Friday, September 25, 2015

Guest Post: 18 Simple Home Upgrades to Give You a New Lease On Life

 Disclosure: I have not been compensated for this post.

Author: Andy Andersen

Looking for a change of pace? A break from the norm? A new spring in your step? Sometimes the best way to evoke change in your life is to start with your immediate surroundings. Installing a few simple, useful, attractive home upgrades can be a great way to change the course of your day to day routine and give you a new lease on life. Here are 18 suggestions to start with:

1. Convert a Dormant Room
If you’ve got a dormant bedroom in your house that currently serves no particular purpose, there’s no better time than now to convert it into something useful. In no time at all an empty room can become an arts and crafts area, a gaming room, a home office, or space for any other type of hobby you may have. Regardless of what you choose to do with a spare room, giving it a purpose can direct your time toward something that makes you happy.

2. Electronic Locks
Electronic locks can be a great alternative to your traditional home lock system for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, electronic locks offer a keyless, hassle free security option for your home. Whether you choose a keycode, touchscreen, or other style of electronic lock, the advantages detailed here will become apparent immediately.

3. Motion-Sensor Lights
Installing motion-sensitive lighting on the outside or inside of your home can be a great way to revolutionize your day-to-day. Most motion-sensor lights on the market today are pretty affordable, and they will save you a fortune on electricity bills in the long run.

4. Knock Down Some Walls
The open concept is all the rage these days—and with good reason. If you’re looking for more light and open space in your home, chances are it’s something you can achieve simply by taking out a few walls and combining separate spaces.  Knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, or open up the space between your front room and family room for a more welcoming, airy atmosphere.

5. Tinted Windows
Residential window tinting has a wide variety of benefits. Tinting your windows will prevent fading damage to your furniture and improve your home’s energy efficiency by minimizing heat and cooling loss through your windows. You’ll also have the added benefit of extra privacy.

6. Soft-Close Drawer Slides
Improve the functionality of your drawers and cabinets by installing soft-close slides. You’d be surprised at the difference such a small upgrade can make. Soft-close slides will equip your drawers and cabinets with the latest advances in household technology while ensuring greater safety in your home.

7. Soap Dispenser
A new, high-tech automatic soap dispenser probably won’t revolutionize your life, but it will streamline your washing habits and give you an affordable, fun gadget to breathe life into your kitchen or bathroom.

8. Recessed Vanity
Installing a new vanity that recesses into the wall will not only save space in your bathroom, but give it the contemporary elegance and style it deserves.

9. Ceiling Fans
If you’re looking for a way to save on cooling costs in the summer, install some ceiling fans in your home. Though not every climate will allow for cutting back on the AC, using a ceiling fan in place of your home’s cooling system every so often will take you to new heights of energy efficiency.

10. Re-evaluate Your Sprinkler System
Have you found that your sprinkling system isn’t functioning as well as it used to be? Over time, even the best sprinkling systems tend to not perform as well if they go uninspected for too long. Maybe now is the time to have your irrigation system looked at and corrected so your lawn can look its best again.  

11. Replace Old Carpet With Wood Floors
If you’ve got old carpet that’s got to go, consider replacing it with a hardwood floor. This will increase the value of your home and give it the contemporary look and style that everyone is after.

12. Bathroom Tile
Have a bathroom with a laminate floor—or worse, outdated carpet? There’s no better time than the present to install quality bathroom tile. Though it may be a tad expensive upfront, bathroom tile will pay off in the long run. Make it extra affordable and learn how to install it yourself.

13. Replace Ornate Lighting
Chandeliers and other forms of ornate lighting are truly a thing of the past. Not only have they become impractical for modern homes, but there are far too many affordable, elegant, contemporary lighting fixtures available to keep an outdated ornate fixture. Take the time to research fixtures that will suit your home’s design and make your lighting something to be proud of.

14. Temperature Control Sheets
Another great way to save on heating and cooling costs. Temperature control sheets absorb and release heat in accordance with body temperature, making sure you sleep comfortably no matter  the conditions of your room or the weather outside.

