Being stuck mostly indoors due to a stay-at-home order can be challenging mentally, physically, and spiritually. Many people find it just plain exhausting. Why not lift your spirits with some fun, easy, and rewarding home improvement projects?
When choosing what project to tackle first, we suggest focusing on one that will enhance your property value, save you money on your energy bills, and, of course, put a smile on your face. Here are five creative ideas to get you started.
Jazz up those walls
Since you’re stuck inside staring at your walls, why not give them a new look? Adding crown molding, modern trim work, and a fresh coat of paint can dramatically improve the look of a room without having to spring for a complete renovation.
To add visual interest to your walls, you could go with a bold paint color or use painter’s tape to create patterns or stripes. Another option is hanging wallpaper instead of painting. Wallpaper is making a comeback thanks to home improvement shows. It’s a do-it-yourself project anyone can tackle – it just requires some patience and attention to detail.
Add personality to your kitchen
Looking to spice up your kitchen without laying out a lot of cash? Adding or updating a backsplash is a smart choice. For as little as $100, you can enhance the look of your kitchen and customize it to fit your personality. More than 400 different styles and sizes of tile are available, ranging from classic subway to natural stone and metal. While a new backsplash certainly adds pizazz to your kitchen, it also adds more functionality and emphasizes your countertops, cabinets, and appliances too.
Installation is a fairly simple process, but it’s also tedious and time-intensive. Peel-and-stick tiles save time and eliminate much of the mess. Two pitfalls you should be wary of – 1) Not taking the time to prepare and lay out a template, as this can result in irregular lines or spaces, and 2) Not wiping grout off completely, which once dried can result in a haze that is extremely difficult to remove.
Lighten up those rooms
What better way to brighten up your spirits than with new lights and ceiling fans? They’re easy and cost-effective ways to update any room’s style. You’ll also save on your energy bill. Electricity-sipping LED lights come in many contemporary and bold styles, and dimmable bulbs allow you to customize a room’s ambiance.
It’s essential to be very careful when dealing with electrical wiring and fixtures. Read the installation instructions thoroughly and be sure the power to the room is turned off at the breaker box. Be sure that ceiling fan is installed correctly, so it isn’t loose or wobbly, which is both a safety and electrical hazard.
Turn a dull door into classy decor
Sometimes it’s the most often-used parts of your home that are noticed the least. Consider the doors in your home – they’re everywhere. Upon inspection, though, scratches, cracks, tired hinges, and outdated styles are pretty hard to miss. If your home is older and your doors and hardware are original, there’s a good chance they’re letting the place down visually and maybe even functionally.
Replacing interior doors is a relatively easy and affordable way to update your home’s look. You may not need an expensive remodel. Doors with a unique or more modern look than what you have can dramatically lift an area’s visual appeal.
There are a lot of options you might not even be thinking about. For example, double doors are much more functional and attractive than bi-fold or sliding doors, while French-style doors add natural light and architectural interest to a space.
A trend currently concerns not so much the door, but its hardware. Homeowners are choosing to update hinges and doorknobs with more modern finishes like aged bronze or brushed nickel or aged bronze.
Beware that while installing interior doors can be a do-it-yourself job, it can quickly become a bigger job than expected, especially in older homes. Most new doors are not going to fall right into place. The replacement will likely involve cutting, trimming, and shaping the existing doorway to fit, and sometimes more extensive modifications are needed. Do your homework, know your budget, and devote some forethought to what you like. And as the saying goes, measure at least twice, and cut once.
Make that drab bathroom into a fab retreat
The pandemic-induced toilet paper shortage is no laughing matter, but you’ll smile from ear to ear after turning your boring bathroom into a spa-level retreat. Replace that old faucet, re-grout or upgrade that grungy tile, or add a fresh coat of paint. They’re all relatively easy projects for the do-it-yourselfer. However, more ambitious jobs like replacing your worn-out tub with a modern shower enclosure might be better left to the professionals.
While a complete remodel may be a bigger investment, it’s worth considering, especially in an older home. Many older homes weren’t built using mold-resistant drywall, so if you’re going to invest in a bathroom upgrade, that’s arguably the best place to start. Knowing what’s going on behind those walls is essential before you spend money making expensive updates.
Also, there’s a lot of plumbing involved with replacing bathtubs, sinks, and toilets, and it may require an expert to ensure it’s done right. Once the walls are finished and closed up, a small leak can go unnoticed for a long time, causing severe damage and possibly another remodel.
With all of these home-improvement ideas, if you’re going to invest time and money – do it right the first time. The satisfaction and enjoyment of doing the job right the first time will be something you benefit from throughout your time stuck at home. Make the most of it!