Home Reno: Sometimes It’s Just The Little Things (And A Moen Giveaway!)

We’ve been spending a lot of time in the bathroom lately. It’s kinda like a toddler magnet. Leyna’s really into using the potty, and splashing in all things that hold water…

including the toilet.

It’s given me plenty of opportunities to appreciate the mini-reno we did in there recently. We’re pretty big on that kind of thing here. We have only taken on a few really big house projects (like installing our own hardwood floors), but we’ve finished a lot of smaller ones that have updated our home with minimal expense.

We haven’t taken out any loans to finish our projects, we pay for them as we go, so I’m always looking for ways to get the most bang for our buck. 9 times out of 10, all we need to do to a room is paint (walls, cabinets, or both) and change out the fixtures for the room to look brand new.

My favorite site to stalk really great deals is Slickdeals.net. I have their app on my phone, and must admit I check it way too often. It pays off, though! Earlier this year I got a new solid surface countertop with built in sink for the kids’ bathroom for THIRTY DOLLARS. It was 90% off from Lowes.

Of course, once we got the countertop in, we needed a new faucet, which meant we’d have to change out the light fixtures, which would then lead to switching out all the fixtures in the bathroom.

I posted my “If You Give A Jill A Good Deal” predicament on my FB page when I realized all this was about to snowball, and my friends from Moen emailed me right away to say they’d be happy to send me a new faucet and fixtures. Holy grateful!

I’m especially loving this nifty Retractable Towel Ring that I deliberately had Scott install next to his own sink in our bathroom because it is obviously terribly difficult for him to re-hang the towel back on the towel bar after he wipes his hands. So this one just pulls from the wall on a retractable cord. It has “man fixture” written all over it.

Of course, they look amazing, and they’re 10 million times better quality than the builder grade crap we upgraded from. Then Moen was like, can we send you a fancy new shower head and another for you to give to whoever you want?And I was all, YES.

It’s called the Halo, and it’s glorious. You know, for the 5 spare minutes I can find to take a shower in peace.

And I’m going to do a quick giveaway for one of you. Since I have to ship it myself, the winner has to be from the U.S. Sorry everyone else!

All you have to do is comment below, telling me your favorite way to update a room quickly and cheaply. I’m going to hoard all your ideas.

I’ll draw a winner at the end of this week and ship it out with some of my Christmas packages this weekend.

Also, if you’re on Twitter and free this afternoon, I’m going to co-host a little Twitter chat with @Moen. Hope to see you there! (I’m @BabyRabies.)

Disclosure- Moen sent me the bathroom fixtures, faucet and shower heads at no cost to me. I wasn’t obligated to blog about them, but I love them so much – especially that towel ring- that I had to show it all off to you. All pictures and opinions are my own.Β 

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  1. Cleaning is always the cheapest update, and with two littles usually needed. Beyond that, I am always amazed what paint and a little well thought storage can do.

  2. First, I brainstorm ideas (paint, towels, picture frames,etc.) with my husband. Then I feign helplessness so he does it all himself. Best way to update a room! Of course, this all flies out the window when he deploys and I am stuck with all the projects myself.

  3. paint is, of course, the easiest and cheapest. not just walls, but cabinets and furniture too. i love a good deal on “new” used furniture and either painting or staining it. we’ve also taken down light fixtures that we weren’t ready to replace ($ wise) and just spray painted the metal parts and changed out globes if needed and what an update that can make!

  4. Ha! we just painted our bathroom so a little Moen would go a long way (I’m leaving that despite how dorky it sounds). I think the quickest update, however on most rooms it shifting furniture or changing little things like drawer pulls/hardware. (My monster is potty training too – lots and lots of quality bathroom time…. )

  5. My favorite way to update a room is re-arranging things. Whether it’s just relocating a picture or lamp, or a total furniture shuffle, it can really make the room seem new and fresh.

