NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire Lists Elaborate Florida Mansion for $3.5M

The former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire has opted to pass his highly stylized Florida mansion for $200,000 less than he paid for it a decade ago.

He’s placed the stylish Southwest Ranches, FL, home on the market for $3.5 million, after having purchased it in 2011 for $3.7 million.

That price chop certainly doesn’t reflect a lack of attention to detail. Stoudemire’s Landmark Ranch Estates home is a uniquely decorated home with such fancy features as soaring, coffered ceilings festooned with chandeliers.

Those high ceilings offer plenty of room to accommodate Stoudemire, who is a towering 6-foot-10, as well as his many friends and family members.

Amar'e Stoudemire's Florida mansion
Amar’e Stoudemire’s Florida mansion

Great room
Great room

With six bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 8,675 square feet of living space, everyone can comfortably stretch out and relax.

Each room has been given the palatial treatment, with elaborate decorative touches throughout. Even the powder rooms have been intricately designed.

Powder room
Powder room

The kitchen is also the opposite of minimalistic, with custom millwork, an island and a peninsula, four ovens, a six-burner gas range, two dishwashers, and a large walk-in pantry.


The spacious, fully equipped outdoor kitchen is also a huge highlight. It’s ideal for entertaining guests, who can enjoy the lavish pool and spa, the immaculate landscaping, and the large lawns.

Outdoor kitchen
Outdoor kitchen


The two offices and a “secret” home theater, accessed via a hidden door, are also built on a grand scale, but the massive main suite is the crown jewel of the property.

Home office
Home office

Home theater
Home theater

That main suite features marble floors, luxe draperies, and access to the resortlike backyard through floor-to-ceiling sliders. There’s also an attached bonus room that could be used as a yoga room, studio, or nursery. It’s rounded out by a massive bathroom and a vast custom closet.

Main bedroom
Main bedroom

Main bathroom
Main bathroom

Yoga room
Yoga room

We aren’t the only ones in love with the spacious storage.

“The closet is absolutely to die for!” says the listing agent, Kim Knausz with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty. “You feel like you’re shopping in a luxury boutique in the Miami Design District. It has custom-built, chic gray cabinetry, backlighting, and stainless-steel sliding ladders to reach high shelving.”

Elaborate closet
Elaborate closet

The living space is divided between a 7,361-square-foot main house with four bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms, and a 1,314-square-foot guesthouse with two bedrooms and one bathroom.

In addition, there’s a wealth of parking on the gated grounds. After guests pull up under the spacious porte-cochère, they can continue to the nine-car garage.

Amar'e Stoudemire's estate
Amar’e Stoudemire’s estate

The six-time All-Star’s home is located in Landmark Ranch Estates, conveniently close to both Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

The path that led Stoudemire to his current position as player development assistant with the Brooklyn Nets is unique in the NBA. He played for four NBA squads before persistent knee issues forced him to retire from the league in 2016.

He also played professional basketball in China and Israel. He has earned dual American/Israel citizenship, and is the partial owner of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team.

His career highlights include being named NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003, and a brilliant beginning to his career with the Phoenix Suns. Off the court, Stoudemire has appeared in TV series including “Law & Order: SVU,” “Entourage,” “Sesame Street,” and  “The Mindy Project.” He’s also appeared in the films “MacGruber,” “New Year’s Eve,” and “Trainwreck.”


34 Affordable Ways to Refresh Your Home in the New Year

Woman with plant at home
Undrey /

With a new year now underway, there’s no better time to give your home a makeover and get off to a fresh start.

While you may not have the budget to do a major remodel, there are still ways to make your home look good on the cheap.

Following are some great options for sprucing up your digs without spending an entire paycheck.

1. Add indoor plants

Woman reading a book
Nomad_Soul /

Whether fake or real, plants add pops of green throughout your home and freshen your space — sometimes literally. Live plants can improve the air quality by removing impurities, as we explain in “9 Houseplants That Remove Toxins From Your Indoor Air.”

Place potted plants near windows throughout your home if you have a green thumb. If you don’t have the time or inclination to care for real plants, look for realistic-looking artificial plants.

