50 Ideas for Elevating Readymade Home Items on a Budget

50 Ideas for Elevating Readymade Home Items on a Budget - roomfortuesday.comYou read the title right… I’m sharing 50(!) ideas for elevating readymade home items in today’s blog post. These tips are especially helpful if you’re on a budget. You can easily make everyday or readymade items look more customized, high-end, and designerly by making simple changes and styling adjustments. I’m keeping this post quick, thanks to my looming camper renovation that we have to finish before we roll out- but consider this post a BIG brainstorming list of money saving ways to get creative, while making design modifications at home. Click through to check out my ideas and tips! 

50 Ideas for Elevating Readymade Home Items on a Budget - roomfortuesday.comI’m diving right in with my list, friends! Happy reading and brainstorming…

  1. Add trim or banding to readymade drapery panels.
  2. Install a ceiling medallion with a budget-friendly light fixture to elevate the aesthetic.
  3. Swap the hardware on furniture or cabinetry.
  4. Add a marble or stone top to a dresser, table, or console.
  5. Paint over inexpensive (mass produced) framed artwork for a more original look.
  6. Switch inexpensive pillow inserts for down or a down alternative option.
  7. Drop your plastic potted plant into a basket you already have.
  8. Replace the readymade vanity countertop with a stone you actually love.
  9. If a large area rug isn’t in your budget, layer a smaller one over a neutral sisal or jute rug.
  10. Switch or paint your vent covers.
  11. Turn a bookcase into a built-in by adding additional trim pieces.
  12. Get creative with paint- update furniture, try contrast trim, or even color blocking.
  13. Swap your light switch plates- you could even add a dimmer for added functionality.
  14. Add additional fill to crushed or slouchy cushions (think fixing droopy sofa cushions).
  15. Dye your curtains for an updated or monochromatic look.
  16. Even if you don’t have a fireplace (or functioning one), install a faux option or mantel for architectural interest.
  17. Decant your basic dish soap or hand soap.
  18. Line and hem your curtains for a more customized and functional look.
  19. Install heavy solid brass hardware to add weight to a hollow core door.
  20. Think of produce as decor- display fresh fruits or veggies in a bowl on the counter or island for a splash of color & texture.
  21. Frame excess, leftover, or remnant fabric or wallpaper as art.
  22. Elevate your toilet by swapping the seat or lever.
  23. Install floating shelves and paint them the same color as your walls (for an integrated look).
  24. Upgrade light fixtures by changing the finish, swapping the shade, and changing the bulbs to a nice temperature.
  25. Replace dated kitchen countertops with a budget friendly classic material like butcher block.
  26. Hang everyday items on the wall that double as decor- cutting boards, baskets, hats, etc.
  27. Add a skirt to a table for added softness, pattern, color, and texture- or simply to switch things up.
  28. Pleat simple curtain panels or use ring clips for a more customized look.
  29. Use cord conduit to hide sconce or gallery fixture cords that aren’t hardwired.
  30. Install under cabinet strip lighting for a higher end look.
  31. Use organizers, bins, & matching hangers to make a standard closet more functional & beautiful.
  32. Install slipcovers to breathe new life into old upholstery.
  33. Opt for budget-friendly beadboard in place of a tile backsplash.
  34. Trade out your plumbing fixtures- and don’t be afraid to mix metals.
  35. No millwork? Use paint to create a similar look with color blocking where trim would be installed.
  36. Switch bedding seasonally for a fresh look- be sure to layer and make your bed each day.
  37.  Reuse readymade frames for original art or vintage prints.
  38. Don’t be afraid to paint your brick for a new look (fireplace, architectural wall, exterior, etc).
  39. Add monochromatic bolsters or contrast trim to a bench, daybed, or sofa for a designer look.
  40. Use long drapery panels in place of a shower curtain.
  41. Add drawer organizers to chests, dressers, cabinets, and drawers, so everything has a designated place.
  42. Enhance your curb appeal- add additional door hardware (kick plate, door knocker, etc), planters, doormat, and house numbers.
  43. Reupholster seat cushions or headboards for a new look.
  44. No outlet nearby? Use a rechargeable bulb or puck light on a remote for any light fixture.
  45. Style a mirror to brighten a room that doesn’t get as much natural light.
  46. Use leftover wallpaper to line drawers or install it on the back of built-ins or shelving.
  47. Low art budget? Install a timeless gallery wall with thrifted pieces rather than splurging on one oversized piece to fill a wall.
  48. Recycle burned candles and use the vessels for countertop organization, planters, or styling objects.
  49. Working with a boring cabinet? Add glass for a curio look. Cut the center panel and install vintage, reeded, or seeded glass.
  50. Deep clean and declutter- it instantly elevates your home and mood!

50 Ideas for Elevating Readymade Home Items on a Budget - roomfortuesday.comPhew! I know that was a long list- I hope it helped to spark some ideas and get your wheels turning. The photos throughout this post were from a Tuesday Made shoot a couple weeks ago… I had way too much fun moving those hyacinths around my kitchen. Such a summery vibe!

I’m headed back outside to get to work on the camper renovation– we’ll be pushing it to get everything completed, but I’m hopeful we’ll finish before it’s time to roll out. It’s looking SO good. I can’t wait to show you (probably in a week or two here on the blog)! What other home ideas should I add to this list? I hope everyone is having a good week so far.

