Home with Dean Sharp

Home with Dean Sharp

Listen to Home with Dean Sharp on Saturdays from 6 AM to 8 AM and Sundays from 9 AM to 12 PM on KFI AM 640!Full Bio


The Magic of Makeovers

The Magic of Makeovers

Big Changes on Small Budgets

Makeover vs. Remodel

Sometimes BIG things happen, but life is not really defined by the BIG. In the real world real lives are constructed from a million tiny moments. The most beautiful lives are built in layers. The most interesting people are built in layers. The strongest relationships are built in layers. And yes … the most wonderful homes are built in layers.

That's actually great news for those of us with limited time and limited budgets. We don't have to save up tens of thousands of dollars to make a difference if we learn the lesson of layers.

Design matters most, and creativity conquers cost. So today is all about the little things.

Ways to enhance your home's potential without breaking the bank. Many of these makeovers are not just for the budget challenged. Some of these layers need to be in every home, whether you only have $20 bucks in your pocket or $20,000.

And makeovers are also great “gateway projects” for the budding DIYer.


  • Update the toilet
    • options:
      • elongated v. round bowl
      • Fully skirted toilet
      • “comfort height" - 17”-19"
      • Bidet attachment
  • Remove the giant mirror, cut and reinstall with a frame
  • New shower head
  • Paint old grout
  • Rehab the vanity
  • Replace an old shower door with a ceiling mount curtain
  • Moisture resistant matte paint
  • Repurpose a vintage cabinet
  • Add a wainscot
  • Coated moisture resistant wallpaper
  • No windows? Go dark!


  • Trim the windows!
  • New closet doors
  • Create a feature wall
  • Low ceiling? Remove surface lights, hanging lights and fans.
  • Control a lamp with a wireless switch
  • Plants (or silk flowers)
  • Fresh paint
  • Wallpaper
  • Wainscot
  • Window treatments
  • New baseboard and casing
  • Small guest room? Demo the closet and replace with a freestanding wardrobe
  • Chalkboard paint on a kids room wall

Living Room

  • Ugly fireplace - black high temperature barbecue paint for fire box
  • Fill an unused fireplace with cordwood logs, flowers, plants, or candles
  • Turn your flat screen TV into a piece of art
  • Box frame around wall mount flat screen
  • Exchange heavy drapes for shears for elegance and roll shades for privacy
  • Camouflage outlets and switches by back-painting glass plate covers
  • Invest in great lamps, not recessed downlights
  • To enlarge a baseboard or casing without replacing it, add a flat moulding on the wall above and paint it, the old base, and the section of wall between all the same color.
  • Tall baseboards - cut base from sheet goods and add small topper


  • Paint old cabinets
  • Install LED under cabinet lighting in kitchen.
  • Make a kitchen roomier by removing unnecessary uppers and backsplash
  • Install crown mold and lights on those kitchen uppers that don't reach the ceiling

Whole House

  • Raise the curtains
  • Change recessed can trims to gimbals
  • Bright walls high contrast
  • Define space with an area rug
  • Mirrors are an age-old styling trick for making your home feel more
  • spacious, and they never fail to work.
  • Draw the eye upwards by placing art higher up on the walls, which will work to create the illusion of a larger space
  • Low ceilings - Flat molding 6-8" below the ceiling line and paint with ceiling color.
  • Buy custom HVAC registers
  • Warm colors shrink a space and make it cozy. Cool colors enlarge.
  • Thrift shops, not antique or vintage. Antique: a collectible item at least 100 years old. Vintage: A culturally significant item ranging from 20-99 years in age, worthy of being collected. Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.
  • If you're tired of plain, white walls, an ombré makeover is an easy way to make a big impact. This soothing paint effect looks professional but can be created with a little DIY know-how. Paint a warming shade, like this sunshine yellow, across the lower portion of your wall. As you reach the middle, mix the yellow with a little white and sponge on, gradually adding more and more white until the two hues blur into each other.
  • Wall panels to add detail and texture in a room
  • Spray paint the inside of the air-conditioning register boxes black
  • Smooth the wall below the chair rail and repaint as a wainscot.
  • Use a grinder with a wire wheel to age new wood.
  • Let more natural light into a dark hallway by replacing bedroom doors with privacy glass.
  • Backplates on door hardware and classic hinges with finials on hinge pins
  • Dimmers, dimmers, dimmers
  • Keep low ceilings white and bright
  • Revitalize old shelving or open cabinetry with wallpaper
  • Wallpaper for stair risers
  • Create a "wing" by installing an exterior glass door to the hallway


  • Thicken your roof by painting the facia a corresponding color.
  • Use broken concrete to create flagstone path pavers
  • Use old windows or doors to define garden spaces
  • Landscape light your neighbor's best trees
  • Carriage door hardware on garage door
  • Copper metallic paint on exposed hose spigot pipes
  • Upgrade the downspouts instead of the gutters
  • Grind, epoxy, and coat your own garage floor
  • Cover a boring exterior wall with trellice and vining plant
  • Create a diorama for windows that look out onto the side yard
  • Hide a garden hose in a whisky barrel
  • Rejuvenate drab stone, brick and concrete with enhancing sealer
  • Add wood surrounds around weak plain windows
  • Consider dramatic front door paint

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

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