2. Create a cozy corner

Halfpoint /

Consider creating a corner that lets you relax and recharge. Find a quiet space and add a comfortable chair and a small table. Don’t forget a fuzzy blanket and comfortable pillows.

If you enjoy reading, put a small bookshelf and a reading light in the space to make it easier to get lost in your favorite book.

3. Declutter

Kitchen countertops
Anna Andersson Fotografi /

Getting rid of clutter can change the look of your home. You may not realize how having extra stuff on every flat surface and mountains of pillows affects the look and feel of your rooms.

Go through every room in your home and try to clear off most surfaces, leaving only essentials such as lamps or a clock. Remove extra pillows and blankets and get a feel for the room before adding anything back.

Add to your decorating budget by selling items you don’t need. If you don’t clear out enough clutter to hold a yard sale, check out “6 Safe Ways to Sell Your Clutter During the Pandemic.”

4. Swap out your hardware

Woman in front of kitchen cabinets
wavebreakmedia /

Adding new hardware to your cabinets is an easy way to change how your space looks and feels. Cabinet hardware is inexpensive — you can even buy it on Amazon if you don’t want to drive to your local home improvement store. It can completely transform the look of a room.

Unless you plan on drilling new holes, your new hardware will need to have the same dimensions. So, before you pick out new handles and drawer pulls, remove one of your current ones.

Measure the screws and, for pulls with multiple screws, the space between the screws. Or, take a piece of your current hardware with you to the store.

5. Change the artwork

Iakov Filimonov /

After a while, you stop really seeing the art on your walls. It becomes just a part of the decor. But your wall art can set the tone for a room or tie into your color scheme. Mixing things up can breathe new life into a room at a fraction of the cost of remodeling.

If you have framed photos, swap them out for more recent ones. Look through photos from recent vacations and outings and find a few images of nature that you like. Consider blowing them up and framing them to accent your walls.

6. Remix your accessories

Nikodash /

Accessories can add a pop of color or an interesting element to a room. Consider switching throw pillows between rooms or pull out any accessories you have in storage.

Add a new throw blanket to your sofa and experiment with arrangements for lamps, candles and other accessories.

7. Change up your lighting

Woman changing light bulb
New Africa /

Make sure you have sufficient lighting in all of your rooms to fit your needs. Add lamps to brighten up dark corners or shine a light on frequently used areas.

Switch up your lighting by changing up lamp shades or moving lamps around. If you’re up for bigger changes, consider swapping out hard-wired fixtures, such as entryway ceiling lamps or a dining room chandelier.

8. Install new door handles

A handyman replaces a door lock
Andrey_Popov /

Door handles are an often-ignored detail in most homes. However, having just the right hardware can change the look of your house.

For example, if you have old brass-colored door handles and you switch to a new modern look, your doors could get a facelift for less than $100.

9. Rearrange your bookshelves

remote job
Aleksandar Karanov /

Updating the contents of your bookshelves can have a big impact on the look of your home. Here are ways to do this on a shoestring:

  • Group books based on color.
  • Position knickknacks off-center on a shelf.
  • Mix up how books are displayed: Place some in horizontal stacks and use them as bookends.
  • Make a pyramid of books and add a favorite display item on top.
  • Mix framed photos and art with the books.

10. Add new storage options

Iakov Filimonov /

New storage options can add color and function to your home. Colorful baskets or boxes on bookshelves or side tables can hide remotes and other unsightly items.

Adding a storage ottoman or bench gives you more functional seating and a place to hide extra blankets or pillows. Spending a little on key organizing essentials can be money well-spent.

11. Change switch plates and outlet covers

Alexey Rotanov /

It’s the little details that can make a difference in the feel of your room. If you have old or yellowed switch plates and outlet covers, consider updating them with a new look.

Most hardware stores sell them for just a few bucks, so you can update the look of your entire home on a budget.

To add pops of color or extra polish, look for ceramic or stainless steel switch plate options at hardware stores, on Etsy or at Walmart.