  6. Painting…we just painted our two older boys’ bedrooms. We did horizontal stripes on three walls and then an accent wall. It looks great, was relatively cheap and was done in a weekend! We really need a new shower head for our master bath as the builder grade one we got is peeling…a piece chipped off and landed on my head while taking a shower last week. I thought it was a bug and completely flipped out until I realized that it was just our crappy shower head dying a slow and ugly death.

  7. Paint works serious wonders in updating a room. If I’m really pressed for time then I like to rearrange furniture or swap lamps and knick knacks out from other room giving all of them updated new looks without spending any money.

  8. I quickly updated my bathroom this year with a new curtain, curtain rings, liner, and towels. They aren’t the fanciest (purchased at Target for a total of <$100) but it was quick & painless with a nice result!

  9. Painting for sure. And Craigslist finds! I just stole, literally stole, two fabulous nightstands from a woman who just didn’t care for them anymore so she was getting a whole new bedset. Holla!

  10. My favorite way to spruce up a room is a fresh coat of paint. We also will occasionally rearrange the furniture or add in something new like a cabinet or small table to change things up a bit.

  11. Well, we had some UGLY tile in our bathroom and couldn’t afford to retile the whole wall, so we got white contact paper and cut it out in the shape of the tiles and put right on the wall!

  12. Cute baskets to store clutter! I fought the clutter battle HARD for awhile, but with 3 little boys under age 4 in my house, it’s just a lose-lose situation. So I like to find cute receptacles for it all so I can throw it in and be done!

  13. Love to paint and change the mirror. I can usually find one with a different finish to update. Love finding them at garage sales and rummage sales. The mirror doesn’t have to be a typical bathroom mirror either. I love to re-purpose.

  14. (accidentally posted this w/FB comments)
    A while ago I got into a quilting mood and made a bunch of place mats and table runners. I had a bit of extra fabric left over so I put them into cheap frames and use it as a matting for pictures and paintings our kids do. I exchange them for different ones when I want a fresh look. Quick. Simple. CHEAP!

  15. I love getting furniture second-hand and then painting it to match the room. It’s cheap, and it gives me a creative outlet.

  16. New curtains! I change my curtains ever so often and it really updates a room. Right now I have bright orange curtains in my dining area. They add a much needed color splash.

  17. Cassandra Suarez-Hanson on

    I think paint is the quickest way, but a less time consuming way that I like is to change the colors, like towels and shower curtain in the bathroom or pillows and a small rug in a living room. Plus whatever little decorative touches each room has that can be easily changed.

  18. I have found paint, if you have the time, if you don’t a new bed set/comforter/pillows, rearranging the room and a lamp or art work will do the trick. For older houses new door pulls/hardware, light fixtures, and door knobs help tremendously!

  19. I am also a big fan of painting as a relatively quick and easy way to completely change a room. I also think that changing up a rug can completely change a room as well!

  20. Pillow covers! Changes the look of the living room in an instant and you don’t have to spring for the cost of the new pillows.

  21. I’m such an awful wife, simply cleaning a room and putting things away is how I update. “Look Honey, it is the dresser top that we haven’t seen in 8 months!” Voila!

  22. Currently I am contemplating staining our very light colored builder grade oak cabinets to a dark espresso color. I think that is a way to really update our kitchen and bathrooms but on our tight budget.

  23. The easiest way to update a room in my house at the moment is to “repurpose” existing hand me downs. For example, the MIL gave me my husbands table and chair from when he was a kid for my daughter. My mom gave me my vanity from when I was a kid. So I stripped the paint and repainted them and put a mirror in a picture frame and it completely changed my daughter’s room. Now I have plans to take her art work and put it in inexpensive Hobby Lobby white picture frames to hang on the wall. This is so I can switch out the art when I want to.

