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The kitchen is still considered the heart of the home.For a few hundred dollars, you can replace the kitchen faucet set, add new cabinet door handles and update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones.If you have a slightly larger budget, you can give the cabinets themselves a makeover.Rather than spring for a whole new cabinet system, which can be expensive, look into refacing the ones you have.Many companies will remove cabinet doors and drawers, refinish the cabinet boxes and then add brand-new doors and drawers at a price considerably less than new cabinets.Unless the cabinets are mica, a fresh coat of paint can also do the trick.If your kitchen appliances don't match, try ordering new doors or face panels from the manufacturer.
Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update. Simple things like a new toilet seat and a pedestal sink are pretty easy for homeowners to install, and they make a big difference.You can replace an old, discolored bathroom floor with easy-to-apply vinyl tiles or a small piece of sheet vinyl -- often applied right over the old floor.If your tub and shower look dingy, consider regrouting the tile and replacing any chipped tiles.A more complete cover-up is a prefabricated tub and shower surround.These one-piece units may require professional installation, but still can be cheaper than paying to retile walls and refinish a worn tub. Another option: Paint a wall three different shades of the same color.