12. Give your home a deep cleaning

VGstockstudio /

Nothing beats the feel and smell of a clean home. If you want a great way to update your home in the new year, don’t just wipe the surfaces and give the toilet bowl a quick squirt of cleaner. Instead, consider a deep clean.

Dust the top of cabinets, wash windows inside and out and give baseboards an extra scrub. Throw your pillows and pillow inserts in the washing machine. Don’t forget comforters and blankets.

When you’re done, your house will smell and feel squeaky clean.

13. Add some trim

Woman painting trim
kurhan /

Crown molding can change a home from ho-hum to elegant. Check out this tutorial on the This Old House website showing how to install crown molding.

If adding crown molding seems a little too advanced, start with window and door trim.

Measure three times before making a cut or installing your trim. If you don’t have the tools, some hardware stores will cut the molding you purchase if you give them the dimensions.

14. Spruce up your couch

Andreas G. Karelias /

Couches are big pieces of furniture that take up a lot of real estate in your living room. An easy way to update the look of your home is by adding a pop of color to the area.

This can be in the form of colorful accent pillows or a new throw blanket. If your couch could use a little more help, consider adding a slipcover.

15. Repaint a room

Couple painting a room in their home
sirtravelalot /

If you’re looking to make a big statement on a small budget, change the color of a room. With a few tips, you can paint like a pro. Repaint a main area such as your living room or a smaller space such as a bedroom.

Look through design websites and magazines for inspiration. Before you commit to a color, get a sample of the paint (most are $5 or less) to test it out. Put it on a piece of wood and hold it up to the wall to see how it looks in your space. Home Depot is one place to find paint samples and wall colors.

Keep in mind that a paint color when it’s dry can look different than it looks in the can. Also, the shade can look darker or lighter depending on the lighting in your room.

16. Paint your front door

Monkey Business Images /

First impressions matter: What better way to make a good one than refreshing your front door?

The color you choose will depend on the trim and color of the rest of your house. Consider going with a bright and welcoming shade such as blue, yellow or red.

Some paint colors even can boost the resale value of a home.

17. Add container plants

photoiconix /

Dress up your porch and yard by adding new plants. You can use seeds to start your plants in the spring or dig up a few perennials from your garden and arrange them in pots.

Look for a discount area in your local nursery where you can pick up plants and pots for half-price or less. Container plants are a great way to add a splash of color to your home. You can easily move them around and group them for a bigger impact.

18. Paint photo frames

Woman hanging artwork
New Africa /

If you have photo frames throughout your house, consider changing them up. Buying new ones can be pricey, so consider painting them instead.

Don’t stick to safe and boring options such as black and white. Instead, opt for a few bright colors to add interest and brighten up your home.

19. Add some contrast to bookcases

Elnur /

If you’re not ready to commit to painting an entire room, consider sprucing up your bookshelves. Add a pop of color to the back panel of your bookcases by either painting them or using colorful paper. This can be contact paper, gift wrap or wallpaper with fun shapes and designs.

If you want to do a trial run, cut cardboard boxes to fit the size of each bookshelf opening, and cover or paint it. Place it at the back and add your books and accessories as usual. This will tell you if you like the look before you make a permanent change.

20. Paint furniture

StockLite /

Painting furniture can take it from boring to spectacular. This works best with pieces made of wood, since the paint will stick to it better. Don’t forget to sand it down and strip any lacquer or other shiny coating before painting.

Doing a coat of primer can make your paint go on more evenly and make it more durable in the long run. Start small with a side table or a chair before moving to bigger projects such as a dresser or bed frame.

21. Add path lighting

Grisha Bruev /

Upgrade your walkway or garden by adding path lights. This will make the area safer come nightfall and add a little romance.

Look for solar-powered lights, since they don’t need additional wiring.

22. Paint exterior shutters and trim

Busy House Painter Painting the Trim And Shutters of A Home.
By Andy Dean Photography /

Bring the exterior of your home to the next level by adding a fresh coat of paint. Depending on your home’s design, a little paint can go a long way.

You can refresh your current color or switch it up to another shade within your home’s color scheme.