  24. moving furniture in a living room, decluttering toys/hiding them, and just overall getting rid of ‘stuff’ that has been sitting around in the way. It’s amazing what that does. Paint and some new framed photos helps a lot in just about any room. you might try move anything that IS on the walls to another spot in the house, or move tables to another spot in the house, etc. Get rid of an ottoman for a while, mount a tv on the wall, etc. all things I’d LOVE to do when we actually get all the trim and etc in our house done.. *sigh* but hey a new shower head would ROCK!

  25. You are already way ahead of me when it comes to updating a room. The first thing for me is almost always paint! Fabric comes in a close second and re-arranging the furniture is a good one too.

  26. My favorite updates are usually based around new textiles. So new towels or shower curtain or new rugs can completely change the feel if a room

  27. Cyndi Bernsen Brown on

    My favorite way to update a room is to paint a focus wall, hang a different wreath/art picture, add a throw rug, add throw pillows, and change the curtains/drapes.

  28. Nicole Placek Tankovich on

    It depends on the room. A fresh coat of paint, or a new way to put things away always seems to help. We installed a Deko grid in our bathroom to keep things off the counter, and it has helped brighten it up because there is less clutter.

  29. My cheap and easy update is just to rearrange the furniture. You inevitably toss clutter at the same time so you get a deep clean plus a fresh outlook on your room.

  30. Painting an accent wall, adding new pictures or vases with some color, even just rearranging furniture can change it up a lot!

  31. Anne Benson Salmon on

    I just move all the kid crap to another room. Instant makeover! I kid…sort of… Actually, I’ve found that switching out accessories and adding some touches of new stuff like fresh flowers, different pillows, and so on can help quickly and cheaply. Also, because I hate painting.

  32. Rachel Atkinson on

    Not just painting, but specifically painting trim. Especially if you’re going from off white to white like I am in my house, it makes a room look fresh and clean πŸ™‚

  33. Jessica Stehmeyer on

    Since I don’t item yet, and painting isn’t an option, I update with new art or photographs to hang, our maybe even just new frames and things rearranged.

  34. Rearrange the furniture, paint, change out your art/accessories. I’m a little ADD about the house, so I rotate through those three ideas a lot. But it’s cheap and usually requires no help from the hubs, so we’re both happy!

  35. Kathryn Vigness on

    My favorite way to update is to paint, but pick an accent wall. Whether that means a different color, a picture, or focus area, I try to envision the end result and find a practical way to get there!

  36. The right pair of curtains can really make a room. I have found cheap retro curtain at thrift store.
    Michelle W.

  37. I agree that paint is the quickest way to update a look for relatively cheap. I’m also into switching out wall art for photos and reverse!

  38. I agree that changing out the fabrics in a room can make it appear fresh and new all over again. I recently just got a new shower curtain and towels for my 1st floor bathroom and it makes me smile every time I walk in there.

  39. I’ve had great success with the rustoleum kits for painting cabinets and countertops. My new love is shiny square knobs in polished nickel to dress up the painted cabinets.

  40. We’re on a very limited budget, so I normally rearrange accessories, make new pillows, or change something cheap (like a tablecloth or shower curtain)

  41. We also pay-as-we-go with small renovations. Actually just did two quite big ones in the past two year redoing a really old bathroom (gutted, new walls, and new tile, left old tub which was okay) and we finished our unfinished attic which is now an office/play room for me to work from home. My tip for a cheap and quick update is to pick some fresh (low or zero VOC) paint and new bed spread/curtains/pillows. A rug can do a lot for a room too! In the bedroom, throwing a couple of sheepskins can add a nice chic touch (just $20 each at IKEA!) πŸ™‚

  42. Sharon Lacy King on

    I put mosiac tile up in my kitchen for a backsplash and put a fresh coat of polyurethan on cabinets. My kitchen has a totally new look for ust a few dollars.

  43. If you’re looking to update a room or home on a tight budget, some Habitat for Humanity locations have an outlet called “ReStore” that sells used or salvaged home goods such as appliances, fixtures, windows, doors, latex-based paint, etc. at highly discounted prices. ReStore is available for anyone to shop in and all sale proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity! Go to the Habitat for Humanity website to see if there is an outlet in your community. (I am not affiliated with HFH, I just learned about this store a few years ago.)

