Stylish and Innovative Design Ideas to Inspire Your Next Renovation
Whether it’s a fixer-upper or a new build, homeowners are always dreaming up ways to customize houses. A renovation can be anything from making over a single room to gutting the kitchen. Whatever route you decide to go, it's always smart to be on the lookout for a little inspiration and guidance.
If you're tired of the same old Pinterest suggestions, here are 30 fantastic design ideas to help inspire your latest project.
Add Some Charm to an All-White Kitchen
Turn on HGTV and you'll be overwhelmed by how many designers go for an all-white kitchen. This is because white kitchens create a sense of openness and space that is particularly helpful when your kitchen is on the smaller side.
Even so, white kitchens can be found many updated homes — perhaps too many. If you love the look of them but hate the idea of having the exact same kitchen as everyone else, consider adding small standout touches like leather cabinet pulls, wood finishes or literally anything other than stainless steel for appliances.
Big Windows Call for Plants Everywhere
Cramped homes often need mirrors or light-colored walls to help make the space feel bigger. However, big windows can do a lot of that work for you by bringing in light and pleasant views to an otherwise tiny room.
Plants are a great compliment to a windowed room. Adding some greenery can create a bit of the boho-chic vibe and fool guests into thinking you know all about plants. If that sounds like too much work, skip the green thumb tutorials and pick up some fake plants instead. If a jungle room was good enough for Elvis Presley, it's good enough for you.
Create an Outdoor Oasis Without Land
A lot of homes in heavily populated areas come equipped with zero green space in the backyard (or side yard, or front yard — basically, it's all concrete). If you're longing for a little less gray, renovate your home to create an outdoor oasis.
All you need are some small trees or other plants (which can be as high or low maintenance as you want them to be), an outdoor sitting area and a few more potted plants on the ground. The added greenery helps make the space feel like a garden even though it's actually just a courtyard or other concrete area.
Bring in Color With Wallpaper
When you think about wallpaper, your mind probably goes back to the '80s and '90s when people took it way, way too far. However, you can still enjoy some gorgeous wallpaper without having your home look like a scene straight out of The Goldbergs.
Wallpaper is great for an accent wall or as a filler above some white beadboard. It can add a pop of color and fun, and there are so many application options that you don't have to commit to pasting it on (or the hassle of removing it if you change your mind down the road).
Get an Airy Feel With White on White
Some people love a cozy, dark home. Others would live on a sun deck if it were socially appropriate. If you're the latter, consider brightening your home up with a room that is white on white (like Kim Kardashian West, except without the creepy museum vibe).
Any room that gets some kind of natural light will only enhance the airy feel of white on white. Don't be afraid to use a creamy shade of white on the walls, some sheer white window curtains, white furniture and various shades of cream or ivory pillows, blankets and rugs to add some texture.
Go to Great Lengths for a Cozy Vibe
In Denmark, they have a word, "hygge," that doesn't just mean cozy. Rather, it encompasses that feeling you get when you feel cozy. Hygge is credited as one of the reasons Denmark is the happiest country in the world.
If the idea of living in a state of hygge is appealing, do whatever you need to make your home a cozy wonderland. Add a hammock by a window, install dimmable light fixtures and invest in a bed so comfortable you never want to leave it.
Opt for Light Wood Stain for a Natural Look
In the early 2010s, espresso wood finish was all the rage. Nothing was light, including cabinets, hardwood floors and furniture. It was the dark ages of interior design, but that fad that has come to an end.
If you moved into a house that is straight from the dark ages, consider using a light wood stain (or even that all-natural look that IKEA loves so much) to brighten things up. Your home will get an earthy feel and be a lot more inviting than a home with darkness everywhere you turn.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors Without Having to Go Outdoors
It's one thing to enjoy the beauty of nature, but it's quite another to actually go outside. Depending on where you live, going outside could mean having to brave the elements of snow or high heat and humidity.
If you're more of an indoorsy person, adding a four-season room to your house could give you the benefits of the outdoors without having to actually go out there. You can get all the sunlight, scenery and entertainment of watching your kids in the backyard you desire without ever leaving the heat or AC.
Make a Statement with Your Hardwood Floors
One thing that tends to be on every homebuyer's wish list is hardwood floors (or at least a high quality faux version). Because of this, however, many homes share the same look.
When you're planning out how you want to replace your existing floors, get creative with hardwood flooring to make yourself stand out from the pack. Find a contractor (or DIY, if you're into that) that can create a funky pattern with the install, or choose a color you’re not likely to see on HGTV. This allows you to enjoy beautiful floors while still standing out from the masses.
Invest in Self-Care
If there's anything that is trending, it's self-care. Self-care is important for your individual mental and physical health, and other people are more likely to accept it as an excuse over, "I need to calm down and get away from my children before I cut one of them."
