Resolution:  Home Refresh

with Real Estate Expert Kathryn Thomas

January is the perfect time to invest in inexpensive tricks to polish up your home and refresh your décor on a budget.

Here are some expert tips from Real Estate Professional and Relocation Specialist Kathryn Thomas of the Kathryn Thomas Team with ReeceNichols in Leawood. A certified Accredited Buyers Representative, Thomas has more than 18 years of experience and has been a Five-Star Agent every year since 2006.


  • Paint is always the cheapest improvement with the biggest impact. When deciding on a color to paint the interior of your home, focus on one. One color throughout your main living area may sound uninspiring, but your home will appear larger, less cluttered and clean. Colors vary with natural light so choose a neutral yet warmer hue as they stand the test of time regardless of the trends and architecture of the home. 

  • Time for a kitchen makeover? The most expensive part of any kitchen remodel is typically the kitchen cabinetry. If you're not looking to expand the square footage, invest in new cabinet doors only. You can purchase new doors, hinges and hardware at a fraction of the price. A second option is to purchase stock cabinetry. Stock cabinets are pre-built, manufactured to industry standards, ready to order and a fraction of the cost of custom cabinetry. 

  • Skip the ceramic tile and use vinyl plank or laminate flooring. Its budget-friendly options today are surprisingly stylish and practical. They mimic the look of wood or ceramic tile for a great polished look without the expense.

  • Tired of your old appliances? Take advantage of seasonal sales and promotional periods to purchase new stainless-steel appliances. Some excellent appliance packages offered throughout the year include a range, dishwasher and microwave. 

  • Buy in bulk. Many online options are available to purchase hardware, lighting and plumbing fixtures. If you want to splurge on a light fixture or a faucet, spend it on the kitchen.

  • To spruce up a kitchen island or bathroom countertop, check out warehouses and companies that sell remnants—often on sale with a variety of granite and quartz options available. 

  • Quick tip: Changing a backsplash may be all the kitchen needs to update and modernize the space. A backsplash can pull together the kitchen without changing the countertop or cabinet. The cost is minimal, and the impact can be stunning.

  • Buy used! Facebook marketplace has become a great resource for lightly used decor, building supplies, appliances, lighting and furniture. I'm amazed by what people throw away that can't be returned, is sold at a deep discount or simply unloaded. 


1.Paint the front door and buy new door hardware for a cheap fix to freshen up the curb appeal and improve the first impression of your home. 

2.Trim bushes, trees and shrubs away from the home. REMOVE any overgrown landscaping to showcase the home. 

3. Purchase mulch or rock in bulk to freshen up exterior beds. 

4. Invest in new exterior lighting and light bulbs. Pay attention to the color of your bulbs as some can be very bright (LED) and others warm. Consistency is key to create a fresh, clean and inviting exterior. 

5. If you're up for the mess...spray, scrape and paint any old popcorn ceilings.

6. Paint old trim, imitation wood paneling and old fireplaces. Use lighter colors to modernize and create a fresh open space.

7. Use spray paint (specifically for metal) to cover old dingy fireplace surrounds.

8. Use beadboard as an inexpensive trim in powder baths, dining rooms or children's bedrooms. The product acts a charming little pop without draining the bank account. 

9. Remodeling the bathroom? Resurface the existing tub to save money and add subway tile surround. Classic white subway tile always looks good and is inexpensive.

10. Take advantage of sales and labor during off-peak months. When choosing to complete a project, labor is typically the most expensive part. Many contractors will provide discounts or better pricing if you wait for colder months versus spring/summer. 

Looking to buy or sell? Contact:

Kathryn Thomas Team

Chairman’s Circle

Reece & Nichols

5000 W. 135th St

Leawood, KS 66224

Office: 913-266-5422





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