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  1. Good morning! Phew! That’s a hefty list. I can honestly say that I have implemented about half of them over the years. I think my favorite easy upgrades involve fabric and trim tape. Customizing blinds, curtains, pillows and lampshades (😍) is so satisfying! Although slipcovering a sofa was quite a task, recovering just the seat of a dining or office chair offers a bespoke look anyone can tackle. New hardware and switch plates is also a total game changer! When I think of how long I waited to swap our scratched gold doorknob and lockset. *headsmack* I discovered another budget-friendly improvement folks might not realize. I replaced just the dated oval, floral-etched glass insert in my front door instead of buying a whole new door. It required some internet sleuthing because the big box stores didn’t carry them, but what a difference! That’s the point, small changes truly can have a significant impact. A hopeful message for this sure-to-be hot Wednesday! I’m sending you all the “finish that camper!” vibes, so you’ll be ready for your weekend adventure! Have a lovely day, Sarah!💜

    1. Gosh Peggi, I am so sorry to read you still have no AC. I cannot imagine. We have gone one night but weeks is a lot. Such a strong and resilient person but understand when you can’t do anything else but wait. I will be wishing you a resolution ASAP as well.

      1. Thanks, Danna! This will definitely not be my favorite (or most productive) summer, but nothing to be done. We are officially scheduled for August 9th, so fingers crossed!

    2. I love a good fabric or window treatment DIY, and you’re right- swapping hardware is always instant gratification. For some reason, it has never crossed my mind to swap the glass in a door- SO smart. Thank you for sharing! Small changes really do make a big impact. I’m glad you finally have a repair date on the calendar. I hope you’re hanging in there until then. Stay cool, friend!! xox

  2. Wow! This is a fabulous idea list and I’m definitely going to institute some of these at the cottage. As we have spent so much money on the big stuff I have to get thrifty with everything else. Glad to hear you are making such great headway on the camper, I bet you are super excited to enjoy all your hard work. I honestly don’t know how you two keep motivated to work on project after project. I get one project under my belt and I don’t want to tackle anything else for at least 6 months. Lol. I strongly admire your desire for these time consuming and labor intensive renovations. So excited to see the camper reveal though, you inspire me every time. Well it’s another hot one here today and I assume its super hot everywhere else too. Stay cool, and hydrated (especially you Peggy without AC OMG I wish I could transport you here to our house, Negroni’s on the patio by the pool would be amazing)
    Cheers to this amazing post of fun projects 😍🥂💖

    1. Hey Colleen! Negronis by the pool sounds divine! We’re managing, but thanks for the cool thoughts!💜

    2. Hi Colleen! I’m so glad to hear it. How is the cottage coming along? We’re definitely excited to take the camper out, escape the heat wave, and enjoy the mountains. I think we’re starting to feel our age and are slowing down. Haha! We pulled a couple late nighters this week trying to finish the camper and oh boy- I feel it. We try to stick to a good schedule and give ourselves generous deadlines to keep motivated. I know- we all feel for Peggi right now. It’s way too hot to not have a/c working. Oof. Can we plan a pool party with Negronis at your place next summer? Lol! That would be so much fun! Hope you’re having a great week!

  3. These are all such wonderful tips Sarah! I wish I was prolific with a sewing machine because I would definitely be on board with adding trim or banding to drapes, or making my own pillow covers. It’s on my list of skills to learn though. Thank you for the ceiling medallion reminder. I have several classic options saved intended for updates around here, and hadn’t considered adding one to the front room. Timely! I am all about swapping hardware, updating paint, switching out textiles seasonally…those are things I’ve done abundantly at this home, and I love that it’s just enough to keep our interior from feeling boring or stagnant. I’d love to introduce myself to some wallpaper perfection or add new skills by doing trim work…I’ll get there. One project at a time right?! So much of the other tips you’ve included here are things I already do, and also recommend. You’ve trained me well, hahah! This is a fantastic list to reference, thank you for sharing with us!

  4. Also- have so much fun in your trip!! Montana sounds amazing right about now, especially in your freshly updated camper. I’m excited to see how it turned out, and caught a sneak peek of the vinyl on your stories…dreamy!!! Peggi, I feel for you dear! I can’t imagine how you’re holding up in this heat. I’ll send the cool breezes your way in hopes you can get some respite. Any word on updated timeline for repair?

    1. Hey Lauren! We’ve had a few days under 100, so that has helped. I put down my deposit yesterday and should hear the official install date today. I was told two weeks, so let’s cross all the fingers! I will still welcome all the cool breezes you can spare. 💜

    2. Thanks, Lauren! Sewing is really quite fun- I feel like you’d enjoy it. You’ll definitely get there with the other things- I have no doubts. We’re excited to take the camper out and enjoy it! We’re also eager to escape this heat wave in SLC. Whew! Hope you’re having a great day!

  5. I just pinned this list to Pinterest for when I need to be reminded of great ideas for elevating a room. There are several ideas I would like to try later like pleating curtains or adding stone to a piece of furniture. Your suggestions over the years have made me love my home and enjoy it more. Just by decanting boxes of food, made our pantry a pretty place to go into. I have so much faux fruit & vegetables that I swap out each season. My family gets excited when they see it until they realize it isn’t real…ha!
    I am excited to hear about your trip to Montana in your newly renovated camper. Hope all goes well. We spent the last few days helping our son move out of one apartment & into another. We are exhausted but enjoyed the time away but would have done without the heat. So sorry to hear a lot of others are having high temps as well.

    1. Thanks, Danna! I love hearing that :) I’ve never tried faux fruit, but it sounds tempting. Ha! I hope it went well with your son’s move… it’s never fun moving during the hot summer months. I can imagine it was exhausting! You’re so sweet to help him. I hope you’re having a great week! xo