14 Thrifty Products to Help Remodel & Upgrade Your Home
Home remodels, upgrades, redesigns, and refreshes are still at an all-time high, with the pending arrival of cooler weather and, probably, more COVID indicating to me the Hygge-my-home thing is going to be a favorite pastime for a while to come.
And if your contractors are like my mama's contractors (i.e., too busy or otherwise disinclined to call her back) and you're bank account is like my bank account (i.e., stagnating) DIY options, and particularly inexpensive DIY options for remodeling and upgrading your home are a welcome topic. So I've done my best (i.e., 4/10) to come up with the following suggestions of 14 thrifty products to help remodel and upgrade your home.
Note: Home remodel and upgrade product prices reflect what was indicated at printing. Prices, and available, are subject to change at any time.
Safavieh Monaco Collection Rugs
Square rugs, round rugs, rectangular rugs, runner rugs, my wife spent approximately 72 hours of her life - and probably shaved 3 years off of it - trying to find the perfect new rug for our living room. What she settled on, a little round carpet from Safavieh's Monaco Collection, looks exactly as it does in the photos. You know, nice. Expensive. Or at least a lot more expensive than the $80 she paid for it.
And - you dudes know I gotta say it - the rug really ties the room together.
FloorPops Peel & Stick Floor Tile
Peeling & sticking a hundred of these FloorPops adhesive tiles in perfect formation and alignment to your kitchen or bathroom floor might not sound like a very enticing Sunday DIY project, but...it sure beats gluing and grouting a hundred real tiles in perfect formation and alignment to your kitchen or bathroom floor.
FloorPops are a cheaper, easier, and less permanent alternative to hiring a contractor to install tile flooring in your home.
Artis Wall - Removable DIY Wood Accent Walls
Just another brick in the wall? Not me. I'm a plank of Artis Wall wood reclaimed from an old barn in Stow, OH. I frame my girlfriend's fireplace and add a warm, rustic accent to her living room.
Hey, it's not a bad trade for free rent. And...what's that? Oh. She would like me to add that I'm also really easy to remove if she gets sick of me, and I'll leave behind no damage, or even a trace that I was ever there to begin with.
BloomingTables Living Furniture
Based out of San Diego, BloomingTables designs coffee, console, and side tables, plus desks eager to "bring the beauty of the outdoors - indoors." Their simple glass-topped pine wood frames are plenty suitable for displaying your fine books, propping up your laptops, and holding your beers. But they're also ready to give life as a succulent terrarium. A microgreens garden. A vine jungle. A cactus forest.
Wall-Mounted Folding Chair
Who wants to play Hide & Seat? Three Friend Carpenter's wall-mounted folding chair is a gift to space-conscious apartment-dwellers and homeowners, and furniture design geeks alike. Make minimalists giddy, and people who thought they were gonna have to stand not wish they hadn't come over, every time you fold down the full-sized wood seat and magically create an extra place to pop a squat.
Guerilla Furniture Design
Guerilla Furniture Design author Will Holman believes you should never design anything you can't actually make (attn: Triton human gills, Zero Helicopter, 60% of all crowdfunding projects). The problem with that ethos is twofold: 1) Most of us are not born makers; and 2) Most of us do not have the access to or funds to procure fine building materials that we will probably just eff up anyway due to reason 1.
But there lies the essence of Holman's book. Guerilla Furniture Design: How to Build Lean, Modern Furniture with Salvaged Materials is a DIY guide for creating simple and inexpensive, but living-room-worthy projects from upcycled components. Yes, that's right. I smell a round of dumpster diving in my future too.
T-Rex Skull Shower Head
I mean, it depends on your definition of "upgrade," but I for one think a T-Rex Skull Shower Head is a super cheap, super easy, and super awesome product to help upgrade your home.