Short on time? Focus on street-facing trim for maximum impact.

23. Make a new headboard

Woman making a bed
wavebreakmedia /

Change the look of a bedroom by adding a new headboard. This project can be done for less than $50 while dramatically updating the look and feel of the room.

Either refurbish an old headboard or search for free and cheap materials to keep costs down. DIY Network has six ideas for simple headboards anyone can make.

24. Change your house numbers

Frontier Sights /

Your house numbers can set the tone for your home. From classic to sleek and modern, they are more than the numeric display of your address.

Search for new house numbers online or at your local hardware store. And, for something unique, check out Etsy for handmade options.

25. Add a chair rail

ET Drone Home /

Chair rails add elegance and upgrade the look of a room for less than you’d expect. They are easy to install, but require close attention to detail so they are level throughout the room.

Increase the architectural drama of a room by painting the wall above and below in two different shades of the same color.

26. Paint the ceiling

Ilike /

Most people paint their ceiling a boring white, which is why going for something different really stands out.

Consider a neutral color such as a soft blue or gray to draw the eye up without overwhelming the room.

27. Add mirrors

VH-studio /

Strategically placed mirrors reflect light and can make a room appear much larger than it is. If you have a small or dark room that needs pizazz, add a decorative mirror to brighten it up.

Or, add several small mirrors to a dark corner in a main area, such as the dining or living room. Update the look of an outdated bathroom by swapping out the mirror over the sink with one that has an ornate or fun frame.

28. Switch out your window treatments


Add drama to your space by swapping out your window treatments.

Switch up your drapes for a new pattern that ties into your color scheme. If you have blinds, consider adding fabric curtains in some of your rooms for added impact.

29. Rearrange your furniture

Monkey Business Images /

One of the easiest ways to make a change on a budget is by switching your furniture around. This could be as simple as rearranging your couch and chairs, or grouping furniture in a way that encourages conversation.

Consider moving some furniture from a bedroom and using it to mix up things in your main living areas. An armchair or a side table from a different room can change up the feel of a room and add a new element.

If you have a friend with an eye for design, ask for ideas on how to freshen your space.

30. Try a theme /

Going with a theme can take a room from boring to fun. Whether you opt for the French country look in your living room or a nautical theme in your bathroom, choosing the right accessories is key.

Go with a color scheme to tie everything together and blend it with the rest of your home.

31. Paint kitchen cabinets

Benoit Daoust /

If you want to make a big change in your kitchen and you’re on a small budget, paint the cabinets. It will take time and attention to detail, but the end result will be worth it.

Don’t forget to make notes as to which cabinet doors go with which cabinet to make it easier to put back together once you’re done painting. Also, group all the hardware for each cabinet in a plastic bag and label it so you’re not hunting down screws when reattaching the doors.

Considering remodeling? Check out the “19 Home Renovations That Give Owners the Most Joy.”

32. Change rugs and flooring

Monkey Business Images /

The floors set the tone for a room, so switching them up can shake up the feel of your home. Consider adding a soft rug to a bedroom to warm up your feet as you get up in the morning.

Or add an area rug to a living area to define the space and bring in more color and texture. If you’re up for a bigger change, consider refinishing hardwood floors or removing existing flooring and staining the concrete underneath.

33. Add display shelves

SpeedKingz /

Mix up your wall decor by adding display shelves to an empty wall. Shelves are easy to install and can display art, photos, small plants, favorite pieces from traveling adventures and much more.

34. Update your kitchen backsplash

home upgrade
Andrey Burmakin /

If you don’t have a backsplash in your kitchen, adding one can make a big impact. Even if you’re not handy, there are many backsplash options such as peel-and-stick designs you can add with little skill.

For those who have basic DIY skills, consider installing a tile backsplash that will last longer and protect your wall from water, food grease and damage.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.


33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100

Woman painting her home
Monkey Business Images /

Sometimes home improvements are out of reach for the moment. A kitchen upgrade can cost tens of thousands of dollars you might not have to spend right now.

Other improvements are unavoidable, but also expensive and unsatisfying at the same time — take a roof replacement for one example.

