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Cheap Remodeling Ideas That Add Elegance

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Champagne taste but a beer budget? No problem. We’ve got 10 clever ways — some DIY! — to add expensive-looking pizzazz to your home without popping your fiscal cork.

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Ceiling is Believing

Mouldings are cool, but nothing quite says “glam” like a ceiling medallion. Today’s medallions are knockoffs of traditional plaster ornamentations found in exquisite turn-of-the-century homes, and are made of lightweight urethane. Installing one is an easy do-it-yourself project. This 24-inch-wide medallion costs $94.


Credit: Rue de Emily blog

Image: Rue de Emily blog
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  • Mouldings are cool, but nothing quite says “glam” like a ceiling medallion. Today’s medallions are knockoffs of traditional plaster ornamentations found in exquisite turn-of-the-century homes, and are made of lightweight urethane. Installing one is an easy do-it-yourself project. This 24-inch-wide medallion costs $94.


    Credit: Rue de Emily blog

  • Wanting to spruce up their plain entry (and needing a bit of organizational space), these home owners created faux wainscot by nailing up $65 worth of 1-inch-thick boards and painting everything white. Hooks screwed into the boards provide storage for coats and bags, and a flat board at the top creates a small shelf for artwork and knickknacks.


    Credit: Jami Nato

  • Although most folks paint their ceiling white or a bright color — the better to spread light around interiors — a dark color has drama. By quieting down ambient light, a dark-colored ceiling is an inexpensive way to create hushed elegance. Daylight from windows or light from a lighting fixture puts emphasis on single objects, such as this leather-covered chesterfield.


    Credit: 47 Park Avenue

  • If you’d like to give your kitchen cabinets a regal touch, add crown moulding where the upper cabinets meet the ceiling. If you have a custom paint job on your cabinets, such as this antique glaze, try painting the moulding before installing it.


    Credit: Amber the Queen of Chairs

  • Styles change, but the stainless look still defines a kitchen as tres chic. Cool stainless steel tiles come in a variety of shapes, such as the mini-subway tiles shown here, for about $20 per sq. ft. Smaller tiles are pre-assembled in 1-by-1-ft. squares with mesh backing for easy installation. Tough and easy to clean, they make a great backsplash.


    Credit: Heather Merenda, photo

  • Flat, boring kitchen cabinet doors be gone! Adding inexpensive ($5 for 8 ft. lengths), pre-primed trim transformed these once-plain-Jane cabinets into stellar attractions. Cut the corners with a miter saw, then glue them in place. Want more? These home owners added faux texture by first covering the doors with beadboard wallpaper — $30 for a 20-inch-by-30-foot roll.


    Credit: Brandi from Don’t Disturb This Groove blog

  • Create a wall of eye-catching colors using inexpensive stencils and paint. Mylar stencils (20 for an 8-by-12-inch stencil) come in hundreds of patterns, and are reusable. Practice with different color combos on paper or a primed piece of scrap drywall before committing the design to your walls. But, hey! It’s paint — you can change it easily and cheaply if you want.


    Credit: Makely School for Girls

  • If you’re looking for ways to add a bit of dazzle, do it with paint. An interior door is the perfect subject — it’s a single architectural element that won’t look out-of-place when finished with a bold paint color that contrasts with your walls. Some inexpensive, glued-on moulding gives this hollow-core door some added jazz.


    Credit: Little Green Notebook

  • Back in the day, folks spruced up ceilings with inexpensive tin tiles that mimicked the decorative plaster ceilings of more expensive estates. Today, you can find new metal ceiling tiles for $15-$25 for a 2-by-2-foot panel. These home owners saved more than half that cost by shopping for old tin ceiling tiles at a warehouse specializing in salvaged building materials.


    Credit: Valerie Ferus / Nicholas Santore

  • Is that the stairway to heaven? Nope, simply inexpensive mirrored tiles glued to stair risers. A 2-by-2-foot sheet of mirror mosaics is about $65. A quart of mirror tile adhesive is $35. A very bright DIY project!


    Credit: Ashley Batz


  • Check out these value-adding projects:

    See the 8 Most Financially Savvy Home Improvements You Can Make

    4 Affordable DIYs That Boost Home Value

     

  • Ceiling is Believing
  • Wainscot Wonders
  • Elegance Overhead
  • Crowning Achievement
  • Making a Big Splash
  • Power to the Pieces (of Moulding)
  • Pattern Possibilities
  • Add a Blast of Color
  • Salvaged Style
  • All That Glitters ...
  • Looking for more remodel inspiration?
  • ceiling-is-believing
  • wainscot-wonders
  • elegance-overhead
  • crowning-achievement
  • making-a-big-splash
  • power-to-the-pieces-of-moulding
  • pattern-possibilities
  • add-a-blast-of-color
  • salvaged-style
  • all-that-glitters
  • more-slideshows
  • Image: Rue de Emily blog
  • Image: Jami Nato
  • Image: 47 Park Avenue
  • Image: Amber the Queen of Chairs
  • Image: Heather Merenda, photo
  • Image: Brandi from Don’t Disturb This Groove blog
  • Image: Makely School for Girls
  • Image: Little Green Notebook
  • Image: Valerie Ferus | Nicholas Santore
  • Image: Ashley Batz