15. Matching Kitchen Appliances
Sick of the eyesore that your inherited or mismatched kitchen appliances are creating? Replace them with a matching set. You’ll be surprised at how you can make your kitchen shine by having the appliances to match your style.

16. New Paint Job
Painting the walls of your home a new color or shade can give you a whole new lease on life. A room that’s become drab or boring can become a whole new, vibrant place in your house merely with a new coat of paint.

17. Rearrange Your Furniture
It won’t take more than an hour or two of rolled-up sleeves to make a room in your home a completely new and exciting place. Take a few minutes to strategize and see where you can rearrange your furniture to improve the flow of each room. This can make all the difference in making your home a more inviting place.

18. Window Shutters
Ready to be rid of your old blinds? Replacing them with quality shutters is the way to go. Shutters are so popular for today’s homes, in fact, that they’ve become quite affordable, with a wide variety of aesthetic choices to make your windows look great even when they’re closed.

So the next time you are ready for a change, look no further than the room you are in and consider installing some of these great upgrades in your home.


  1. I have done the furniture rearranging thing a few times. It definitely make it look like a whole new room.

    1. I would love to rearrange my furniture, but I only have one solid wall in my living room, a wall of windows and then the large doorway to the dinning room (large arch) and a very odd shaped wall with the front foyer, coat closet and second door to the bedroom.

  2. We just moved into a new place and now we are having fun doing a lot of improvements! I LOVE what you suggest here. I am going to do a few of these in the next few weeks.

  3. Ceiling fans are the best. They're a great way to improve energy efficiency in the home.

    1. Most definitely! I'd love more ceiling fans through out my home.

  4. These are great ways to update a space! We just did our basement. It was a big job but it gave us so much extra space!

  5. These are great ideas! I really like the tip about putting motion sensor lights up, especially outside. It's has the added benefit of security too!

  6. I know ceiling fans aren't necessarily 'au moment' but they are so helpful with energy efficiency. I have them all over my house!

    1. We are down to only two ceiling fans in our house, one in the kitchen and one in the master bedroom. We used to have one in the kids' bedroom, but it needed to be replaced and we just bought a small light fixture. I'd love a ceiling fan in my living room and/or dining room. It would help cut down on AC usage.

  7. I want electronic locks soooo bad!! Also cameras as part of my security system!!

  8. I want that kitchen so bad! I love white and modern style. So stunning

  9. These are great tips. I need a new paint job and I'm thinking up upgrading our lighting.

  10. All amazing things to do even the tiniest of updates that make a world of difference. I adore the white kitchen too!

  11. These are great home upgrades to do. Ceiling fans really help keep the heat moving in a room in the winter.

  12. I love moving our furniture around, probably a little too much! LOL!
    I love that kitchen!!!!

  13. You've got so many great ideas to try! I hope I'll be able to do your full list!

  14. When we build our house, it is on the top of my list to have Soft-Close Drawer Slides in the kitchen. Those things are amazing and would probably be good for kids, too!

    xo Chelsie @ Life with Rosie

  15. Love these tips. It gets me excited to upgrade. We recently changed the flooring and I already can see a difference. The rooms look so much better.

  16. I like the open concept. It makes things look more homey to me.

  17. I hope to take on several of these ideas this fall/winter season. We've been here 6 years now and need to change things up a bit.

  18. I love having a ceiling fan in our bedroom. Having a pretty one always helps. I also LOVE our tinted windows. It saved us a fortune on cooling bills.

  19. These are so awesome simple upgrades that I would love to do someday to our home. Especially the electronic locks!

  20. Love all of your tips. Over the past few years we have been making changes to our home as well to make it even more comfortable and enjoyable.

  21. These are wonderful tips! I'll have to keep them in mind for the future. Thanks for sharing!

  22. I know ceiling fans aren't in, but they are so good with energy efficiency. I have them all over my house and on my deck!

  23. I like these ideas, especially the one about converting an old room into something useful. I think a lot of people have that one room that sort of becomes a junk room! It would be nice to use it!

  24. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I'm thinking of doing somee home upgrades myselff.