But if you’re in the mood to spruce up your home, there are plenty of doable projects that make a real difference and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

The following improvements should run you less than $100 but will help make your home look and feel like a million bucks.

1. Paint the front door

Front door on old brick home
1000 Words /

Painting your whole house? That’s an expensive project that takes time. On the other hand, painting the front door gives the front of your house a fresh, new look in an afternoon. It can also increase your home value, as we explain in “Painting With This Color Can Boost Your Home’s Sale Price by $6,000.”

2. Add a bird feeder

Perky-Pet bird feeder on Amazon
Perky-Pet / Amazon

Add a bird feeder for your feathered friends to visit near a kitchen or living room window, and you’ll draw a bit of natural beauty and song to your yard. A feeder needn’t be fancy — you will find a range of options and price points.

The one pictured above, by Perky-Pet, promises anti-squirrel features — and that is key. If left to their own devices, squirrels will consume all your bird feed.

3. Add path lighting

Enchanted Spaces solar yard lights.
Enchanted Spaces / Amazon

Add a little romance to your sidewalk or garden path with solar-powered lights, and you’ll also add curb appeal and safe stepping for guests in the evenings.

The lights shown here, by Enchanted Spaces, cost well under $100 for a set of six.

4. Paint the porch floor

Porch with rocking chairs
Christopher Edwin Nuzzaco /

Painting the front porch floor is an easy, cheap way to improve curb appeal.

Depending on the size of your porch, it should only take a gallon or two of paint plus the cost of a roller and pan. You can use a pressure washer to prep the surface. Choose a paint or stain that’s tough enough for use underfoot and that’s meant to be used outdoors.

5. Paint the garage door

Garage doors on town homes
Elena Elisseeva /

As with the front door and the porch floor, the garage door is a good place to make a difference with a fresh coat of paint or stain.

Once again, make certain to ask your paint store professional to sell you a product made for the purpose and material you have in mind.

6. Add mulch

Garden bed with mulch
Ozgur Coskun /

Laying down mulch on your garden beds or around the base of trees can quickly make your yard look tidier. It can also spare you a lot of weeding, prevent erosion, save water and, depending on what material you use, improve the soil.

Mulch comes in a variety of colors, textures and materials. Check out Home Depot’s buying guide to learn more. Unless your yard is massive, you can get plenty of mulch to go around for less than $100.

7. Update a light fixture

Woman changing light bulbs
YuryRyzhenko /

You can run up a big bill with fancy track lighting and other expensive fixtures, but there are plenty of less costly pendant lights and lanterns available to hang over a kitchen table or spruce up a hallway.

A great place to search for fun household items like fixtures is Cost Plus World Market, which sells this pendant lamp for well under $100. For hundreds of styles and ideas, check out the offerings on a home renovation site like

8. Replace the porch light

Olga Steckel /

Has your affection dimmed for the porch light that came with the house? Or, maybe you think it’s wise to install an additional exterior light out by the back door or garage.

This sconce on Houzz costs right around $50. If you are handy and install it yourself, you could add two for just under $100.

9. Make a chalkboard wall

Chalkboard wall in kitchen /

Chalkboard paint can transform a kitchen wall into a place to keep a grocery or chores list, and an art spot where family and guests can doodle. In a child’s room, a chalkboard wall is a pallet for art that changes as the occupant grows up. In a home office … well, it just looks hipper than a whiteboard.

Chalkboard paint is usually available at home improvement stores like Home Depot. If you want to get really crafty, make your own chalkboard paint using latex paint and grout. Doing so is certainly cheaper, and allows you to choose any color you like.

10. Add a fire pit

Teens roasting marshmallows around a firepit
Monkey Business Images /

You can make a fire pit in your backyard with simple pavers or bricks, buy a smaller, tasteful one from Amazon for under $100, or spend thousands of dollars on a gas-fed designer fire pit for your elegant poolside patio.

Whatever your budget, it’s nice to gather around a fire in the backyard and chat.

