6 Before-and-After Home Remodeling Ideas

Wouldn’t it be great to update your home? Even if you love your home, there’s always an area you feel could use some more attention. The kitchen island that you installed with great ambition is not used anymore. The dining area is messy. Or, every time you walk by that imposing brick fire place, it always looks so .

Oft, the best remodeling ideas for home are simple to do and inexpensive. Many of these ideas include paint, new fixtures, or re-organizing your home. Self-installed thermostats cost a few dollars but can save hundreds of dollars in the long term. Bricks and cabinets can be painted. You can also spend more on a pantry unit which wraps around your fridge or a bathroom makeover that includes a frameless shower and a drop in bathtub.

1. Before: Half-Sized Closet

Most of us would like a larger closet in our bedroom. A closet is surrounded by walls on all three sides. Walls are immovable. Or can they?

After: Double-Sized Closet

This homeowner realized that her closet, like many other closets that share a bedroom wall, is really just one closet.

A single nonload-bearing wall divider divides the large closet into two smaller ones, one for each bedroom. She doubled the size of her closet by removing that middle wall.

2. Before: Neglected Kitchen Island

If your kitchen island is not attractive, you may find that no one wants to use it.

This kitchen island was not attractive to anyone, except for the fact that it could be used to set down groceries and drop off mail. The dark cabinets and pendant lighting made this old kitchen feel gloomy.

After: Lively Sit Down Breakfast Bar

The kitchen bar can be converted into a breakfast bar with a sitting area. This will encourage guests to gather in the kitchen. A countertop overhang allows guests a closer view of the bar.

A sink is installed in the island kitchen to meet the needs of the cook. The old pendants were replaced with unobtrusive, recessed lights. The counter depth is a refrigerator that maintains clean lines.

3. Thermostats that waste energy

The classic Honeywell round dial thermostats have a certain vintage charm. They are also easy to use and understand.

When it comes to saving cash, looks are not important. Manual thermostats are notorious for wasting energy and money because they require you to manually adjust the temperature. If you have ever forgotten to lower the thermostat before leaving for work or a long trip, you know how expensive it is to have your HVAC system pump heated air in an unoccupied home.

After: Smart Programmable Thermostat

Install a programmable thermometer if you want to do a quick remodel in less than an hr.

These smart digital thermostats allow you to program your heating and cooling system to come on or off during specific times of the day or night. Most thermostats have a holiday setting that allows you to reduce your HVAC system’s use during long absences.

4. Before: Dated Brickwork

Should you paint brick? This debate is so lively because once you paint brick it is almost impossible to reverse. Removing the paint from bricks and restoring them to their original condition is almost impossible.

What if your brick is so old and ugly that you can’t stand to look at it? This homeowner was one of them. The sheer size of the fire place only made matters worse.

After: Fresh Brick Painting

It is not difficult to paint brick. This owner admits to having done little prep work and only painting what could be rolled. The result is an fireplace with a fresh look. She was able reduce the size of the fireplace by choosing a lighter color.

5. Before: Tired Bathroom Nook

A bathroom nook is a must for small bathrooms or powder room. The bathroom vanity should be wedged in this space due to the tight walls and limited space.

The cabinets were chipped and the yellow wall was garish. This nook was not able to be enlarged due to the size of this bathroom. It still needed some decorative help.

After: Inspired Bathroom Nook

You don’t need to spend a lot of money or time to renovate your bathroom nook. You can paint your bathroom cabinets for less than the cost of a nice dinner out. You can also install new hardware, repaint the walls, change the vanity light and add other decor.

6. Before: Neglected Patio

You are not the only one who has ever wished that your patio was better.

Patios are a central meeting place. Patios are a great place to gather with friends and family for drinks, barbecues, dog dates or whatever you want. When the patio is cluttered with neglected plants and not very attractive, no one wants it.

After: Remodeled Patio

Install new concrete pavers in order to create a sharp new patio area. Add a portable Firepit for a focal point. The cheapest way to spruce up your patio is by pruning back overgrown foliage.


  • What is the difference between remodeling a home and updating it?A remodel could include tearing down a wall, or changing the layout in the kitchen. An update might be as simple as replacing the light fixtures or painting the walls for a modern look.
  • When do you require a permit for a home renovation?You will need a permit if, during a remodel, you are moving or adding more plumbing or electricity, or removing or moving walls. If you are planning a large remodeling project, check with your local building department or a contractor.
  • What home renovations increase resale values the most?Remodeling your kitchen and bathroom will increase the value of your home when you decide to sell it.