Want to refresh a builder grade or dated home on a budget? Here are some of my favorite simple home upgrade ideas from the last year!

Happy New Year friends. I love the feeling of a fresh year and am always motivated to do some organizing and project planning in January. But first, I wanted to take a quick look back at just a few of the projects we completed in 2021! If you are looking for simple home upgrade ideas for any budget, I hope you find this post helpful. Let me know which is your favorite, or what space you want to work on this year, in the comments below.

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1. Pretty Dishes for Everyday Use

simple home upgrade ideas | tables cape staples: dinner and salad plates, cloth napkins, flatware, centerpiece

Last spring I bought myself a set of stoneware dishes (salad size here) for special occasions–nothing fancy or expensive, just prettier than our everyday plates. That purchase inspired me to style our table more often throughout the year! This is a simple home upgrade that is both practical and budget friendly. Check out this casual tablescape for spring and summer or this cozy fall tablescape for inspiration.

2. Paint Those Interior Doors

How to Paint Interior Doors | Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore, greige paint, greige door, painted interior door and trim, simple home upgrade ideas

Later in the year, I got out my paintbrush to spruce up our interior doors! This was a simple home upgrade that made a big impact. I shared the greige paint color and products I used in this post.

3. Swap Out Area Rugs

Beige Ivied Medallion Area Rug, bedroom styling

This roundup of area rugs goes over sizing tips and a collection of some of my favorites. A rug can be an investment, but it will transform your space, especially if you are covering flooring or carpet you don’t love–like me! The beige ivied medallion rug from our primary bedroom was a follower favorite for the year. Check out the rug roundup here.

4. Simple Home Upgrade: Home Office

Bedroom Office Nook (and Vintage Art Gallery Wall) | small office space, hats hanging on wall, poetto vase, collected antique art gallery wall

2021 was another year for working from home. Additionally, my daughter started preschool, so I had little more time for projects and blogging. I gave my office nook (in the corner of our bedroom) a little refresh and have loved working here over the last few months. My favorite upgrade was the standing desk! See the full reveal here.

5. Paint Your Powder Room

Budget Friendly Powder Room Reveal | muted green wall paint, arched rattan mirror, vintage landscape art, leather tissue box cover, dried florals, modern bathroom faucet

Another space that received a simple home upgrade in 2021 was our powder room. A coat of muted green paint, new faucet and refreshed decor made all the difference! Check out the powder room reveal and budget breakdown here.

6. Simple Home Upgrade: Living Room

Simple Home Upgrades | Loloi Wynter grey charcoal area rug, twopages amazon pinch pleat drapes, cozy living room, fall aesthetic, neutral minimal decor

Back in January of 2021 I shared my design plan for our living room, and then revealed the completed space in the fall! It was fun to have a goal and to work on the space throughout the year. Room refreshes do not have to happen all at once, but it helps so much to have a budget and a plan. Here is the living room reveal post.

7. Upgrade Your Kitchen Without Renovating

upgrade a basic kitchen without renovating, white kitchen with subway tile, gray ceramic pots and pans, pretty appliances

Finally, towards the end of the year I refreshed our builder grade kitchen with simple and affordable upgrades. While I would love to renovate this space someday, it is not our in budget right now, but I realized that I could choose to enjoy this space anyway. A washable runner, pretty appliances and pans, and a fancy trash can (yep!) made a big difference. See all of the budget friendly kitchen upgrades here!

Whether you are working on an older home, a builder grade home, or just want to show your space some love, I hope you found this post inspiring. Which project was your favorite in 2021? Check out my 2022 home goals, and tell me yours below! XO,

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