11. Seal or stain your wood deck

Person staining a wooden deck.
Dagmara_K /

Wood decks don’t last forever. But they will last a lot longer and look better if you stain or seal them every couple of years.

The cost of stains or sealants will vary depending on the size and surface of your deck. Ask a paint store expert for help choosing the right product.

Whatever you spend, it will be far less than the deck replacement that will be required if you neglect the original deck for too long. But it may require some serious elbow grease. Take a look at this Lowe’s guide to preparing your deck and apply stain or sealant.

12. Insulate water pipes

Pipe insulation
Wichien Tepsuttinun /

Admittedly, this upgrade is boring. But it’s easy, and it will save you money.

You can insulate pipes that carry hot water through a cold basement or crawl space with foam pipe insulation, pre-slit, hollow-core, flexible “sleeves” made of polyethylene or neoprene foam.

Before shopping, make sure you know the diameter of the pipes you are insulating.

13. Paint anything

Syda Productions /
Syda Productions /

There’s no quicker fix than a can of fresh paint.

Use it to give new life to dingy wood furniture. Try a new color in your bedroom or bathroom. Or paint the ceiling a soft sky blue.

HGTV has 50 ideas for projects requiring a single can of paint.

14. Update a bathroom faucet

Lucien Milasan /
Lucien Milasan /

This Old House says replacing an old faucet with a shiny new one is an easy project that takes about two hours, and the site gives step-by-step instructions.

Tip: Find a new faucet with the same finish as your other bathroom fixtures. Although prices range widely, you’ll find plenty of choices under $100.

15. Dress up an old sofa

Andreas G. Karelias /
Andreas G. Karelias /

Give the couch new life by pulling a slipcover over its tired old self.

Amazon has dozens of inexpensive slipcovers in solid colors and floral prints.

With any remaining cash, jazz up your “new” couch with some new throw pillows.

16. Update cabinet hardware

Ceramic cabinet pulls
Wings of Twisted Tapestry / Amazon

If your kitchen and bathroom look dated but you can’t replace the cabinets, replacing the cabinet hardware gives rooms a new look.

Shopping tips:

  • Remove one handle or drawer pull to see the number of screws and spacing required. Your new hardware will need to have the same configuration.
  • Before shopping, take stock of your room’s style and browse home decorating magazines to identify the look of the hardware you want. For example, do you want pulls or handles? Sleek and modern? Old world? Recycled and eclectic?

There is a huge selection of pulls and knobs on Amazon — including the ceramic pulls pictured above — and also on Houzz. If you are looking for a vintage look or trying to match the hardware on an older house, check out building salvage stores in your area.

17. Create order with pegboard storage

Galushko Sergey /

The old-fashioned workshop staple of pegboard storage is still a great system for bringing order to any room.

You can purchase and assemble the components individually. Or use a kit, like this kitchen organizing system. You’ll find many variations to suit different size spaces and needs — whether it’s a garage organizing system or a setup for garden tools.

18. Tackle carpet stains

Dragon Images /
Dragon Images /

Take a Saturday morning and give your carpets some TLC at virtually no cost, using a solution of white vinegar and water to tackle stains. Or read consumers’ reviews to find carpet cleaning products you want to try.

For carpets stained beyond your powers of restoration, consider using a professional carpet cleaning service. Have only the most heavily trafficked room done if you need to keep costs low.

When looking for a professional service, make sure you’re comparing apples with apples: Some services charge by the room, others by the square foot.

19. Reupholster an ottoman

Oleksandr Berevsky /
Oleksandr Berevsky /

Grab a staple gun, a little fabric and a simple piece of furniture — like an ottoman — and give it new life.

Brooke Ulrich, DIY blogger at All Things Thrifty, explains how to tackle reupholstering. Here’s a quick video with a genius trick for removing old fabric from furniture, which she says is one of the hardest parts of the job.

Shop for fabric and a piece of furniture with simple lines at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a thrift shop or Craigslist. Or search online for “fabric outlet” and “discount upholstery fabric.”

Another source: JoAnn fabrics and craft stores’ frequent sales, discounts and coupons allow for big savings.

