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Three Affordable Home Upgrades That Make a Big Difference


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a few photos of our house (here and here) showing some of the progress we’ve made since move-in day! Our house definitely fell in the “turn-key” category, but there were still a few changes we wanted to make right off the bat. There are literally only three things we’ve done (besides changing the locks–not very interesting :)), and while all of them were affordable and pretty easy, they’ve made a HUGE difference in how much our home feels like “us,” so I wanted to share them today!

1. Switching out light fixtures. We hated the light fixture in our dining nook (see it here), so we found a simple pendant light at Lowe’s for under $100 that’s a much better fit for our style. Dave installed it (with his dad’s guidance) in less than half an hour. Quick, cheap, relatively easy, and big impact? Checks across the board!

industrial-dining-nookDining table | Silver metal chairs

2. Painting the walls. This was our very first project, graciously tackled by Dave and his parents, and wow, what a difference that alone made! We painted every room but the guest bathroom, and used Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (color-matched to Sherwin Williams paint we purchased during a sale) everywhere but the nursery. It immediately brightened up the house and, in my opinion, made it look much more sophisticated and modern compared to the greens, blues, and taupes that were there before.


3. Switching out faucets. This project was Dave’s baby–he’s so proud of it! Our kitchen faucet when we moved in was basic and low, and given how often we cook (and, therefore, do dishes) at home, we wanted something a little more functional. It took Dave about an hour to replace the existing faucet with the Delta one we picked up, and while he thought it was a bit of a pain to install, it was so worth it to have a much easier to use (and better looking!) sink.


Even having only done three things to it, I don’t think a day goes by without one of us saying how much we love our house! We’re on a bit of a home project hiatus until the new year, but the next items on our list are hanging curtains and redoing the laundry area (I think we’re going to wallpaper it–I’m so excited!).

What changes in your home do you think have made the biggest difference? I’d be so interested to hear!







  1. Kelly

    September 20th, 2016 at 7:27 am

    What a difference those things do make! Love your home, looks so inviting and friendly. : )

  2. Lisa

    September 21st, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks, Kelly! :)

  3. Robyn Van Dyke

    September 20th, 2016 at 8:31 am

    I couldn’t agree more about all three, but especially the light fixtures! I remember us talking about how they truly make the BIGGEST difference! :) It looks beautiful, Lisa!

  4. Lisa

    September 21st, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks!! Can’t wait to follow the progress in your darling house! :)

  5. Victoria

    September 20th, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I have my fancy light fixtures sitting on go, ready for move in day next week! :)

  6. Lisa

    September 21st, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    So good!! Hope it goes well! :)

  7. mary wilmot

    September 20th, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Love them all! Your table is so cute. Does Dave want to do DIY everything as much as Patrick?? ;) I have to admit, I do enjoy a good house project myself!

  8. Lisa

    September 21st, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Haha! I have been pretty impressed with what he has taken on so far–we’ll see if it continues! ;)

  9. Kristina

    September 20th, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Love the new light! And painting everything white is such a good idea. I know Americans are very much into colorful walls but I love all white walls and am so grateful that in Germany every apartment/house has to have white walls on move in day. Makes moving in a whole lot easier :)

  10. Lisa

    September 21st, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    That is so convenient! Taupe seems to be the standard house wall color around here–yuck!

  11. Em

    September 20th, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Love that light fixture! And I agree, switching out light fixtures especially can make the biggest difference!

  12. Dana

    September 20th, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Painting the walls!! For sure! I wish I didn’t hate painting so much that I would actually do the rest of the house. Hanging things up would probably help too, but commitment issues and bored of my art have not been encouraging. Love the new table btw!

  13. Elizabeth Burns

    September 21st, 2016 at 10:48 am

    The Chantilly Lace is stunning in your home! Kudos to you guys for having the patience to wait on future home projects. That is the biggest struggle for me, for sure!

  14. Hannah Hardy

    September 24th, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Love everything y’all have added to your new home! It looks gorgeous! Your fireplace gives me all of the heart eyes! SO pretty!

  15. Lisa

    September 25th, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Thank you! We definitely lucked out with that fireplace–I love it! :)


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