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5 Home Improvement Ideas That Cost Under €100

If lockdown taught us anything, it’s that all our homes could do with a bit of TLC, and many of us discovered that we can actually make a big difference to our space with very little effort.

So if you still have some home goals in mind, here are a few simple, fast and low cost tricks to improve your pad.  

1. Front door: the critical first impression of any home. And if you’re thinking of selling, your front door is absolutely critical.

Your front door sets the vibe for your entire home and yet most of us completely ignore and neglect it, and fail to notice when it needs a bit of a sprucing up.

A weekend painting project awaits… Not sure what colour to go for? Remember that the traditional colours of black, red and grey never let you down. Every year, magazines tell us to go for the colour of the moment, but beware fads: mind green looks cold in winter, and orange soon starts to jar once autumn leaves have fallen.

Before you start, don’t forget to prepare the dfoor, otherwise you’ll soon be looking at cracked paintwork.

Cost: €60 will cover paint, brushes & sandpaper

2. Give your kitchen a facelift

Still on the painting vibe, the kitchen is the most important room in any house, so give it a well deserved make over with freshly painted cabinets. Caveat: not all kitchen doors can be painted, so do your homework first.

Painting the doors will certainly take more than a weekend, but it will be so worth it. Navy blue is the big look at the moment – but it will work best in a bright space. A dark kitchen will look even darker if you paint everything a dark colour. In that case, a mid smoky grey might be a safer option.

It’s definitely worth testing a few options – you’ll want the doors to go well with the walls, the floor and any tiling on the splashback.

Another great way to refresh the kitchen is to change the door handles and install some under cabinet lighting.

Paint option: €100 for paint and materials

Handles: €50 – €100 depending on quantity and quality

3. Nature calls 

Research tells us that having plants in the home massively improves the air of a space as well as our mental wellbeing from sharing our space with plants. So why not inject some outdoors into your home with some plant therapy? Trick is to get advise about what works and where – what plants like a sunny windowsill and what ones like a quiet corner?

Be sure to buy the correct plant pot – ideally not one with a hole in the bottom that will leak onto the floor or carpet.

Also, a more mature plant is less likely to die, and will also look the business.

Most plants are pretty low maintenance – but don’t be completely neglectful either. Check out what care they need. Dying or dead plans add nothing to a home!

Cost: €50

4. Skip to the loo 

How badly do we treat our bathroom? We leave wet towels on its floor, empty toilet rolls on top of the cistern, and what about all those empty shampoo bottles on the floor of the shower!

If you even stand in the bathroom and look around, you’ll be amazed what little jobs you can see that need doing.

Here are a few bugbears straightened out:

  • Shower tiles and grouting: get some elbow grease into that shower cubicle, and finish off with a grouting pen to freshen it up = instant improvement
  • Look what’s lurking behind the toilet or sink – grime and dirt: get the vacuum and a bucket load of detergent out and get your sleeves rolled up
  • Mould and Mildew: Does your bathroom ceiling and / or window blind have little black spots on it? Time to crack open the bleach and wipe that nastiness away. Remember to dilute and always wear gloves. If the blind is in a bad way, might be time to say goodbye

5. Light up your life

If you’ve been living your life under a single ceiling light, then you’ll definitely appreciate a bit of focus lighting.

Lighting massively impacts our impression of a room. It’s amazing how much a small lamp or floor lamp will soften a room, as well as give light to a focus space like beside an armchair or a bedside table, for reading or just relaxing in softer light.

Big tip here: if you have 2 bedside tables / lockers, invest in 2 matching lamps. You can buy a cute lamp in Dunnes stores for €25. A floorlamp is a great way to use focus lighting without having somewhere to sit it. Cost: €25 – €100

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