Finding a home requires trade-offs, whether in the house or neighborhood. And though it’s not easy to change your neighborhood, you can certainly change the way your home looks and feels. This is why we’re excited to showcase the Trulia Design Panel, an expert group of interior designers, home stagers and organizers from across the nation who will provide the advice and insights homeowners and renters need to make their house a home, wherever it is.

Everyone loves to personalize their digs. Trulia recently commissioned a survey, conducted online by Harris Poll of more than 2,000 Americans age 18 and older, about their home remodeling plans. We found 76 percent of Americans have plans to renovate or remodel their homes, with bathrooms (48%), kitchens (48%), and bedrooms (27%) top on their agendas. But budgeting is important: On average, Americans who plan to remodel or renovate their home are only willing to spend $8,879 on their projects. So we asked the Trulia Design Panel for their tips on renovating each of those rooms for less than $10,000.

Kitchen Renovation Tips

  • Replace 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 of Crowell & Co.

    To keep costs down, Jay Britto and David Charette of Britto Charette recommend contacting local stone suppliers to see if they’re liquidating any remnants at a low price.

  • Paint the cabinets.

    Skip a pricey custom cabinet installation and have your current cabinets professionally spray painted. You’ll get a fresh and flawless new look and, Crowell jokes, “you don’t have to sell a kidney.”

    Interior designer Becki Owens recommends “a fresh white to brighten your kitchen space and make it feel larger,” adding that if you’re dying to add color, “consider painting your island a different color for two-tone kitchen design.”

  • Replace cabinet hardware.

    Owens suggests brass hardware in clean, modern lines available from budget-friendly retail chains like Target, IKEA, and Lowe’s.

    “There are many affordable options that make a big impact on your kitchen,” Owens says.

  • Create custom pantry storage.

    Designing your own personalized pantry storage solution is a great way to not only improve your own kitchen experience, but to boost your home’s resale value. Layne Brookshire of Ms. Placed Professional Organizingrecommends shopping around for companies that offer seasonal or annual discounts on storage solutions and installation.

Bathroom Renovation Tips

  • Integrate tile.

    “The best place to put your money in the bathroom is hands down on tile,” Crowell says.

    To keep your budget under control, try a classic white subway tile—or if you’re going for pricier marble, Jay Britto says, “tile only the floors and wet walls while painting the rest of the room.”

  • Replace plumbing 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 says.

    For affordable and stylish replacements, Crowell suggests the Delta Vero line, and she and Owens both endorse the simple, clean look of Kohler’s Purist faucets.

  • Add storage for a streamlined look.

    Brookshire suggests adding a linen closet to store towels and other regularly used bathroom products. Those who don’t have space or budget to add a new closet can turn to durable, stylish floating shelves to store and display bathroom staples.

  • Replace the cabinets and vanity.

    You’ll redefine your bathroom’s look, and you can do it for surprisingly cheap. Britto and Charette suggest an affordable supplier like Fresca, which offers packages incorporating a vanity, sink, faucet, and mirror for around $1,000.

Bedroom Renovation Tips

  • Incorporate rugs.

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

    Crowell recommends a vintage Moroccan or Turkish kilim rug from Etsy, or one from the stylish selection from Lulu and Georgia. Just make sure the rug is big enough to comfortably fit your bed and bedside table.

  • Invest in your bed.

    Crowell suggests treating yourself to professionally made decorative pillows and a great mattress while opting for simple and inexpensive duvet covers and euro shams. For high-quality but cost-effective beds and bedroom furniture, Britto and Charette recommend makers like CamerichMobenia Home, or Pianca Furniture.

  • Update lighting.

    Owens and Brookshire both recommend replacing traditional ceiling fixtures with a hanging light that makes a statement, and adding subtler fixtures to tie the room together on either side of the bed. For those who wish to add an affordable fan to their statement lighting, Britto and Charette suggest the Haiku L-Series from the memorably named Big Ass Fans.

  • Create an accent wall.

    You’ve gotten comfortable and you’ve gotten stylish; now it’s time to get bold with your bedroom. Britto and Charette suggest decorating all your walls but one in a neutral, then creating an attention-grabbing accent wall with a colorful or patterned vinyl covering.

BONUS: Find the right person for the job.

  •  Now that you’ve got an affordable renovation plan in place, it’s time to execute it—the right way. Britto and Charette say the final and most important step is to find a qualified handyman or general contractor to do the work. If you have a condo or homeowner’s association, check to see if it requires licensed and insured contractors. Then sit back and get ready to enjoy your dream renovation.

Source: trulia.com ~ By Francesca Faris

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