Home updates don’t have to be huge! Take small bites out of some of these projects to get the most out of your home and budget.


Move all the furniture out. Rent storage. Find another place to live. Kennel the pets for months. Endure the permit process. Deal with trucks and workmen in your driveway for month. HOLD ON! Does the thought of all this remodeling chaos send you into a tailspin?  Or do you just put it off year after year after year?  What about taking SMALL BITES with just a few high-impact/high-return projects right now?

(Are some of these possible before the holidays? You bet.)

Change your kitchen countertops.

Remodel one bathroom.

Paint one side of your house exterior each year. Smaller bite: Paint just the exterior trim.

Wallpaper one room. Smaller bite: Wallpaper one wall in one room.

Change the faucets and taps on kitchen or bathroom sinks.

Paint the walls in one room a bright color. Paint a ceiling in glossy “boat” paint. Smaller bite: Paint a piece of furniture in an unexpected color.

Change knobs and pulls in your kitchen or bath.

Add bookshelves to a wall between windows or both sides of your bed.

Change your kitchen appliances. Smaller bite: Change just the appliance you rely on the most.

Add a portico or awning over your front or back door to keep the rain off when digging for your keys.

Paint an interior door a bright color. That’s right IN-terior.

Paint the risers on a staircase a fun color. If it goes to children’s rooms add words or saying on each riser

Mirror an entire wall in a dark room. Increase the size of mirrors in bathrooms. Smaller bite: Hang a mirror over your kitchen sink or stove.

Build a wet bar or beverage center out of a closet or corner.

Change your kitchen backsplash – paint it, wallpaper it, tile it.

Add dimmers to your lights. Add dimmers to your lamps. Change your lampshades.

Replace the windows in just one or two rooms at a time.

Paint one room a vibrant color. Paint just the moulding. Smaller bite: Paint just the doors.

Repaint or resurface your kitchen cabinet doors or have entirely new doors installed.

Change a light fixture, or two. Add recessed lighting down a dark hall. Smaller bite: Hardwire a picture light over your favorite piece of art.

Toss the shower curtain and get a glass or frosted glass door installed.

Have your tile floors professionally cleaned.You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.

Install oversized, interior-lit medicine cabinets installed in a bathroom with lots of counter clutter.

Improve your basement. (First get it dry!)  Add paneling, recessed lights, flooring. Make it a bar, a playroom, a “Man Cave”.

Considering a kitchen island? What about a big farm table instead?

Remove the upper cabinets in your kitchen completely or install open shelving if your dish ware is very attractive. Smaller bite: Take off the upper cabinet doors (but don’t toss them in case you find this doesn’t work for you).

Change your carpet in one room or have a room sized rug made for it.

Put an interesting focal point at the end of a hall or landing.

Wallpaper or paint the back of your bookshelves in something graphic and bold.

Clean out a closet or a drawer. Now clean out another one.

Move the television into the living room and use it!

Is doing a whole-home renovation more cost efficient than doing projects in small bites?  Maybe. But taking small bites of home improvement can get you the home you want to enjoy now.

Photos from The Wills Company Instagram gallery.  Follow them at @TheWillsCo 

The Wills Company is located in Nashville, Tennessee and specializes in being ONE SOURCE for home design, remodeling and handyman services. “Less house. More home.”