He may be dead and decomposed, but that doesn't mean T-Rex isn't still capable of spewing the stink off you. These T-Rex Skull Shower Heads are made on a 3D printer from high-quality ABS plastic, or the same plastic as LEGOs. (Tip: don't leave the shower head lying around on the floor.)
Bookniture - Furniture in a Book
You don't need to know how to read to dig in to this book. Open the pages of Bookniture, and where you might normally find a Tolkien story you'll instead encounter an entire stool or side table Gandalf-ed into existence. And yes, you can absolutely sit or set things on it. As long as you / they weigh less than 1,000 pounds.
Designer Mike Mak came up with Bookniture out of the personal desire to give visiting friends an alternative to sitting on the floor, without stuffing more stuff into his already stuffed apartment. And both his idea for and execution of these origami accordions in books are pretty damn brilliant. Made of cardboard and a double-sided felt seat pad, Bookniture pieces are lightweight, ultra compact when closed up, and as burly as they come when unfurled. Truly, they have been tested to hold up to half a ton of weight.
Slate-ish Wall Armor
On the surface, Slate-ish tiles look very similar to natural stone. They can be applied to nearly any flat surface area you might cover in the former too, including walls, fireplace surrounds, reception areas, and ceilings and floors. Their composition is strong (at least 6 times stronger than the stone they mimic), durable, and solid all the way through, so they are able to weather and wear naturally. Tiles are waterproof and fire-resistant, but still weigh less that a pound per square foot, and cut with standard woodworking tools. No special backing or added structural supports are required for installation. In some cases, you can install Slate-ish in areas it would be impossible or impractical to install the real thing.
Giani Countertop Paint Kits
I'm cool with Rolex knockoffs, dogs from the pound, and the drug store's brand of cough syrup if it means I save a wad of cash and still end up with a pretty decent watch / buddy / night's sleep. Why should faux granite countertops be any different? Especially when Giani's paint kits for existing laminate installations will create what looks to be an acceptably realistic aesthetic for literally thousands of dollars less than the real thing.
Nix Mini 2 Portable Color Matching Tool
The Nix Color Sensor is a portable color matching gadget the company describes as, "like the eyedropper tool, but for real life." It's for artists, for designers, and, most pertinent to us dudes, people using COVID as an excuse to redecorate their home.
The Nix Mini 2 scans any surface around you, and then sends the information to the Nix app to find its closest paint color match, or the digital values of the shade. For painting, it pairs with the Chip app, containing over 127,000 paint colors from a range of brands, such as Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams.
InstaTrim Self-Adhesive Caulk & Trim Strips
I don't know if I'd call InstaTrim fake trim for your household, but if someone forgot to fill in the space between your baseboard and flooring, or your countertop and backsplash, or ceiling and molding, InstaTrim will gladly close the gaps.
The self-adhesive caulk and trim trips come in a variety of common colors, and can be used both for aesthetic fixes and improvements, as well as for technical applications, such as keeping moisture from seeping through gaps at sinks and backsplashes, and preventing air infiltration at door and window molding.
Methven Aio Aurajet Shower Head
Shaped like a halo (wonder if it will cleanse me of my sins along with my sweat and dirt) the Aio's encircling water holes are positioned such that they spray water in a criss-cross, rather than a straight needle pattern. This design expands the shower head's coverage area without, according to Methven, sacrificing spray force. They estimate the Aio achieves twice the skin contact coverage of a traditional shower head, and generates up to 25% more spray force than the "needlers."
Also, the Aio looks real nice, and would create an instant shower upgrade for anyone still using the hospital-white (now yellowing) handheld that's been installed since 1988.
DIY Hidden Door Hinge System
If you've got the handymanliness and desire, save yourself a wad of cash by installing your very own secret passage to the Bat Cave. This Hidden Door System hardware attaches to a bookshelf (not included, you gotta build that too) to create a 24" to 36" inswinging or outswinging door. Instructions - specs and diagrams - for both building the door and attaching the hinging system are included with the hardware package.