Updating outdated dark wood trim in older house

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Windows: Previously painted shut, the single-pane windows sport repaired sash weights and new storms.

Landscaping: A fresh layer of sod and a narrower walkway mean more green grass and less crumbling concrete.

The DIY shutters are hung on hooks so that they can be removed for painting.

Shown: Nailed-together board-and-batten shutters cost only a few bucks each to make.

Money-Saver: "Cleaning up your yard—mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, sweeping the steps—hugely boost curb appeal and doesn't cost a thing." —Jill Simmons, Zillow Landscaping: Darci and Matt saved all their mature trees but swapped everything else in favor of tidy boxwoods mixed with rose and hydrangea bushes for a lush look that doesn't overwhelm the walkway.

Landscape lighting and a new gravel path make it easy to get around, even at night.

Simple porch posts and railings that angle toward the walkway help give the space dimension.

Paint: A beachy combination of vibrant turquoise, aqua, and white invigorates the front and evokes the area's history as a resort town.

Paint: Warm gray trimmed in soft white lends the facade timeless appeal.

This kitchen gets additional warmth from cherry counters, an antique island, gingham-check wallpaper, and an apron sink.

We've all been taught that it's what's on the inside that counts; but when it comes to your home, the outside is certainly just as important.

Off-the-shelf cabinets and inexpensive tile also helped cut costs.

Free up cabinet space, and create a clever spot for collectibles, with above-window shelving.

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