Whether you’re looking to get ready to sell your home or are simply overdue a refurb, there are lots of ways to upgrade your house and garden. But if you’re short of time and money, it may be difficult to redo and update everything. 

So, concentrating on just one or two key areas could be the answer and picking things that are easy to complete but make a big impact, will get you the best results. Here’s five quick ways to update and refresh, both inside and out.

1. Tidy the entrance

A well-maintained front door not only adds to your home’s security but to its curb appeal too. So, you have several options here to carry out a quick entrance upgrade. If it’s solidly built and made of wood, you could sand and repaint your door. Giving it a fresh new look in a cheery yellow or uplifting sky blue. Alternatively, replace it with a well-made, low-maintenance door that fits in well with your home’s character.

But don’t stop there. Tidy up your front garden or porch area, removing weeds, trimming hedges and shrubs, and sweeping paths. Making sure the whole entranceway is clean, tidy and welcoming. If the front looks too bare or uninviting, try adding hanging baskets or flowerpots to soften the look. Add in some extra personality with decorative shutters, outdoor lights or a new house nameplate.

If your hallway or entrance is cramped and cluttered, it’s the first thing potential buyers will see. So, make sure you’ve got ample coat hooks and add compact storage to tuck shoes and bags neatly away. Also, think about storing seasonal jackets and coats away when they’re not in use, to free up hall space. If you’ve got bicycles and other large items that can’t be stored elsewhere, then think about wall-mounting them, to maximize the floor space.

2. Freshen your walls

Your walls are one of the easiest areas of your home to update for a quick and impactful upgrade. Redecorating can instantly freshen up and modernize rooms. It can make them brighter and introduce on-trend color schemes with little effort. 

The most obvious and cost-effective way to freshen your walls is to give them a new coat of paint. If you want to make rooms appear bigger, use one color for all of your walls and the baseboards. Or paint horizontal stripes to add height, using decorators’ tape to guide you.

Wallpaper is great for bringing in pattern too. To save yourself time and money, you can simply stick to one feature wall or to the upper half of your walls. Leaving the bottom half painted in a complementary color.

But there are other ways to treat your walls to an upgrade. Adding new artwork is a great option for those of you who don’t like to get your hands dirty. You could hang one large piece of art up or make a uniform grid of frames with your favorite pictures. You could also make a gallery wall using different styles of frames and artwork is great for brightening walls up in a unique fashion. 

Alternatively, you could introduce new textures to the walls. Try adding some simple paneling to a room or staircase. Or why not make your own textile wall-hangings to add interest to a plain room.

3. Change your lighting

Inefficient lighting and dated light shades can make a home feel dark and drab. So, rethink your lighting points, fittings, and even the type of bulbs you use. 

For cozy rooms, multiple, small lights in the form of table and side lamps will work better than a single light. And warm-glowing bulbs are great for creating that snug feeling. Plus, adding dimmer switches to your lounge and bedroom will give you greater control over the brightness of lighting.

To modernize your kitchen and dining areas, a row of high-end pendant lights or white LED downlights could be the way forward. To give your home a real upgrade and lighting boost, think about installing a showpiece light in your lounge. It doesn’t need to be a chandelier. It could be a sculptural, designer light or a cluster pendant light for example.

4. Revamp decking and patio areas

Many of us have a garden or yard with a deck or patio seating area. It’s a fab use of space for socializing, but it can start to look shabby without proper maintenance. So, a good bit of TLC for your deck or patio will improve its looks and longevity.

For wooden decking, sweep up debris and use a suitable cleaner to remove the remaining dirt and algae. You can use a pressure washer for this if you work carefully with a wide nozzle and oiling your decking should keep the wood in tip-top condition and looking good.

If you have a patio, that should be swept and cleaned. A pressure washer is usually sufficient to clean off the slabs and giving the gaps between the paving a good weed, should bring it back to glory.

Once cleaned up, pop on some new outdoor furniture and fill up planters with bright, cheery flowers. You’ll soon have a fab, rejuvenated space for socializing or tempting buyers.

Of course, there may be a little more maintenance required to give it an upgrade. If you’ve got a raised deck with no safety rails, do think about adding some and if any patio paving slabs are cracked, it may be worth replacing one or all of them. 

5. Brighten up walls and fences

Another outside space that often gets neglected is the garden boundary. Whether this is a wall, fence or similar, it can often be improved, and it shouldn’t take much time to do.

For fences, repair any broken sections rather than replace the whole lot, to save you time, and freshen it up with a few new coats of exterior paint. In compact or bare yards try hanging outdoor mirrors, colorful plant pots and other decorative items to make the space look more attractive. 

For walls, wash off dirt and repoint the mortar where necessary. Again, don’t be afraid to use paint or decorative features to perk it up, if the space looks a bit drab. Adding decorative laser-cut panels or more traditional trellis will break up large expanses of brick and add a bit of interest. 

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