source: Lee Ann Murphy of

We’re always looking for quick-tips and ideas that will save us time and money, not to mention the hassle of the inevitable “learning curve” of home improvement. Worry not! The following upgrades are easy and doable and are definitely cost effective.

1. Make an entrance.
A new front door can dramatically change the look of your facade and enhance curb appeal. Complete the update by repainting exterior trim, repairing cracks in the front walk and replacing your house numbers.

2. Give your cabinets a makeover.
If they aren’t truly dated and you aren’t changing the layout of your kitchen, you may not need to replace them. Adding trim, such as pictureframe molding, crown moldings, feet or corbels is a clever way to change the flavor of your kitchen. And many companies will remove and replace doors and drawers or refinish them for less than the cost of a new installation.

3. Give yourself some trim.
Beadboard wainscoting can give a fresh country look to any room. Or add a chair rail, picture molding or baseboard, and frame doors and windows with trim work for a classic look.

4. Go for color.
A bright tile backsplash can jazz up a dull kitchen. Or create a border of plain tile in a punchy color instead of using expensive shaped listellos.

5. Say it with paint.
If you don’t want to go with a whole new color, consider a new twist on the shade you already have. Try your hand at a faux finish such as sponging or ragging, use painters’ tape to make stripes, or use a bright color on one wall to add depth and drama to a room. And don’t forget the ceiling: A fresh coat there can really brighten a room.

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