Fake it until you make it with these pro tips.

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Renovating your home to suit your needs and style might be the ultimate design goal, but for many, it's more of a pie-in-the-sky dream than a reality. Not only does renovating your space require a lot of time, but it's also pricey. And, if you live in a rental, renovating your space might be in direct violation of your lease.

The good news is you don't have to undergo a full-blown renovation to make your space feel somewhat new. To help, six designers share their favorite, affordable ways to breathe a second life into your space.

White dining room with periwinkle cabinets and mid century dining chairs.
Credit: Sarah Stacey Design

Enlist an Unconventional Pop of Color

It's amazing how a fresh coat of paint can truly change the vibe of your space. But, while you might think to spring for a versatile neutral, Texas-based designer Sarah Stacey encourages you to think outside of the box.

"Teal is such an easy paint color to work with," she explains. "You can use either of these on walls or on cabinets to give the illusion of a brand-new space!"

For the perfect pop, Stacey recommends Benjamin Moore's Dark Harbor and Sherwin-Williams' Riverway.

Or, if you want to take your pop of color to new heights, Houston-based designer Mary Patton recommends going big—especially in the bedroom.

"Bedrooms can look newly renovated with just a few low-cost changes," Stacey says. "Try a bold paint color from floor to ceiling. Add character with throw pillows, a colorful rug, and fresh flowers on the bedside table."

Four-poster bed in a deep blue room
Credit: Mary Patton

Level Up Your Lighting

Most design enthusiasts realize a room's lighting can make or break a space, but did you know that your fixtures can affect your atmosphere, too? If you want to improve your environment—but don't want to completely blow your budget—this small tweak can make a big difference.

"Eliminate can lights wherever possible," Patton recommends. "Lamps, sconces, and chandeliers on a dimmer are the best way to go!"

To help spark inspiration, check out these bright lighting ideas.

Dining room with sputnik chandelier and blue-grey walls.
Credit: Raquel Langworthy

Make It Work with Decorative Moldings

Just because you live in a newer build doesn't mean you can't give your space a historic edge. According to New Jersey-based designer Christina Kim, walking down memory lane can be easier and a lot more affordable than you think.

"Try adding decorative moldings to create the look of a freshly renovated home. It adds architectural interest and instantly changes the feeling of even the most basic room. You can use picture frame moldings and paint the moldings the same color as the walls for a more sophisticated look."

Or, if you want to master the balance between old and new, Kim recommends experimenting with traditional molding patterns to freshen up a more classic space.

Scandinavian-style kitchen, white cabinets and light wood floors
Credit: Modsy

Hop on New Hardware

Whether you're making a home-cooked meal from scratch or heating up last night's leftovers, the kitchen is the heart and stomach of any home. That said, renovating your culinary corner is easier said than done. (After all, how much can you reimagine a room when there's a refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven to work around?) If you're looking for an easy, affordable, and effective way to fake a kitchen renovation, focus on the hardware.

"One of the easiest ways to make your kitchen or bathroom feel new and fresh is with new hardware," explains Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy. "Make sure you choose a knob that matches the same hole configuration currently on your drawer or cabinet, so you don't have to worry about drilling or filling additional holes."

Want to bring this hack to your own space? Unscrew the current knobs, grab a screwdriver, and screw the new knob into the existing hole.

"This is a low-effort, high-impact update that can really take your kitchen or bathroom to the next level without a big renovation," Wood adds.

But, why stop there? New Orleans-based designer Maureen Stevens argues this is a great hack to apply to every room of the house.

"Changing out those little things that are everywhere in the house," she says. "Doorknobs, switch plates, cabinet hardware, [and the like]."

Scandinavian-style kitchen with two orb chandeliers, white cabinets, bar stools, and a tile backsplash
Credit: Modsy

Go Big With Your Grout

Looking for yet another way to spruce up your bathroom or kitchen? As the saying goes, the devil is in the details.

"If your bathroom tile has seen a few or more years of use, you can make the room look freshly installed by applying a new coat of grout," Wood shares. "This works best with tiles that are in good condition."

While this hack is great for bathrooms, it can also work with your kitchen backsplash, too.  And, if you're unsure of your grouting skills, Wood recommends using an easy-to-use grout pen.

Living Room with White Fireplace and Large Green Plant on the White Coffee Table
Credit: Marlaina Teich Designs

When In Doubt, Accessorize

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a fresh coat of paint or DIY project to make your home feel like new.

"Thoughtfully-curated accessories give rich layers to a room," explains designer Marlaina Teich. "Think bright throw blankets and pillows and gold frames and mirrors."

To make this easy tip even more appealing, Teich says it's not necessary to spend a small fortune on your extras.

"Never underestimate the impact of flea market finds and family heirlooms to bring intrigue to a space," the New York-based designer explains. "An antique vase and some fresh flowers can give sophistication to a coffee table, kitchen, or bedroom."