6 Surprisingly Easy Home Upgrades You Can Accomplish in an Afternoon
These mini makeovers are seriously luxe.
Creating the home of your dreams can feel like a full-time job in addition to, well, your actual full-time job. The best way to get a handle on that panicked, overwhelmed feeling is to start small. Seriously, never underestimate the satisfaction that small home projects can bring. Breaking a larger project down into small steps not only makes it feel more manageable, but the impact these little changes have will motivate you to do more. Here are six mini home makeovers that can be accomplished in the span of an afternoon, yet still offer a show-stopping effect.
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Subtle and less of a commitment than wallpapering an entire room, try adding just a touch of patterned wallpaper to the back of a bookcase or to a small accent wall to create some visual interest. To really make an impression, choose a pattern or color that complements the rest of the decor in the room. You can't go wrong with a pretty nature-inspired pattern, like this olive branch motif from Magnolia Home, available at the Home Depot. This technique works especially well inside a bookcase that doesn’t already have many intricate details, as it turns a basic staple into a showstopper.
To buy: $80 per 56-square-foot roll, homedepot.com.
Make a standard piece of furniture feel more custom by adding intricate hardware. It only takes minutes, but can have a huge impact. Attaching leather drawer pulls to a dresser or a colorful knob to your nightstand gives the piece an entirely new look and feel. For a really big change, sub in new hardware on your kitchen cabinets. You’ll be thrilled at how they can update styles from the fifties, bringing them into the new millennium without having to completely re-do them.
To buy: $10, anthropologie.com.
Not only can it hide a multitude of sins—dents, scratches, or imperfections in the paint—art adds color and life to a room. The problem is that all too often we don’t print or frame favorite pictures, so they don’t get displayed. Be proactive and find frames and matting that work and finally hang them up on the wall. It’s now easier than ever, since some places such as Artifact Uprising will even print and frame your photo for you. All you have to do is spend a few minutes with a hammer and level to hang the works of art on the wall.
To buy: $79, artifactuprising.com.
If you consider yourself a collector of beautiful things, why not show them off? It’s a great way to incorporate small pops of color and pattern into a room without having to buy new pieces. So instead of tucking away your favorite books, travel souvenirs, and glassware, put them on display. Installing a simple floating shelf takes very little time and usually doesn’t require fancy equipment. Make sure to use a stud finder when deciding where to hang the shelves and buy sturdy enough hardware for what you’ll be placing on top.
To buy: $90, worldmarket.com.
A brand new sconce or chandelier can create an entirely new ambiance within a room. Swap a mid-century modern chandelier with retro-style bulbs in for that traditional brass one that came with the house. It will instantly give the space a modern update, and usually the rewiring is minimal, although your safest bet is to hire a professional. If you’re already in love with your lighting, installing a dimmer switch can let you view a room in a whole new light—wall colors and furniture can look different depending upon the brightness of your light.
To buy: $199, westelm.com.
All too often we leave plants in the containers we buy them in. Not only is that bad for the plant—eventually the nutrients in the soil deplete—but they’d look so much better in a beautiful planter. Choosing a fun terracotta or ceramic option can add color and texture, plus when you add fresh potting soil, it will make the plant happy. When deciding on a colorful planter, play up accent colors that already exist in the room.
To buy: $20, etsy.pieslices.com.