One-Two Day Projects to Spice Up Your Home
Though all of these could be considered DIY projects...sometimes having a professional can save you lots of aggravation as well as money!!
Install Beaded Board or Wainscoting
Beaded board lends a traditional touch to kitchens and bathrooms. Cut holes in the boards or sheets for outlets, phone jacks, and other wall necessities. For a modern take on beaded board, try wider plank paneling, which dresses up the island in this fresh kitchen.
Make Your Entrance Inviting
A cheery front-door color and a touch of landscaping can do wonders for your home's curb appeal -- and make a lasting impression on guests. Dress the door with new hardware, and add a welcome mat and potted plants near the entrance. Consider installing outdoor lighting to enhance your home's architecture and illuminate the walkway.
Recharge & Reorder
Get creative with drawer space. Outfitted with divided storage (typically used in kitchen drawers) and a power strip, this drawer serves as a charging dock and daily organizer for cell phones, music players, and other electronics. Drill a hole through the back of the dresser and drawer to accommodate electrical cords.
Light Up the Kitchen
Dress up an eating area with a fresh light fixture. Replacing an existing fixture is your easiest option: Or, for more adventurous project...add new recessed lighting
Install a New Faucet
Inject elegance into your daily life with a faucet that ups the ante in looks and quality. Just make sure the configuration matches your existing sink, or you might end up replacing that, too.
Give Your Yard a Boost
With flagstone, you can easily make an outdoor patio in a weekend -- no mortar required. Add potted plants and outdoor seating, such as a bistro set or an eclectic mix of colorful chairs, to create a quaint backyard escape.
Living room, dining room, great-room: Any common area looks better with the finishing, defining touch of crown molding. If you live in a historic home, make sure your molding choices complement your home's architectural style.
Update Your Hardware
Spice up your cabinets and drawers by replacing factory-issue handles and pulls with designs that reflect your personal taste. For a unique, eclectic look, scour antiques shops for hardware pieces.
Give your ceiling a little eye candy. Beautifully highlight a coffered ceiling with colorful paint, and keep the trim white for a bold visual effect. Placing a ceiling medallion around a fan or light fixture is another way to add architectural flair overhead. Decorative ceiling medallions are available in all shapes, sizes, and styles.
Make Your Fireplace More Efficient
To quickly and easily rehabilitate your existing fireplace, an electric, gas or wood-burning insert adds energy efficiency to your home without tearing apart your hearth and mantel.
Get a Built-In Look
Create extra storage in a snap with kits for bookcases or shelving that you assemble yourself. Try a cabinet/open shelving combination for display spaces.
Patch Holes in Walls
Whether an art-arranging project went awry or you're tired of looking at dings around the house, concealing wall blemishes is a weekend-worthy project. With a putty knife and surfacing compound, you can easily repair nail holes and other minor wall imperfections. For larger holes, place an adhesive patch over the area and spread an all-purpose drywall compound over it with a trowel. Depending on the size of the wall hole, the compound may need to dry overnight. Paint over the patch when it is dry.
Hang a Medicine Cabinet
With just a stud finder and a drill, you can install the cabinet in less than an hour. For quick installation, choose a cabinet that can mount directly to the wall above your bathroom sink, rather than cutting away drywall and recessing the cabinet between studs.
Add a Ceiling Fan
Add a ceiling fan and save money by not running the air-conditioner on those marginal days when all you need is air movement.
Spice Up Your Stairway
Add drama to a staircase with distinctive railings or embellishments. Architectural-salvage and reuse centers are hot spots for ideas and materials.
Put Dimmers on the Lights
Dimmer switches quickly give your dining room the atmosphere of a swank restaurant. You can use standard incandescent bulbs, but if you prefer fluorescent light, look for special dimmable bulbs.
Replace Your Showerhead
Choose a low-flow unit and you'll get virtually the same sensation of water flow while saving money on your water bill. If your showerhead flow is already low (and shouldn't be), check to see if hard-water deposits are clogging the holes.
Redo Your Backsplash
Tired of a dull kitchen? Transform the mood of the kitchen with a bold new backsplash in ceramic or glass tile. Just make sure the wall is sound before you start the installation.
Replace an Appliance
If you bought your refrigerator before 1993 or your dishwasher before 1994, when the federal energy-efficiency guidelines for each went into effect, consider replacing them with more efficient models. Some newer models use at least 15 percent less energy than required by current federal standards and 40 percent less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001.
Swap Out the Sink
A new sink can energize a boring bathroom. Before you replace it, though, consider your needs. You might want to try standing in front of the model you're considering and acting out your morning routine. Will you have enough room to brush your teeth or put in your contacts? Your choice should balance aesthetics with practicality.
Replace Interior Doors
Update these often-overlooked interior elements with form and function. Switch a blah door with a finely detailed antique. Or simply upgrade with solid-core doors, which dampen noise far more efficiently than the hollow-core doors common in new construction.
Upgrade Your Flooring
Installing a hardwood floor can take longer than a weekend, so choose a material that's less time-consuming. Start with anything that comes in a roll, such as sheet vinyl, which looks better and lasts longer than it used to.
Dress Up Your Fireplace
If it's time to replace that dingy 1970s-era mantel, choose one with enough depth to let you display pictures or other decorations. If you buy a ready-made mantel, don't be afraid to paint it or add moldings. Or adding stone tile or faux stone can really add a nice flare.
Add Grab Bars
Grab bars are one of the simplest ways to make an existing bathroom more accessible, and stylish designs can be found at your local home improvement center. The most important thing to remember when installing grab bars is to find the studs and mount the bars directly to them. Miss the studs and you'll be pulling out more than the bars when you put your weight on them.