If you want to refresh your living space, small weekend projects are a great way to get started. Whether you want to make your house more comfortable with an energy-efficient ductless mini split or brighten up your breakfast nook with new lighting, you’ll find that simple changes can make a big impact on the way your home looks and feels. Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects can be a fun way to learn new skills and impress friends and family with your creativity. Check out the list below for five ideas that can brighten your home.
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Seal Your Windows, Baseboards, and Door Frames
Make your house more comfortable and energy-efficient by caulking and sealing your windows, baseboards, and door frames. Caulking can help you get the most out of your energy expenditures, whether you’re using a Boreal DIY-capable mini split or a single zone mini split. Keeping your home properly sealed will help you save money on heating and air-conditioning bills while you reduce drafts and keep out moisture, insects, and vermin.
Latex caulk is the right choice for most jobs, but you could ask a builder or specialist at the hardware store for expert advice. To get started, inspect your joints for gaps and cracks, remove any old caulk, clean the surface, and allow it to dry. Then, load your caulk tube into a ratchet gun. Make a 45-degree cut to create a 1/8″ hole at the tip of the applicator. Put on a pair of latex or nitrile gloves, press the handle of the caulk gun, and run a thin line of sealant along any openings. Work quickly, and run your gloved finger over the caulk to seal the gap. Let it dry for one full day.
Create or Update a Tile Backsplash
Adding or updating a tile backsplash behind your stove, sink, or countertops is a great way to freshen up your kitchen. Glass, porcelain, and ceramic tile will protect your walls from water, grease, and cooking stains while providing a decorative focal point that can showcase your creativity. Whether you choose to paint or repair your existing tile, install sleek geometric modules, or create a figurative mosaic, a well-executed design can give your kitchen a custom look. There are countless options to choose from, with sizes, shapes, and colors at every price point. You can even source handmade or vintage tile for an extra-special touch.
Tiles are sold individually or in peel-and-stick sheets. If you’re working with smaller tiles, sheets may be easier to install over a large area. If you’re working with white tile, you can custom-color individual pieces with bake-on enamel paints or with bonding primer and floor paint. To install tile, you’ll need to level and clean your drywall, install a ledger board, and get the right trowel, mortar, and tile spacers for your project. Fix any dents and dings in your walls, remove outlet covers, and do any other necessary prep work. Then start tiling your walls. Tiling is typically a two-day project; you’ll place your tiles the first day and apply grout the next. Once you plan your design, consult with your tile salesperson or other experts for tips on the exact supplies you’ll need and the steps you should take to get a result that’s durable and beautiful.
Hang Your Own DIY Pendant Lamp
You can make a custom pendant lamp from a basket, bowl, vase, or lampshade, or get even more creative by making a shade out of folded paper, shells, tree branches, or anything else that delights your eye. Decorate your shade with ribbon or fabric to match your decor, or paint a unique design on the inside surface. Your lamp can brighten a corner, illuminate your table, or light up your entryway.
Use an old light fixture with new wires or a lighting kit from the hardware store as the base of your lamp. Cut or drill a hole in the center of your shade, and run the cord through it. Consider your space and decide how low you want your light to hang so that you can be sure to get the right length of cord. Leave plenty of room between your bulb and the shade to scatter light and prevent heat from building up, and make sure your wiring and fixture are insulated and fire-safe to eliminate any chance of combustion or electrical hazards. Before you change any fixtures, make sure to shut off the power at the breaker box. To hang your lamp, check that your ceiling is sturdy enough to support the weight of the pendant, and mount your lamp with a mounting bracket, swag hook, or both.
Decorate and Organize Your Shelves
Shelves are great for organizing your necessities while showcasing your books, photos, and collectibles. You can spend a weekend painting, refinishing, or decoupaging your shelves to make them look new, or you can install floating, circular, or corner shelves that make the most of your decor. Once you’ve placed your shelving, jump right in and arrange your things in a pleasing display. Brightly colored shelves make a perfect foundation and backdrop for coordinating sculptures and candles. Designate a shelf at eye level for a collection of personal trinkets or family photos, and use lower shelves for books and games. If your shelves are deep, you can also use bins to store blankets and toys to keep them out of the way.
Update Your Cabinets
Change the look of the cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom by painting them or adding new hardware. To get started, you’ll need to remove all hinges, knobs, and pulls, take off the cabinet doors, and remove the drawers. Next, apply two coats of primer to all surfaces. You’ll need to let the primer dry between each coat, which can take between two and 24 hours. Once the primer is dry, sand all surfaces, wipe them clean and paint your cabinets in the direction of the wood grain. Use low-maintenance and durable semi-gloss paint in white or a pale color to open up your space, or choose a bold color to make the room lively. You can also make old or new cabinets pop with decorative hardware in glass, porcelain, or bold metallic finishes. Whether your style is classic, modern, vintage, or bohemian, you’re sure to find beautiful accessories that make your cabinets look special and bring a cohesive look to your space.
DIY Projects Make Your House a Home
Sprucing up your home is a great way to express yourself while you experience the satisfaction of creating an updated, well-maintained space. With a little effort and ingenuity, you’ll achieve results you can be proud of in no time.