5 Mini Renovations to Make Your House a Home

Tracy Elsen
February 9, 2017


How to Quickly Make Your New House Feel Like Your Own Home

So you’ve come to the end of your homebuying journey and closed on your new house. After enjoying a glass of champagne and breathing a big sigh of relief, you realize that you’re at the beginning of another journey: transferring your entire life from your old home to your new one. And the most important part of that process is making your new place feel like you. But where to start? Mini-renovations may be just the way to make your new house a home. 

There are countless home makeover and remodeling tips out there, but if you’ve put a big chunk of your resources on actually buying your house, you’d probably prefer a less expensive method of personalization. You’re seeking a way to make this new house feel like home, without breaking the bank. Look no further: mini-renovations are your new best friend. This step-by-step guide will make you as comfortable as can be, much more quickly than you envisioned.

Mini-Renovation 1: Scrub & Scent

Before moving in your belongings, spend a couple of hours cleaning the space with great-smelling, natural products. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day in basil or lemon verbena is fresh and pleasant. Even if the house has been professionally cleaned ahead of your arrival, the process of cleaning the floors, windows and surfaces yourself (and adding a favorite or familiar scent) will make you feel you really ‘own’ the place.

Once everything is clean and you’re beginning the move-in process, light a few of your favorite scented candles and put on some great music - the sensory experience of scent and sound will add personality to your new house, and make your move more fun.

Mini-Renovation 2: A Little Paint & Paper

Instead of attempting to paint or wallpaper full rooms before you’ve even gotten settled, just choose a few small spaces to adorn with accent colors or statement wallpaper. Your front door is a great place to start. A new pop of color (and perhaps the addition of new hardware like doorknobs and locks) will help put your stamp on the new place.

Then, consider adding vibrant wallpaper to one wall of the guest bathroom, or edging your stairs in a tasteful color. Finally, be brave and choose one wall of the living room to coat in a bold accent color. Even if you change your color scheme later and re-paint, you’ll appreciate these decorative additions upon move-in.

Mini-Renovation 3: Prioritize Keepsakes

Once your furniture and boxes are moved in, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed looking at the jumbled mess that surrounds you. Instead of panicking, prioritize the unpacking of your most treasured keepsakes. Spend the first hour going through boxes and pulling out your most-loved family photos, knick-knacks and decorative items. Set them out in full view, even if it means hanging pictures quickly before finding them perfect, permanent homes later. These items will create an instant coziness and replicate the feeling of your old home. Being surrounded by your favorite things will make the rest of the unpacking process much more pleasant.

Mini-Renovation 4: Organize The Necessities

Following the display of your keepsakes, it’s time to organize the areas of the house that will make your life easier. Unpacking multiple rooms and setting up a full home can be a weeks-long process, so you’ll need to be able to live comfortably and go about your daily routine in the meantime.

Start with your entryway. A row of key and wall hooks, a shoe/bag organizer, and other necessities near your front or back door will make everyday activities a touch easier. Real Simple has some great in-depth tips for organizing and beautifying this high-traffic area. After setting up your entryway, take the time to adorn your bed with fresh, clean sheets. Then arrange your closets, bathroom storage and kitchen necessities.

Mini-Renovation 5: Swap Hardware & Lighting

It’s the little things that count. So why not invest in them? You can make your house your own without investing in major remodeling. Begin by swapping out some of the existing hardware and lighting fixtures for pieces that are more your style. Cabinet and drawer handles, door knobs, light switch plates and towel rods can do a lot for the overall aesthetics of a room. And upgrading two or three prominent light fixtures (perhaps beginning with the piece closest to your main entryway) is always a great idea. Anthropologie is great for home hardware and IKEA can be the perfect place for lighting.

Final Thoughts

After successfully negotiating the homebuying process and securing your keys, the last thing you want to think about (or pay for) is a major re-design. Instead, employ these simple, inexpensive tips and you’ll feel at home in no time.

Don't feel the need to fully finance a renovation with these tips to add flair to a home.

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