A soaking tub is just the thing if you need some self-care. Unfortunately, most homes only come equipped with standard bathtubs (or garden tubs, if you're really lucky) that are less than luxurious. To take comfort up a notch, add the perfect soaking tub to your home renovation list — all in the name of self-care, of course.
Add Some Exposed Brick
If you're living in a historical area, an urban space or even a cookie-cutter home, some exposed brick will add texture and a little something different to any room. Many structures already have some brick — it's just a matter of digging through the walls to find it.
Unfortunately, most cookie-cutter homes are made from wood, drywall and not much else, so you can’t just go hammering into walls in search of bricks. Instead, contact a professional to help identify any brick walls in your house, or contact a professional to add new brick. Alternatively, check out some textured wallpaper to create an exposed brick look without the price of a contractor.
Bring in Pops of Color in Unexpected Spots
If you aren't into edgy home design and genuinely love the ideas you see in HGTV and Parade of Homes, that's still fine. If we've learned anything in the 2010s, it's that going basic is just as acceptable as being a hipster who hates all things popular.
Still, if you're looking to have all the beauty of basic but want to personalize your home a little, consider adding in pops of color in unexpected places. Make your kitchen backsplash vibrant, tile your shower with crazy patterns or even get some colorful rugs to lay in an all-white room.
Stand Out With a Bold Front Door
Homeowner associations are good for many things, but not so much for allowing unique home styles. If you're not able to change up your shutters or siding to stick out from your neighbors, a painted front door can provide a similar result in a more subtle way.
Go for a shade that complements your home's overall color. A bright teal door with muted green siding can give your home a sense of uniqueness without making all of your neighbors clutch their pearls in shock.
Design a Custom Built-In Bookcase
If you love to read and write or have a collection of DVDs that you can't bear to part with, adding in a custom-made built-in bookcase can completely overhaul a space in a way that shows off your personal interests.
You can go the traditional route of adding shelving around the TV or find other spaces in your home that you can transform — maybe even into a bookshelf with a window seat! Even a little bit of shelving can make a big design difference. Plus, #Shelfies are apparently a thing on Instagram if you're into that kind of thing.
Put a Twist on the Shiplap Trend
If there's one thing Chip and Joanna Gaines gave us, it's a love of shiplap. It's a beautiful trend and opens up a room, but it's also becoming one of those things that you find in every house (along with farmhouse signs even when the home is in the suburbs — but that's an argument for another article).
The style and texture that shiplap adds to a home can't be denied. If you're thinking about renovating and want the shiplap effect without having to go full-on farmhouse-chic, add a twist by staining the wood a different color, or even more than one.
Add a Drop Zone
Many homes are severely lacking in storage space. Closet space (including coat closets) typically gets dedicated to storing things that you need easy access to frequently, but not every single day. Without a coat closet, it won't take long for shoes to pile up and coats to get thrown over an armchair.
Drop zones are areas full of storage at the entrance of a house that combat coat clutter. If you're thinking of renovating your home to make things a little more orderly and clean, a drop zone can certainly deliver results. Plus, you can easily customize them to align with your aesthetic.
Make a Statement with Funky Tile
When you think tile, boring beige probably comes to mind. However, there are a ton of tile options available that can easily make some cool, custom designs — it's just that not many people jump on the opportunity.
If you're planning on overhauling a space where you can add some funky tile, be sure to check out all of your options, and don't just settle on plain ceramic tile. This is a great opportunity to add color, patterns and even a unique design to an otherwise dull area of the home.
Hang Some Greenery and Lighting
Have tall ceilings? Tall ceilings often add a sense of space to small rooms, but when they're in a room that already feels pretty big, they're kind of going to waste. If that's the case, adding a hanging feature can really freshen things up.
Consider hanging some foliage that dangles down to create a cool outdoor effect. Go for fake foliage, though — no one wants to bust out a ladder to maintain plants. Add in some twinkle or marquis lights, and you've got a whole new look for your home. Galadriel would definitely approve.
Ditch the Standard Staircase
Some home renovations are more in-depth than others. A simple room makeover requires way less planning than a complete structural change. But, if you are renovating the structure of your home, consider using the opportunity to ditch traditional design and go for something fun and unique.
Old-school spiral staircases are fun to look at but hard to navigate, plus slinkies can’t go down them properly (which should obviously be a consideration when designing a home). Still, a twisty staircase can add uniqueness to your home, so be bold and do something a little different if you're already down to the studs.
Add a Small Plunge Pool
Have you looked at dream vacation spots online and seen those awesome rooms at resorts that have their own plunge pool? These pools aren't exclusive to expensive resorts — you can have one in your backyard to use whenever the weather is nice enough.
