Tackle common home improvement projects and transform often-overlooked spaces with simple and budget-friendly solutions. Try one -- or more -- of these quick, affordable mini makeovers to help your home look better, live larger, and work harder.
Whether your kitchen is large or small, ample storage is always a selling point. Take advantage of unclaimed wall or corner space with open shelves to keep dishes, spices, and cookware within easy reach. Embellish plain shelves with decorative brackets to add personality. If you frequently entertain, consider mounting a wine rack next to cabinetry.
Millwork adds rich character to rooms throughout your home, so why not use it to dress up your entryway, too? Pull elements of indoor style outdoors to give your exterior a sophisticated look. Frame your front door surround with millwork, and paint it to coordinate it with your home exterior.
The versatility and warmth of wood is incomparable to other flooring materials, but regular exposure to dirt, dust, and high foot traffic will leave it looking dull and distressed. Restore your floor's shine factor by polishing with a product that is specifically designed for hardwood floors. A wooden floor should be polished once a year, and every four to six months in high-traffic areas of the home.
Give a dated brick fireplace a modern makeover with a fresh coat of paint. Before starting, thoroughly clean the fireplace to loosen grime. Apply a stain-blocking primer to the clean fireplace before you paint to help cover soot stains. Choose a high-gloss paint to give your fireplace a beautiful look that lasts.
As one of the first rooms guests see, the entryway has a big job to do: make a good first impression and keep drop zone items tidy. Outfit your entryway with function and flair using a do-it-all storage system. Enlist the help of furniture to perform double duty as a bench and shoe caddy. A combination of storage solutions -- such as wall hooks, lockers, cubbies, or a bench -- will help your entryway stay organized and accessible.
Transform an unused bookcase into a versatile entryway organizer with these creative, eye-catching ideas.
Beautiful light fixtures can go a long way in energizing or soothing a space, and savvy designs can ease eye-intensive tasks. Successfully light a room by creating layers of light with task, accent, and ambient lighting. An interesting pendant, sconce, or chandelier instantly boosts a room’s sophistication. Here, a whimsical chandelier makes a statement above the kitchen sink and provides a practical light source for prep and cleanup.
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to closet storage and organization systems. Maximize your closet capacity and cut the clutter with easy, affordable ideas that work for your routine and your stuff. Before rushing off to the store for a new closet organizer, measure your closet space, take an inventory of what’s being stored, and consider your current and future lifestyle.
An undersink filter gives you clean, great-tasting water without cluttering your sink or countertop space. Even better, you can easily install a water filter without hiring a professional. Before starting your project, make sure your undersink space is large enough to accommodate a water filter system.
If space is at a premium in your humble abode, don't fret. Boost your blank wall's style and storage capacity with a modular shelving unit. Various books and display pieces add colorful interest to white shelves in this small-space living room. The cubby-style shelving is also a perfect fit for baskets, boxes, and bins to keep storage accessible yet out of sight.
Polish the look of your entryway with small accessories -- such as address numbers, outdoor lighting, and a letterbox -- that pack a big punch. Entryway details can make a lasting impression on guests and give your exterior a distinct personality. Matching finishes on accessories will give your entryway a classic look, while mix-and-match accessories, such as vintage or upcycled fixtures, will create a one-of-a-kind aesthetic.
When was the last time your carpets were cleaned? For a little bit of money, you can revive your carpets and improve your family's health with a professional carpet cleaning. Weekly vacuuming removes topical dirt, dust, and hair, but a carpet-cleaning service will remove stains, allergens, dust mites, and grit. If you have carpet in high-humidity areas of your home, carpet cleaning will also help prevent mold and mildew growth.
A backsplash not only adds a dose of character to a kitchen, it also protects walls from splashes and spills. Beaded-board backsplashes, as well as tile backsplashes, are easy to install and can be done without the help of a professional. A beaded-board backsplash keeps this white kitchen fresh and livable.
Use our step-by-step guide to learn how to tile your own backsplash in a weekend or less.
Trimwork and crown molding are jewelry for walls, doors, and windows. Whether you’re replacing old trim or starting fresh, you can transform a room with trim in a weekend. Give your home a complete look for less with affordable, off-the-rack moldings from a local home improvement center. For a classic, custom look, layer pieces of crown molding around entryways and ceilings.
A landscaped walkway is a small way to deliver big personality and keep your home fresh, lively, and inviting. Create natural beauty and texture along your front walkway with an assortment of stout perennials.
Start your morning routine on the right foot with the perfect shower experience. A handheld or sliding bar showerhead is easy to adjust for different heights, from tall adults to small children -- and pets, too.
An unused hutch, armoire, or bookcase can quickly transform into a beverage station with a little paint and creativity. Store bottles and beverage glasses on open shelves for easy access while entertaining. You can also free up shelf space by outfitting the underside of a shelf with hanging storage for wine glasses. Use drawers and cabinets below to store serving trays, utensils, and linens.
Create a dedicated zone to serve as a central area for often-used games, movies, and media. Here, a media cabinet keeps family members from having to search for game-night accessories. Divided shelves and a combination of shallow baskets, bins, and photo organizers help the space stay organized. Tip: Face boxes and DVD spines outward so they are readable at a glance.
Savor warmer seasons with a simple path that leads the way through your yard or garden. An understated path of irregular-shape flagstones creates a casual, welcoming atmosphere.
Jump-start laundry day by streamlining your sorting ritual. A three-bag laundry sorter encourages organization as a daily routine. The open design with easy-to-read labels helps the whole family see where to place items, saving you time sorting clothes on washday. Small-space solution: Opt for laundry bags that can hang from over-the-door hooks rather than hampers that take up floor or shelf space.
Regulating your home’s temperature is a breeze with a programmable thermostat, and it will save you in the neighborhood of $150 in utility bills each year if used correctly. A new thermostat will be mercury-free and more energy-efficient than an old manual thermostat and can be purchased at local home improvement centers.
If mold creeps into your shower stall or your bathroom mirror is consistently foggy, it might be time to replace your bathroom vent fan. You can install a new vent fan in about three hours -- and the outcome will leave your bathroom fresh, dry, and odor-free. To learn how to install a bathroom vent fan, see our step-by-step guide.