Home improvement projects are a great way to add value to your home. They also allow you to customize your home so it fits your style and needs.

While whole house renovations can be expensive, many do-it-yourself projects are affordable and provide a high return on investment. Here are some of our favorite modern home improvement ideas.

Open Shelving

Open shelving is a popular kitchen renovation trend, but it’s not for everyone. Many people are hesitant to install open shelves in their homes, wondering how practical they really are. It is easy to keep these shelves looking beautiful with consistent dusting, but it’s also easy for items to get cluttered or messy.

Whether you opt for natural wood shelves in your home or painted ones, this modern home improvement idea can add personality to your kitchen. Shelves can be used to showcase decorative plates, vases, or trinkets. You can even use shelves to highlight your backsplash tiling. This is a great way to make the tiling a focal point in your kitchen and draw attention upwards.

If you’re on a budget, installing open shelving is a cost-effective option to replace cabinetry. Blogger Ree Drummond opted for a simple DIY project and created an eye-catching display that looks like custom cabinetry. Shelves can be stained or painted to match your cabinets, or you can paint them a bold color to stand out.

Another reason to consider open shelving is that it can help create a more spacious feeling in your kitchen. By removing upper kitchen cabinets, you’re freeing up floor space for other furniture pieces or appliances. This modern home improvement idea will instantly make your kitchen feel larger and more open.

If you want to go all out with your open shelving, consider installing floating shelves. These are built in a similar way as traditional cabinets, with the exception of being suspended from the wall. They’re perfect for displaying small decor items, like books or art prints. You can even hang these shelves above your bar or dining room table, allowing you to take advantage of otherwise-wasted space.

Another advantage of open shelving is that you can easily swap out or rearrange your decor as your taste changes. You can also use them to store things you don’t use frequently, such as oversized cooking utensils or rarely-used cookware. This can help free up drawer space for more useful items and eliminate the jarring noise of utensil drawers slamming shut.

Steel Framed Windows & Doors

As a modern home improvement idea, steel framed windows and doors offer homeowners the chance to blend a timeless, durable material with a design theme that is both contemporary and minimalist. The extreme strength of steel allows for a very thin frame structure that maximizes glass area. This creates a clean and clear appearance that appeals to many designers.

Unlike other frame materials that can warp, crack or decay over time, steel does not react to temperature fluctuations and can maintain its integrity even in harsh environments. Steel window frames also tend to be very energy efficient and can meet stringent building code requirements for thermal performance.

Hardware options for steel windows and doors are also endless. Fabricators can produce handles, operators and closing devices in virtually any style that you can imagine. They can also accommodate nearly any type of existing hardware, even if the original windows and doors are half a century old or older.

Due to their longevity and durability, steel windows and doors are a popular choice for historical renovations and new construction projects. They work well in a variety of architectural styles and can complement the contemporary look of many new builds.

Because they do not need to be treated with varnish or paint, steel framed windows and doors are very low maintenance. They are resistant to decay, corrosion and insect damage and can be easily cleaned. Most manufacturers use galvanized metal for their steel frames, which is a high-quality coating that helps prevent rust and other environmental contaminants from damaging the surface of your steel windows.

Another way to add a pop of modern color to your home is with a fresh coat of paint. While neutral tones are always a good option, adding an accent wall with a bright color can really make your home stand out. If you are hesitant to commit to such a dramatic change, consider simply painting the trim around your doors and windows to give your house a new modern look.

When it comes to modern home improvement ideas, nothing is quite as simple and budget-friendly as updating your lighting fixtures. While it may seem like a minor cosmetic change, replacing dated, utilitarian light fixtures with sleek and contemporary ones can really transform the look of your home.

Perimeter Lighting

Perimeter lighting is a great way to highlight a room’s features. It can help create a glowing transition between ceilings and walls or highlight the wall texture with soft, even illumination. It also makes it easier for people to navigate spaces and avoid obstacles without having to strain their eyes.

Adding perimeter lighting is especially important on larger properties and acreages. This helps to keep people safe by ensuring that there is no place for someone to hide or escape on the property. Additionally, if there are any trees or woods in the area, perimeter lighting can make it much more difficult for anyone to sneak onto your property undetected.

If you’re looking for a modern, energy-efficient lighting solution, look no further than the popular plaster-in LED perimeter lighting options. These types of lights are installed in a plaster-board ceiling and can add a subtle border to any space, subtly reinforcing other design elements such as the type of floor surface.

Choose the right type of light for your application. Different lighting solutions have different ratings and capabilities, so you’ll want to know the details of your facility in order to select the right product. For example, if your establishment is in a desert environment that experiences high dust levels, you’ll need an option with dust proofing capabilities. On the other hand, if your building is in a tropical climate prone to rainy hurricanes, you’ll need something that is submersion rated to avoid water damage.

Prudential Lighting offers a variety of LED perimeter luminaires that can be used for a range of applications. The Seem 2 and Seem 4 perimeter slot LED luminaires can achieve beautifully smooth wall washing with their Lambertian optic or light corridors from the perimeter using the Grazer or Asymmetric Room Fill optic. Additionally, the Stream Series perimeter luminaire from Gammalux has a single reflector that can be trimmed for a seamless look up to 200 feet and features an EZ Tele module for simplified installation.

Curb Appeal

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just want a fresh new look, a little curb appeal goes a long way. A little landscaping, a new coat of paint, or updated hardware can give your home an instant facelift. Increasing your home’s curb appeal also makes it more inviting to guests and passersby.

A lot of home improvement ideas for your front yard can be relatively inexpensive and simple to complete. Replacing old or worn door handles, deadbolts, and knockers can give your home a modern feel that buyers will notice and appreciate. A fresh, brightly colored front door is another easy upgrade that can have a big impact on your home’s overall appearance.

If your driveway or sidewalk is showing a lot of wear and tear, resealing it can be a quick and inexpensive fix that will significantly enhance your home’s appearance. If you want to go even further, add a decorative element to your driveway or sidewalk by laying down some concrete stain in a color of your choice. You can find tutorials online to help you create a variety of looks, including tile patterns.

You can add to your curb appeal by planting flowers and bushes around your house, front porch, or sidewalk. Adding plants with vibrant colors and interesting foliage will draw attention to your home and make it stand out from the rest. You can also plant flowers or bushes that are easy to grow and maintain, such as daylilies, hydrangeas, or lavender.

Having a well-maintained garden and flower beds can have an added benefit of attracting local wildlife, such as birds. You can attract these creatures by adding a birdhouse or feeder, as well as placing birdbaths in your front yard.

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve your home’s curb appeal is to weed and trim your yard regularly. You can also make your yard and walkways more attractive by adding mulch or rock to the flower beds, or by resealing your driveway. By taking the time to beautify your home, you can not only boost its curb appeal but also increase your property value.