Thursday, October 17, 2013

10 Quick and Affordable Home Improvement Tips

It's so easy to look around the house and notice things just look a little drab, and yet so hard to start working to fix it! The usual culprits to this are usually time and money. So we've compiled a list of simple, quick, and affordable home improvement projects that make it easy to get started! It may seem too easy, but all of these can make a huge impact in a room and make any house feel more like a home.


1.  Replace lighting fixtures. Is your house stuck with shiny gold fixtures installed over 20 years ago? These make the house look dated and old. Replace these with a new style that shows off your taste and gives a new chic look to your room. Challenge: Add a chandelier in the kitchen over the eating bar to glam up the dining experience.
2.  Change ceiling fans. Fans are not only functional in both summer and winter, but they give the potential to improve a room. Similar to lighting fixtures, they have a lot of style they can add to a room. Consider replacing a simple lighting fixture with a ceiling fan with a light to cut down on air conditioning costs. Challenge: Reverse the blade direction in the winter to draw up cold air, pushing warmer air down into the living area to keep it warmer.
3.  Paint kitchen cabinets. Replacing cabinets in the kitchen can be a long and costly experience, especially if the kitchen requires custom fits. Instead of tearing out the old ones, consider giving them a second life with a coat of paint. This DIY takes a bit of elbow grease, but it well worth the reward. It's very important to sand first to make sure the paint will stick, and remove cabinet doors to avoid painting the hinges. Shop for a semigloss or gloss paint that will make them easier to clean. And most importantly, clean them first! Make sure all dust, grease, fingerprints, and oil are cleaned away so the paint will go on smoothly and evenly. Challenge: Find a neutral gray color that is very "in" and will be easy to decorate around in the long run.
4.  Replace furniture and cabinet hardware. Changing out drawer pulls and cabinet door handles takes a screwdriver and 5 minutes, but gives a lasting impact that speaks your design language. There is such a wide variety to hardware, from modern metals, classic ceramic, to fabulous baroque and dazzling crystal. Challenge: Search antique stores to find vintage and unique hardware.
5.  Get a new doorbell button and chime. A new doorbell adds character and introduces the feel of the house to visitors in the first few seconds they arrive. The possibilities of doorbell buttons are endless! Find one to add curb appeal and cheer up guests. Challenge: Find a chime in a cheery, familiar tune.
6.  Hang new artwork. Make a room unique by hanging art that speaks to you and tells your story. Challenge: Take a photograph your favorite place, make a large print, and hang it! Be your own artist.
7.  Install an Iron-A-Way. Save space in your laundry room or kitchen by installing the Iron-A-Way. It's a cabinet that holds an ironing board and other iron needs. Open the cabinet and fold the ironing board down to use it, and then fold it back up to the wall when you're finished. Instead of having the ironing board sitting around, leaning against the wall and taking up space, this one easily hides behind a cabinet that comes in different colors. Challenge: Iron your wrinkly clothes! 
8.  Update window curtains and shades. Stuck with those aluminum, industrial looking window shades? Replace them with shades that are just as effective, but give your home a fresh, homey look. Also, continue to treat the windows with some new curtains. Look for ones that are both decorative and functional. Challenge: Find fabric you love and make curtains yourself!
9.  Add an area rug. Sometimes carpets get unsavory stains and hardwood floors get scratches and dents. It's not always possible to replace floors, so a good solution is to add an area rug. Add a pop of color or style while also functioning to cover up the blemishes on the floor. Challenge: Find a bold rug to be the center of attention in the room.
10.  Use a couch cover. Furniture is expensive. That's why it's so easy to get stuck with that old couch purchased 20 years ago. It can quickly become outdated, which then ages the whole atmosphere of the room. Investing in a chic couch cover can liven up the room and transform it instantly. Challenge: Find one in a print to set the tone of the room.

After updating and making these affordable DIY improvements, a brand new, chic style can finally come through! No more wishing for improvements that you wish you had. Now, make it happen!

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