5 easy renovation ideas that don't require any power tools or heavy lifting

Implementing simple changes to your home can completely transform your space and give it the uplifting refresh it needs, without too much heavy lifting

Three images of organized rooms including a pantry, living room shelves and a bedroom
(Image credit: Martin Moore / Future)

The thought of completely remodeling and changing your home can be daunting and overwhelming, but something that we all have to do at some stage. 

Over time our homes can start to look tired, well lived in, and in need of a refresh. But making your home look like it has been remodeled is not actually as difficult as it sounds. 

So instead of committing to our full home renovation ideas, why not make simple changes that allow you to elevate your space without completely starting over from scratch? 

5 simple changes you can make to give your home a fresh start

It often comes down to updating a few things in particular parts of the house that are regularly used to give the space a facelift. Don’t set out to change the space in its entirety, looking out for things that look worn and overused is a great place to start. 

There will be things that you know you would like to change and tackle first so start in these sections of the house. The ideas listed below are quick and easy to implement, but sure to make a transformative difference to your space. 

1. Start with a fresh coat of paint

Bedroom paint ideas with blue painted wardrobe with cane panels and brass wall light

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

When in doubt, start with a fresh coat of paint, over time painted walls in our homes can become marked and faded, which makes the room look dull and uninspiring. 

By repainting your walls you will feel the difference immediately in the space. Stick to calming neutral shades, such as the Bride To Be neutral paint from Benjamin Moore, if you want to achieve a space that is serene and relaxing, or opt for a splash of your favorite bright color to create a striking accent wall. 

Make sure that you pay close attention to the color choice of your trim and skirting boards, if you keep them white, it will make the new colored walls look extra bright and clean whilst darker colors can make the room have added character and charm.

One thing that most people don’t consider when repainting is the ceiling, otherwise known as the fifth wall. Painting this in a complementary palette to your walls can actually make the room look bigger and ceilings appear taller than just your standard white.  

Painting the ceiling a completely different color can add a lot of drama and interest to your room and will be the first thing people notice when they walk into the space. 

‘Experimenting with paint is one of my favorite things to do when designing a home,’ says interior designer Angela Rennie. ‘Something I have enjoyed doing recently is color ‘drenching’ where you paint the walls and ceiling the same color, this can be done in bold or neutral tones but it brings a sense of coherence whilst also providing an opportunity to create contrast through other decorations.’  

Angela Rennie
Angela Rennie

Angela Rennie is an interior designer with over twenty-five years of experience transforming interior spaces worldwide. 

2. Replace hardwear around the house

devol green kitchen with a large range cooker and hood and marble counters

(Image credit: deVOL)

Hardware may seem like such a small detail but it is important to get it right. Replacing your hardware is an easy and cost-effective way to make your home feel more up-to-date.  

Hardware normally has a metal finish and includes everything from handles, cabinet pulls, and kitchen fixtures to lighting switches. These all come in a variety of finishes, matt polished or brushed, and colors such as bronze, brass, and nickel.  

Changing mismatched handles or knobs for coordinating pieces will make your space appear more thought of and luxurious. Consider matching hardware sets including this 5 Piece Bathroom Hardware Set from Wayfair, to make your bathroom look well-designed. You can then amplify your style by then using similar materials in other areas of the house including these kitchen knobs from Wayfair

3. Enhance your lighting

clay lampshade and botanical art in living room by Studio Duggan

(Image credit: Studio Duggan)

Good lighting really does change everything, and having multiple lighting options can give your room a different atmosphere. ‘The trick here is to layer the lighting depending on the mood you are trying to create,’ says home improvement expert Tommy Mello. ‘Layering lighting means that there are multiple lights that you use or don’t use at any one time the power is in the option.’

Adding a mixture of ambient, task, and accent lights can alter the overall mood of a room, it can be uplifting and invigorating or calming and relaxing. By having multiple options you can change the lighting to be suitable for any occasion. 

One way to improve the ambiance in your home is to place lights and different height levels. Placing floor lamps, such as the Lulu Floor Lamp from Anthropologie in combination with the Paylor Armed sconces from Wayfair will provide a different feel to the room than constantly using your overhead ceiling lights. Overhead lighting can be very strong and bright and not what you want to use if you are trying to achieve a calming environment.  

Tommy Mello
Tommy Mello

Tommy Mello is an entrepreneur, a home service/DIY expert, and the founder of A1 Garage Door Service, a leader in the home service industry. Founded in 2007, A1 Garage Door Service has grown to be a leader in the home-service industry.  

4. Declutter

Our homes never look good when everything is out of place and when we have not properly assigned everything to have a place of its own. Although properly decluttering is time-consuming, it can make a world of difference to how your space will feel after it is done.

Overflowing bookcases, cupboards and wardrobes do not make a room feel inviting or well-designed. So take time to go through these areas and get rid of anything that is no longer serving you. The items you use daily and possessions that make you feel good should be the ones you put back systematically. 

5. Add statement features

Bedroom with mural and black bedside table

(Image credit: Future)

A statement feature can completely change a room. It creates a unique atmosphere and draws the eye to a specific focal point. Normally you only need one statement piece per space otherwise the room will look overwhelming and can feel cluttered. 

If you are looking to give the illusion of more space try adding a large mirror, a floor-to-ceiling mirror towards the back of the room such as this mirror from Wayfair, this can make the room appear much taller and wider. 

Decorative rugs can also make the room look more visually interesting. Adding patterned rugs like the Fitzgerald Border Rug from Ralph Lauren or ones with different textures to make the space stand out. 

According to Ivo Iv,  the founder and CEO of Decor Home Ideas, art is a great focal point to any room and can add a lot of personality and character to your home. The good thing about art is it doesn’t need to be expensive and you can choose from an array of traditional and modern pieces to suit your style. Frames can also match and pick up on other colors in your room to make the whole look cohesive and polished.    

When choosing a statement feature pay attention to its architectural style, and try to make sure that these are in keeping with the style of the home and any other furnishings that you have in the area. 

Ivo Iv
Ivo Iv

Ivo Iv is a home improvement expert and founder of Decor Home Ideas. He loves inspiring people with interior design ideas and showing them the practical steps to make these happen.  


Do home improvements always add value to the home?

In short, no, not all home improvements will add value to your home, as they may make your home look and feel too personalized, going beyond the taste of the average buyer, or not in line with the style and value of other homes in your neighborhood. 

Renovating your kitchen and bathroom will likely add the most value to your home as they remain some of the most-used rooms in a home, however, do not spend too much money on these remodels as that makes it more different to recoup those costs or add that amount onto your property value.

A 'true' remodel has its merits if you have the renovation itch. But if your goal is simply to fall back in love with your living spaces, a keen eye, creativity, and some solid temporary updates can go a remarkably long way and should be considered before a remodel

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.