Enjoying your time at home for the holidays? Consider using some of your well-earned downtime to tackle a few home projects. There are plenty of online tutorials out there to get you through the details, and the folks at your local hardware store are also a wealth of information, so don’t be afraid to get some pointers when you’re picking up supplies.
We’ve got six bright ideas to get the New Year started on time and under budget.
Freshen up that front door
A front door makeover adds instant curb appeal and real value to your home, and you’ll enjoy it as much as your neighbors will. A little paint, some new hardware and a bright, shining kick plate are the perfect way to welcome in the New Year. Don’t be afraid to go bold, but consider a few color basics. What we love about those front doors we admire on a Sunday drive is careful contrast with the exterior paint.
Freshen up those interior doors too
- The current trend for interior doors is black—and we love it. Again, it brings timeless elegance to the space, as do navy blues and charcoals. Given the number of interior doors in any home, darker colors work better at giving you a sense of consistency rather than chaos. Consider swapping out flush doors for paneled doors to maximize the detail and the color. If budget is a concern, hollow-core doors come in paneled styles, are simple to paint and are perfectly suited for interior doors.
Light it up
- You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to cast your entire home in better and more attractive lighting—and how dramatic the change will be. Get the momentum going by swapping out bathroom vanity fixtures and overhead lighting in bedrooms and hallways. Then add some simple LED puck lights under the kitchen cabinets for task and mood lighting. If you painted that front door, finish the job with a stylish or funky new front light. Finally, if there’s room in the budget for something extra, consider a statement piece such as a chandelier or series of pendant lamps in the kitchen or living space.
- Black is a timeless and stylish choice that works best against lighter paint colors. Keep the contrast going with hardware in more polished finishes.
- Red is a favorite because of its vibrant warmth, and is a great choice because it contrasts with both light and dark colors. For the best effect, choose a tone of red that is a shade or two darker than your first instinct. Think rich, deep, exotic tones rather than shades of Santa.
- Lime green is a current favorite of ours, and goes great with dark gray or brown shades. The combination brings fun and finish to the exterior of your home.
Revive and Repurpose
- A true sign you’re on vacation is the ability to wander aimlessly through some second-hand stores and look for great pieces that just need a little love. A great chest of drawers or a dresser can be repurposed in so many ways, but a bathroom vanity or kitchen island are very approachable DIY projects as well. In either case, you’ll need to reconfigure a bit to make room for plumbing or open storage. Choose something with lots of character—even something that initially seems a bit overdone. An overly ornate style is quickly tamed with new drawer pulls and a fresh coat of paint.
A day at the spa
- The bathroom is one of the most effective home projects you can tackle yourself—and if you plan it right, you really can get it done in a day. The best part is that very inexpensive changes yield big results. Paint with light colors that have warm undertones for that spa feeling. If you’re looking for more of a romantic hideaway, go dark, but again, warm undertones are what creates that soothing feeling you want just before you slip into the tub. Swapping out vanity lighting is a snap if you do it during the painting process, as is replacing drawer pulls. Finish it off with some texture in the form of new linens and, if you can splurge a little, go luxe with a wall-mounted towel warmer.
Hang it Up
- Modern technology has made it possible for all of us to create beautiful, frame-worthy photographs. Gather your favorites, scout out your locations, and get framing! Keep it simple with consistent black frames so you can swap photos in and out. Bonus: You can always find deep sales on photo frames throughout the holiday season.
Don’t be afraid to dive right in with any of these mini makeovers. They’re all simple enough that you won’t get bogged down in the details. And don’t forget to let us know how it went!
Kerrie Kelly is an award-winning interior designer based in California who writes on design for Home Depot. Kerrie is the author of the DIY design book Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide. Home Depot’s large selection of door styles, including front, interior and closet doors that Kerrie writes about, can be viewed at www.homedepot.com/b/Doors-Windows-Doors/N-5yc1vZas82