  44. I like to use paint to update a room. Either painting the walls, painting the furniture, or even just painting the trim or door, or all of it combined (in different colors) .

  45. Painting rooms neutral in the first place, then replacing bedding and towels are my favorite ways to make a room look new and updated!

  46. A new quilt or bedspread can totally make ove a room with minimal effort. Or it can totally start a snowball of a project! Lol!

  47. Ah, we’re redoing a bath now as well! It’s terribly obvious, but paint is my default room changer. Paint the walls, paint the furniture, paint baskets and trashcans and even rugs and curtains!

  48. A coat of paint, new curtains, and a new area rug have transformed several rooms in my house all for a couple hundred dollars a room and a weekend of work!

  49. Christiana Stafford on

    Rearranging some furniture and throwing on some new paint on the walls or cabinets can make a room look completely different. Plus, I like to throw in a few pinterest projects to add a little extra.

  50. My favorite way to change up a room is to change out the curtains and pillows. Also like to change accessories from room to room, just to switch things up a bit, on the cheap.

  51. My favorite way to update a room is definitely paint, and after that it would be thrifted or redone accessories and small furniture pieces.

  52. Courtney Farranto on

    I like to change out artwork and framed photos. It adds some new interest to the room and gives me an excuse to print some of the bazillion photos of my kids that I seem to take.

  53. The first thing I do to transform a room is to CLEAN it! It is amazing how much better everthing looks without the layer of clutter! The next thing I do is swap out a bunch of the photos in frames.

  54. I am going to with paint on this one. And of course new light fixtures and hardware. We “re-did” our bathroom, and just stained the cabinets a darker color, but kept the 70’s counter top (until we can afford another one) and got new light fixtures, painted and it looked like a completely different bathroom! Okay that and we tore out the 70’s inspired bathtub/planter thingy and put in a clawfoot tub (but we won’t count that.

  55. Kerrianne Kerri Noel on

    Oh I’m in love with the idea of a detachable towel ring! My way to approve up the house is rearranging. I’ve moved the living room furniture 3x now, maybe 4, since we moved here in July. The floors get vacuumed, I find most toys and… Well cheese stick and poptarts… the “no food in the living room” rule doesn’t always stick… I even let my daughter hang up one picture on the wall.

  56. Sarah Jenkins Macon on

    De-clutter and change the bedding. I hoard cheap bedding sets from target and bed bath then when I get bored I can switch! I wish I could cheaply do something to my bathroom!

  57. Esther Fancher on

    I’m generally a paint and fixture decorating kind of girl too. Other things I’ve tried are adding candles that coordinate with the room’s color scheme or inexpensive throws and canvas storage bins. I’m all about functional decorating!

  58. Paint, curtains, and new rugs can make a room look brand new!
    Sometimes I will move furniture from different rooms (ie move a lamp from office to family room), and it can give a new look to a room without having to buy new things.

  59. Paint is a good way, rearranging furniture makes an old room feel new and different, changing out wall art, and sometimes adding or changing your pop of color can make a big difference.

  60. I like to paint and add a few new accessories – new throw pillows, a new rug, colorful artwork. But of course, I sometimes have trouble committing to a paint color and end up agonizing over the decision, which means the room all too often just stays the same! I need to just make a decision and go with it…paint is easy to change!

  61. a cheap, easy way to liven up a room would be to paint the ceilings a fresh coat of white — and if you still have energy, the trim around the windows and floor boards. And hang some pictures! versus leaning them against the wall, waiting to be hung. : )

  62. I agree with rearranging furniture and adding a few new accessories. A good cleaning and purging of stuff helps too~or the thought of doing it makes me suddenly very content with what we already have.