Plunge pools are an excellent option for a smaller backyard when you want a water feature to enjoy but not necessarily for little kids to splash around in. They don't cost as much as a full-size pool, and they're great to entertain around.
Build a Greenhouse
Love plants and have a green thumb? Spruce up your backyard and build a greenhouse. They come in all different sizes, so even if you have very little land, you can still find a way to grow some flowers yearlong.
If your HOA shoots down the idea of building a greenhouse, compromise by building a decked-out veggie or flower garden in your backyard. It won't be as cool as a greenhouse, but really, what is?
Create a Cozy Reading Nook
A home should be the ultimate place to relax. If you like to end a long day with a hot cup of tea and a good book, consider looking for ways to add a cozy reading nook to your home.
You can dedicate an entire room to reading or even build a little loft that is only accessible by a ladder to give yourself ultimate privacy. Any renovation should increase your quality of life at home, and what better way to do that than with a reading nook?
Build the Secret Clubhouse of Your Childhood Dreams
Remember being a kid and building secret forts where you and your friends would have club meetings? It was an escape from home and annoying siblings who always wanted to be around you. Sure, it also flooded with even the slightest drizzle and completely deteriorated once winter came along, but it was still fun.
Now that you’re grown up and living on your own, why not build a secret (or not-so-secret) clubhouse in your backyard that can actually withstand the weather? You can create a trendy "she shed" or whatever your heart desires. This is what renovation budgets are for.
Add a Porch Worthy of a Rocking Chair and Sweet Tea
Back before fast construction and cookie-cutter housing, a lot of homes had big, beautiful front porches. Some wrapped around the entire house, while others provided just enough space for a porch swing and little table. Either way, these picture-perfect front porches are hard to come by now.
Renovating the exterior of your house to include a big porch where you can enjoy the outdoors and say hello to neighbors walking by is a fantastic investment. Not only will you have a big outdoor space where you can relax, but the addition will increase the value of your home. Win-win.
Skip the Stain on a Wood Staircase
Something about an all-wood staircase instantly creates a special vibe for a house. It says, "Look how pretty I am. Also, I clearly don't have toddlers because I don't have to worry about someone slipping on these and busting their head." They really are a statement piece.
If you're ready to rip up the carpet and go for wood stairs, consider keeping them a light, natural color instead of staining them to match the banister. It can create a cool contrast if your banister is a darker finish, and it's not something that you see in every house.
Design Your Dream Closet
If you have a big budget for home renovation and a large collection of clothes, shoes, bags and other items, consider designing the closet of your dreams. It doesn't have to resemble Carrie's from Sex and the City (the movies, not the small one in the series), but it can be made to work specifically for you.
There are closet designers everywhere who make a living by helping people like you design their dream closet. You can have a unique display for shoes, a rack specifically for ties and even a spot for your wedding dress to hang.
Create a Yoga Room
Have some extra space in your home that's not big enough for a bedroom but larger than a standard closet? These rooms are tough to figure out what to do with — until you remember that mindfulness, meditation and yoga are a thing.
You don't need a huge room for yoga or meditation, just a simple space that's big enough for a mat. Even better, you don't even have to furnish this room. Add some shelves for candles, a white noise machine, a basket to hold your rolled-up mat and maybe a light, and you're done. Easiest reno ever.
Deck Out Your Rooftop
Living in an urban area has a lot of perks, like being within walking distance to just about everything. The downside is that many of the homes don't have a ton of outdoor space, if any. Public parks are fun, but sometimes you just want to relax outside by yourself.
If you have rooftop space, create the outdoor oasis of your dreams. There are tons of outdoor couches, dining sets, and heater options that can help you create the perfect spot. You can even mount a TV to watch Netflix so you never have to leave.
Dedicate a Room Just for Your Pet
Look, not everyone wants to have kids. There are some real arguments against them, like sticky hands, potty training and daily tantrums. There are also people who still want that kind of love and opt to invest their hearts into a sweet pet.
If your fur baby is the only child you plan on having, why not give it a space that's all it's own in your house? You can convert a coat closet into a little dog space or go big and give your pet an actual room in the house. Whatever you choose, your fur baby will appreciate it.
Build a Coffee Bar
There is a reason that shirts, posters, and mugs have statements like "not talky before coffee" on them — coffee is seriously the source of power for a lot of people. Getting out of a cozy bed in the morning is hard, but coffee makes it a little more bearable.
Instead of fixing up a guest room that you never use, invest in yourself by adding a fancy coffee bar to your house. It doesn't require much space at all, so most of the budget can go towards buying a lovely espresso maker. This reno can literally change your daily life.