9 Impact Reno Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank

We’ve seen a huge uptake in people deciding to renovate their homes lately and the design-build industry is bustling. If that sounds like you, and you’re thinking about making some changes at your place but just not sure where to start, then read on! We’ve got nine high impact renovation and design ideas that can help you freshen up your home, improve your lifestyle and enjoyment of your spaces… and all without breaking the bank!

Fresh colour scheme

Probably the most impactful thing to revive your home is with a fresh coat of paint, as it does wonders to help a space look bigger, brighter and more inviting. The power of colour is also transformative so it’s the perfect opportunity to update your home’s colour scheme and give it a fresh/warm contemporary edge.


Hot Tip – If you have natural timber window frames painting these out will instantly lighten and brighten your space.

McMillan Design - Landor Rd Project

Natural light

If your home is a bit on the dark side, then adding windows or bi-fold doors to your space will allow more natural light in and help your space feel bigger and brighter, not to mention connecting you to the outdoors, which has such a positive impact on our wellbeing.


Hot Tip – If new windows and doors aren’t an option for your space, then consider installing skylights to help brighten those darker areas (hello stairs and hallways!) and throw light into the core of your home.

Light fittings

McMillan Design - Double Bay Project

Whilst nothing beats natural light, the right lighting does come in a close second, so investing in good lighting is definitely high on our priority list. With so many lighting options to suit any number of design styles, finding something that reflects your style and defines an area (eg over a dining table, or kitchen island bench) is a great way to help lift your space.


Hot Tip – Don’t forget your light switch covers as these can easily date your home if they are looking old or tired.

Replace Hardware

One thing that’s sure to date a home is old, tired cupboard door handles and door levers.  Updating this hardware with more contemporary fittings is relatively easy and another easy win to lift your space to new levels. Brushed and matt finishes are definitely growing in popularity and are a great way to give your home a more contemporary feel.


Hot Tip – Whilst it’s not critical all hardware is the same finish, it’s important to think about your overall style to ensure a consistency through your home.

Window treatments

Curtains and blinds are another sure-fire way to transform your space from drab to fab. Whilst some window treatments can require more investment (eg plantation shutters), there are a huge range of cost-effective options that will be a sure-fire way to freshen and brighten your space.

Hot Tip –  Enhance your ceiling height, and make your windows feel larger and brighter, by installing curtain rods just below the ceiling cornice, or on ceiling-mounted tracks.


Whether it’s a couple of key furniture pieces or a whole room refresh, redecorating is a quick and easy way to makeover a room and make your space feel larger and more inviting.  Super important is to ensure you choose furniture and furnishings that are appropriately sized to fit your space.   Ensure you’ve got space for movement and flow through a room, and that you position your furniture to make the most of the features of your room – eg a view to the garden or a fireplace etc.


Hot Tip – In smaller rooms, select furniture that is raised off the floor on legs to create a more spacious, airy feeling.

McMillan Design - Nth Bondi Apartment


Kitchens are notoriously expensive rooms to renovate, but if your kitchen layout is working well and your base cabinetry is still in good condition, then it’s worth considering a few cosmetic updates to transform possibly the hardest working space in your home. From least to most expensive, you could consider updating cupboard handles, re-painting or replacing cupboard doors or replacing the kitchen benchtops.


Hot Tip – For a quick fix, new benchtops and cupboard handles can be a great way to refresh the space, but if your kitchen is screaming out for more then we recommend calling in the experts!


This is another space than can require a significant investment to update fully.  But if your layout is working and your tiles are in good condition, then simply updating your vanity, mirror and tapware can be a great, quick fix.


Hot Tip – If you are updating your tapware, check with your plumber first to ensure that new fittings are compatible with existing in wall plumbing.

Street appeal

Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to make a great first impression? The exterior of your home is the first thing people see, so if the paint job is looking a bit worse for wear, then freshening things up with a contemporary colour scheme and a new coat of paint is a sure-fire win… don’t forget to paint the fence too!


Hot Tip – Trim or remove any hedges, trees and plants that may be limiting light into your home, or look straggly and unkempt.  

No matter how big or small,  if you’re planning a renovation or update at your home, there are some things you’ll want to consider before you get underway.  First up prepare your wish list, then talk to the experts to get quotes and estimated time frames.  If need be, prioritise your projects wisely for maximum impact and when your budget allows, move on to the next project.

If you’d like some more advice or hands-on help with a renovation or design project at your place, then I’d love to hear from you!  Just drop me an email or enquire about working together here.

McMillan Desgin - Cable St Project