Winter (and Covid-19) found us spending a significant amount of time indoors. We’re all anxious to get outside. It’s almost time to roll up your sleeves for outdoor projects. Before you do, try one or two of these no or low cost home improvement ideas for inside the house. The sense of accomplishment and organization will be worth it!
Move the furniture in a room
Take a look at your family room. You’ve probably had everything in that room exactly the way it is now for quite some time. For a fresh new look try moving elements in the room around! Take all the furniture, coffee tables and lamps out of the room. Make the room as bare as you can. Next, vacuum or use that Steamvac that you bought hoping to save some money having your carpet professionally cleaned. If you have wood floors, vacuum and then properly clean them. Next, dust all the pieces that you had removed from the room. Vacuum the furniture. Pick up the sofa cushions and vacuum under them as well. Now that the room is clean and fresh, replace the furniture in a totally different position than where it was. If the room has a fireplace, don’t put the back of the sofa to it and don’t make it the center of the room either (unless your TV is mounted above it.) Is your family room space large enough to have a quiet reading corner? Bring a chair or armchair and a small table from another room and make one! Add a lamp and you’ve now made your family room a reading room as well!
Do you have photos in frames all over your house? How often do you really pay attention to them? Try making a photo collage on one wall in a prominent room of your house. If many of the frames are outdated, jazz them up with spray paint. If the weather doesn’t permit spray paint, use regular non-aerosol paint to get the job done. Take all the photos and glass out of their frames. If you are painting metals, use a primer coat first. Then paint the color you are choosing for all the frames. Painting them all the same color with give uniformity to your photo wall and the fact that each is a different texture and size will give it interest. When the frames are thoroughly dry, replace the glass (that you’ve cleaned) and the pictures. Before you put a nail in the wall, arrange the photos on the floor first so you can judge how they will look grouped together. Now you have all your favorite photos together in one place!
Repaint pulls and handles
The pulls and handles in your kitchen or bathroom can be painted. Try it! You can use the same painting method as you did with your photo frame wall. Spray paint is definitely a better choice for this project. Benjamin Moore recommends painting outside on a day where the temperature is above 50 degrees. When you remove the pulls and handles, take the time to clean out the drawer or cabinet they came from. Might as well start really clean! After the handles are completely dry, replace them!
Paint 1,2, or 4 walls for home improvement
Choose a room in your house that could use a fresh look. Maybe it’s your family room! Before you put all the furniture back, consider painting 1, 2 or all four walls of the space. If you won’t need much pain. Go to your local hardware or paint store and look for a gallon that someone returned. They are usually on sale and will cost much less than having your own color mixed. It’s worth a try! If they don’t have anything close to what you like, choose your own color. Go outside your comfort zone a little and choose something that will pop! A new color on the walls will give a room a real improvement.
Too much Clutter? Keep the mementos
Look around the house, do you have a lot of ‘stuff’ that is just taking up space. Pair down and eliminate the clutter. Keep out only what is meaningful. Not sure you can do it? Put the items you remove in a box and store them in a safe place. If you find you really miss something, you can bring it back out. If you don’t miss it, donate it to your local thrift store or wait for the spring garage sale! You will be surprised how much bigger a room will look with “less stuff” in it.
Home improvement projects don’t have to break the bank, they just take a little of your time and attention. It will perk up the space and make valuable use of your time indoors this winter. Before you know it, spring will be here. When that time comes you can turn your attention to home improvement projects outside, like taking care of your driveway and lawn!
This article was originally published in January 2014 and has been recently updated.