  63. My favorite way to update a room is……clean it. It’s a totally new room when kids toys are not all over the place. Lol

  64. Oh wow, what a great giveaway! Your bathroom looks great! My favorite way to instantly spruce up a room is with a new coat of paint.

  65. Paint! I first get samples of the color I think I like because I almost always change the color just a little once I get it on the wall.

  66. Changing out accessories is my favorite. Nothing like new pillows on the couch and something sparkly for the shelf to freshen things up quickly.

  67. Emily Robinson on

    New throw pillows and blankets, rearranging the furniture, changing out the drapes, a new rug or a fresh coat of paint!

  68. Taking a car load of toys out of the room and scrubbing crayon off the walls/tv/fireplace/dog seems to always spruce my house up! πŸ™‚

  69. Updating a room quickly and cheaply for us consists of rearranging the furniture and at times simply de-cluttering!

  70. I love new curtains, pillows, and new paint to freshen up a room. Or, just taking away all the toys and vacuuming will do it too.

  71. My favorite way to update a bathroom is the faucet fixtures, and the cabinet hardware! That and a new coat of paint a room look brand new!

  72. If I don’t have time to paint, I like to rearrange the furniture! Quick, easy, and can totally change the look of a room.

  73. Love, love, love a fresh coat of paint!! And right behind that is new fixtures and hardware! On the cheaper side though, would be adding some new pictures, either frames or canvases.

  74. My house is seriously 70s. Hand texturing the walls completely changes the whole feel of a room. And its very cheap, fast, and easy-as long as you don’t want it to be too perfect! Followed by a fresh coat of paint, obviously!

  75. change of paint, and updating accessories. Just put new pillow covers over my current throw pillows in the living room and what a huge difference it makes!

  76. Paint, curtains, lights. All quick, easy, relatively inexpensive updates to a room. Of course, I like to go for the huge, gut the kitchen and rebuild projects too (just did that a year ago, and I’m still recovering, emotionally).

  77. Elvera Dillard on

    My favorite easy update for a room are throw pillows! You can change them out with the seasons/trends and not spend a lot of money!

  78. Kristina Marie Buckley on

    I really love the way a faux-wainscot looks. Really simple, really cheap, minimal painting! TOTALLY changes a room! Saw the idea on Pinterest of course!

  79. Christine Greene Sonsini on

    A new coat of paint and some accessories! Sometimes I even rearrange the furniture or change out a piece or 2. I have just started renovating my bathroom and love this shower head! Hope I get picked!

  80. Abbey Jo Glenna on

    Paint is obvious, but simply switching out pictures in frames or items on a shelf seems to make a huge difference in my small house. πŸ™‚

  81. I wish I could do it more often, but for me it has to be flowers. Fresh flowers change the feel of a room and totally uplifts my mood too.

  82. Annalisa Torres Petersen on

    More often than not we just rearrange the furniture when we’re looking to mix things up a bit. Cost: free. And its helpful to disturb the clutter that collects as well.

  83. I stalk eBay for name brand fixtures. I’ve purchased door knobs, faucets and more for far less than what Home Depot charges. And I also love Moen! I actually had an issue with one of the towel racks that was installed in our house when it was built in 2007 and they’re sending out another free of charge even though we aren’t the original owners of the house.

  84. Melissa Calvo Fogerty on

    My most recent cheap and easy update is a low storage cube shelf from Target to organize all of the kids’ (ages 3 and 1) toys where they can reach them and *hopefully* help put them away.

  85. Victoria Semouchtchak on

    Change the bedding, update the curtains or rearrange the furniture, add some flowers or a pop of color and you are all set.

  86. Hey, not sure if this giveaway is over… but I’mma comment anyway. πŸ™‚ I recently discovered the absolute JOY of painting a room with that paint & primer in one formula. Seriously, I was joyful over painting and that does NOT happen! That stuff is so worth the extra dollars!

  87. Well, right now – get a big chest with a lid. Put all the toys/socks/random items into it. Voila! Brand new room. πŸ™‚

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