20. String fairy lights

indoor fairy lights coffee tablet sweater interior
Alena Ozerova /

Having trouble letting go of your holiday lights? No worries. String up some lights indoors to cheer you up when the nights are long. Here’s an example, at Amazon, of copper wire string lights that you can shape as desired.

Caution: Read all instructions carefully and make certain that, if they’re going outdoors, you’ve chosen waterproof products designed for outside use.

21. Make a faux tile backsplash

NantukelPhotography /
NantukelPhotography /

This is more than a simple painting job but offers amazing results. A painted kitchen backsplash mimics the contemporary look of stone and glass tiles, minus the costly tile. The project requires a lot of preparatory taping.

For instructions and photos, check out those of the blog Reality Daydream.

22. Make a Mason jar lamp

Ezume Images /
Ezume Images /

Mason jar lamps are trendy. A YouTube video by TheSorryGirls takes you step by step through the process of making one.

If a single-jar lamp isn’t enough of a challenge, and you have plenty of Mason canning jars, look for instructions online for making a Mason jar chandelier. Stick to using found materials to keep your costs down.

23. Swap out your shower curtain, bath mat and towels

Bathroom with colorful shower curtain
Artazum /

There are so many beautiful shower curtains to choose from on Amazon and Overstock — functional bathroom art!

With this inexpensive upgrade, you might also consider replacing those threadbare towels with new bath towels. These few changes will improve the look of your bathroom.

24. Install a front door kick plate

Bobkeenan Photography /
Bobkeenan Photography /

A kick plate is a broad strip of polished metal used horizontally along the bottom edge of a front door to protect it from scratches, kicks and dog paws. Kick plates are decorative as well as functional.

Change your old kick plate for a new one, or install a kick plate if you haven’t used one before. Choose one with a finish that meshes with the finish on your existing exterior hardware.

25. Paint exterior shutters and trim

Serenethos /
Serenethos /

A fresh coat of paint or two on shutters and trim provides a quick, easy shot in the arm for your home’s exterior. Paint all of the trim or just the window trim. If you are short on time or materials, repaint only the front-facing trim. It’s safest to use an exterior paint color that’s already part of your home’s exterior color scheme.

26. Install new door handles

Door handle
Titikul_B /

Put attractive new knobs or handles on interior doors and closets. For family members who are aging, arthritic or disabled, make life easier by replacing knobs with easier-to-grasp door levers like these at Home Depot.

27. Make a new headboard

Everything /
Everything /

Craft a new headboard or refurbish your old one. If you scrounge for free and cheap materials, you can do it for less than $50.

DIY Network has 15 ideas and photos for upgrading headboards. This Old House shows how to make an upholstered headboard in eight steps.

28. Rearrange bookshelves

Evgeny Karandaev /
Evgeny Karandaev /

“Style” the contents of your bookshelves with artistic flair. Better Home & Gardens has inspiration and tips. This is a fun, creative project, so spend some time and enjoy it.

Among BHG’s tips:

  • Treat each shelf as a display, and then stand back and make sure all the shelves work well together.
  • Position some items off-center on a shelf.
  • Place some books in horizontal stacks and use the stacks as bookends for books shelved vertically.
  • For a designer look, cover the inside of a bookcase with fabric or wallpaper.
  • Don’t pack treasures and collections on every shelf.
  • Pieces of pottery make nice, solid bookends.
  • Stack a pyramid of books and put one of your favorite objects atop the stack.
  • Use bookshelves as a gallery for framed photos or art.

29. Rearrange furniture

Alex_Po /
Alex_Po /

Ask someone whose home styling skills you admire to help you see your home and possessions in a new light. Stay open to change and new ideas.

30. Add container plants

photoiconix /
photoiconix /

New plants dress up your home’s porch and garden and create great curb appeal. You can start plants from seed or relocate existing plans into pots to save money.

If you want to buy plants, your local garden store or nursery may have a half-price area from which it sells cast-offs. Often, watering and care is all they need.

31. Install new house numbers

Frontier Sights /
Frontier Sights /

Change out your old house numbers. Find new ones with an online search or at hardware stores. Or, shop for handmade house numbers at Etsy.

