Three Easy Ways to Get Big Design Impact from a Small(er) Tax Refund

Every year between January 1 and April 15, millions of Americans have the taxpayer's equivalent of a lottery fantasy and daydream about how to use their tax refund. A popular option -- one that also reaps long-term rewards -- is showing the family home a little love with improvements and repairs.

When there are changes in tax laws, however, some taxpayers are surprised to learn that their refund is a bit less than expected. Though this may be a disappointment for those with grand renovation plans, the good news is that it is still possible to pack a big design punch without breaking the bank!

How, you may ask? Here are three quick and affordable solutions!

Perk It up with Paint

From the front door to the powder room to kitchen cabinets, paint is a great way to not only refresh your home's appearance for the short term but also experiment with color. Choosing a small space for a fresh coat of paint gives you the freedom to try something new without making grand changes throughout your home.

Pro tip: whether you're partial to neutrals or eager to try Pantone's latest color of the year, a wealth of apps and websites allow for previews before a single drop of paint is applied. Try before you buy!

Reach for New Handles

Let's be honest: just about every homeowner or renter who has lived in a Mid-Century home has faced the dilemma of having cabinets with these drawer pulls and cabinet handles:

If your cabinets and drawers are in good shape, new handles and pulls can provide a quick update not only in appearance, but also in functionality. With many homeowners choosing to age in place, new handles -- such as "D" or "loop" styles -- are easier to grasp and allow multiple generations of family members to enjoy cooking and other kitchen activities. Pro tip: for an easier DIY install, bring an existing handle or pull when shopping to ensure that the spacing of the holes on the new handles matches the holes already drilled in your cabinet doors and drawers!

Accentuate with Accessories

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to give a fresh look to your space is with new accessories. For a bit of extra pizzazz, why not choose pillows or a fun rug in a bright color to enhance your current décor? For example, yellow pillows paired with a neutral sofa and walls can bring the outdoors in and remind you and your family of sunshine and spring daffodils.

If you're feeling a little more adventurous, choose accessories in a complementary color: red/green, blue/orange and yellow/purple are opposites on the traditional color wheel. Pro tip: depending on the color combination, a little complementary color can go a long way. A general rule of thumb for good color balance is a 50/50 ratio for red and green, 67/33 for blue and orange, and 80/20 for purple and yellow.

We'd love to see your DIY mini-projects; feel free to tag us on Facebook and Instagram using our handle (@bbdsri)!

Until next time,

- Laurie

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