciate.

Here’s how to upgrade your kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom on a budget, without sacrificing style.

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Kitchen

If you agree with the 48 percent of those surveyed who said they would prioritize renovating their kitchens, the best place to start is with your countertops.

“Nothing dates a kitchen more than an old countertop, and nothing updates a kitchen more than a fresh slab of marble or quartz,” says Hannah Crowell, founder of design firm Crowell & Co. Jay Britto and David Charette of Britto Charette suggest getting in touch with your local stone suppliers to see if they have any leftover product they were planning on liquidating that you can get at a lower price. For a fresh look, try your hand at one of the biggest countertop trends of the moment and invest in some concrete quartz.

Next, turn your attention to the cabinets. Painting your existing ones is a lot cheaper than having custom cabinetry installed, and Crowell says you can make the process even more affordable by having them professionally spray-painted. When it comes to color, interior designer Becki Owens is an advocate for the classics, saying that a clean, simple white will both brighten your kitchen and make it feel larger. If you must have vibrant hues, do so in more creative ways. “Consider painting your island a different color for two-tone kitchen design,” says Owens. And don’t forget the hardware: Brass pieces in modern silhouettes are easy to find at places like Target and Ikea.

Take your new space a step further by creating custom pantry storage. Ms. Placed Professional Organizing’s Layne Brookshire believes that hunting for seasonal or annual discounts on storage solutions and installation will not only make your kitchen more space-efficient, but will also increase your home’s resale value.

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Bathroom

Another 48 percent of Americans polled cited the bathroom as the room in their homes in need of the most TLC. A few easy replacements, such as cabinets, vanities, and plumbing fixtures, will give your bathroom a whole new look. Britto and Charette suggest Fresca, a manufacturer offering packages for around $1,000 that include a vanity, sink, faucet, and mirror. And for plumbing fixtures, look to Delta’s Vero collection or Kohler’s Purist faucets.

Building in extra storage is another thing that makes a huge difference in the look of a bathroom. Brookshire recommends building in a linen closet, though for those strapped for space, floating shelves are an equally great option—they’ll help you organize your tiny bathroom in no time and add some interest to empty walls.

As for the single biggest change you should make to your bathroom? “The best place to put your money in the bathroom is hands-down on tile,” saye Crowell. A classic subway tile is a tried-and-true option that won’t cost too much—and one that you can easily customize—but we also love the slightly more unique fish scale tile.

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Bedroom

27 percent of those surveyed said remodeling their bedrooms was top of the agenda; and while this number may be marginally smaller, a well-styled bedroom is easily the most relaxing room of the house. Stressed-out decorators in need of a calming oasis, pay attention.

First and foremost, invest in your bed. This means both finding the right mattress for you (check out our tips here) and paying attention to decorative pieces like pillows and throws to cozy up your bedding. Looking to replace your bed altogether? Britto and Charette recommend cost-effective retailers like Camerich, Mobenia Home, and Pianca Furniture.

If you’re not ready to give the room an entirely new color, try an accent wall. Keeping the rest of the walls neutral and making one a bold color or print is a great way to test out the trends without fully committing—go easy with a fresh coat of paint or some temporary wallpaper, or try something a bit more out of the box with vinyl covering.

Lastly, don’t forget the accents: Swapping out old light fixtures for something a bit more fresh is a small step that makes a big difference. And hunt around Etsy for a vintage Moroccan or Turkish kilim rug to add texture to your bedroom.

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

Happy renovating!

See more renovation stories:

Send Us Your Most Pressing Renovation Questions
The Stars of ‘Flip or Flop Ft. Worth’ Reveal Their Top Renovation Tips
This Service is a Renovation Game-Changer

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