32. Give light-switch covers new life

A man flips a light switch
SpeedKingz /

Give those grimy old light-switch covers new life: Toss them out and treat yourself to new ones. Or, for a fun project that will save money, cover your existing plates with decoupage.

33. Give your home a deep cleaning

Yuganov Konstantin /
Yuganov Konstantin /

If you’re stuck in a rut, try using’s checklist, timeline and instructions for deeply, thoroughly cleaning your home in eight hours. calls it “spring cleaning,” but don’t let that stop you from doing it in any season. You’ll feel wonderfully virtuous for doing it.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.


Living Legacy: Making a Family Home in a Historic Mansion

From 800 square feet in sprawling Manhattan to 6,000 square feet in historic Nyack.

Noah and Dennis Brodsky didn’t set out to buy a historic home.

They were just looking for a place that could provide a bit more room for their growing family than their 800-square-foot Manhattan apartment. But as soon as they saw this Nyack, New York, home, they knew it was meant to be.

The Gothic Revival house hit all the marks they were looking for and more: It’s spacious with a gorgeous view of the Hudson River, and it’s within walking distance to town.

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A powerful history

Discovering the home’s history was an added bonus.

Built in the 1850s, the 6,000-square-foot house was once owned by Thomas Edison’s lab assistant, William H. Hand. Hand and Edison worked together often in the barn, making significant technological improvements to the battery.

The house was in excellent condition when the Brodskys made the purchase in 2014. “What we really spent time doing was making it feel like ours,” explains Noah.

They changed the colors, added their own furniture and built a nursery for their baby. As an homage to the history of the house, they replaced the standard light bulbs in the kitchen with Edison bulbs.

“That personalization is really where we put our energy,” Noah remarks.

Quirks and challenges

While the home has been modernized, many historic touches — like original handmade crown moldings and a maid’s bell system that no longer works — remain.

Noah says that they also find relics hidden around the property. For example, in the backyard, they discovered an old smokehouse and a rusted animal-pulled mower buried in the ground.

Living in a historic home can have its quirky challenges. Getting Wi-Fi throughout the house is “constantly frustrating” because of all the brick. And after the couple’s first chilly winter, they added insulation in the attic to help with the heating.

Tips for historic home buyers

Dennis advises overestimating maintenance costs. If something needs to be restored or fixed in a historic home, often you can’t simply call a contractor.

Additionally, the couple didn’t anticipate the impact that having a home on the National Registry of Historic Places would have on their insurance costs.

“But it’s a lovely house,” says Noah, and the two are relishing creating new family traditions in it.


Originally published November 22, 2016. 


Modern Design Goes Green in This Park City Mountain Escape

With a passive-house design, this Park City stunner offers energy efficiency with a side of mountain views.

Although the home on 635 Parkview Dr, Park City, Utah, couldn’t look more modern with its clean, angular lines and stacked appearance, it maintains a rustic, cabin-like feel that blends seamlessly into the forest.

This austere display is, in large part, thanks to the dark cedar exterior that was designed to mimic the vertical lines of the surrounding pine trees.

Built just this year by Park City Design+Build, the home — aptly nicknamed the Treehaus — is state-of-the-art in every sense of the word. Its energy efficiency is said to be two to three times greater than nearly any other home in the world.

The home’s interior is also something to brag about: Light oak floors, exposed beams and beautiful dark staircases dazzle in the abundant natural light that flows throughout the house.

The kitchen is especially impressive, with sleek white cabinets that contrast beautifully against a large dark island.

The kitchen opens up to the living-dining area, which has plenty of space to entertain guests and sits right against a sliding glass door that leads out to the deck.

From the deck area, gorgeous mountain views abound — perfect for soaking up that fresh mountain air.

The main suite upstairs is luxuriously complete with a steam shower in the bathroom and extra space that can be used as a home office or a nursery.

The home is listed for $1.1 million by Corigan Kushma of cityhomeCOLLECTIVE.

Photos courtesy of Kerri Fukui: Portfolio | Instagram