While the colder months are certainly ideal for curling up near the fire or on the couch with a good book and some hot chocolate, they also provide a great opportunity to tackle home projects. And while there are quite a few things that can be done with minimal cost and time, there are other tasks that may require more. From the big and the small to the expensive and less expensive, here's a look at some projects that will cure those winter blues and make your home look great.
1. Spruce up your walls
Painting may not seem like it can make much of a difference, but adding a fresh coat of paint or a new color to a room can breathe new life into any space. During your holiday downtime, choose one or two rooms to update with a new color. Since it's winter, using eco-friendly paints will allow you to paint without having to open a ton of windows for ventilation if you live in a colder climate area. Often times, the dryness of the winter months will actually work in your favor, giving you faster results.
Another great option for your walls is wallpaper. Yes, really! Wallpaper has made quite the comeback these past few years because of its fresh new colors, patterns, and textures. This gives you a whole new level of decorating capability! The nice thing is that you don’t have to cover all of your walls. In fact, a single statement wall is often the best way to go!
If time and finances allow, consider updating trim work or crown molding. Whether you paint it or replace it is up to you. Either way, it’ll look beautiful and fresh.
2. Install new flooring
Let’s be honest: flooring matters. However, it tends to get ignored, because, life. Yes, flooring can be pricey depending on the material and quantity needed—but you can easily cut that in half by installing it yourself. So what types of flooring are there? Back in the day, choices were typically limited to carpet, linoleum, tile, and hardwood. Today, however, we have more options that include cork, bamboo, concrete, vinyl, and laminate. Additionally, we have sustainable, eco-friendly options. And the best part? Many options are quite affordable for a humble budget. Whether you're updating the kitchen, mudroom, living room, bedroom, hallway, or something altogether different, there is a wide enough selection that can make any space a showstopper.
3. Clean your windows
Nothing says “dreary” like dirty windows. Not only do dirty windows make it hard to see outside, but they can also make your home look unkempt. Does this mean you have to clean your windows every week or even every month? Not at all. As a general rule, homeowners should aim for cleaning their windows 2 to 3 times a year. And what better time to do that during some holiday downtime? Depending on where you live, you might not be able to clean the outside, but there’s no reason to neglect the inside. Sometimes, all it takes is a spot clean with water or vinegar and a microfiber cloth. Dirtier windows may require a bit more elbow grease, but can usually be handled with soap and water. Non-toxic cleaners are also incredibly easy to find these days at most stores but you can make your own as well.
4. Freshen up fabrics
Fabrics collect all sorts of dust and dirt over time so it's necessary to give it a deep clean every so often. If you have a steam cleaner or machine that will shampoo your furniture, take advantage of your time indoors to get this done. If you don't have the proper equipment, many stores have them to rent or you can call in the professionals. Whichever way you choose to do it, be sure to include the drapery. Not sure what cleaning products are best for you upholstery? Pop over to read our blog How to Properly Care for Fabrics and Understand Upholstery Fabric Cleaning Codes.
If cleaning just won’t save your upholstery, you might consider purchasing a custom slipcover. Or, if the project is small (e.g. a chair cushion) and time allows, why not tackle a reupholster DIY?
5. Update the lighting
You know lighting is important. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to see very well. However, lighting does so much more than that. New lamps, ceiling fans, pendants, and chandeliers can brighten any mood and any room. And fortunately, the options are seemingly endless. Not sure what type of lighting flips your switch? Check out our blog 5 Bright Lighting Trends for Illuminating Your Home.
If your light fixtures don't need updating, then at least update the bulbs if need be. Incandescent bulbs are becoming a thing of the past, making LED lights the top contender when it comes to energy efficiency. Yes, they are more expensive initially, but you will save a good chunk of change over time. Not only are they long-lasting, durable, and more energy-efficient, they are also cool to the touch and mercury-free.
Other Projects to Consider
Some other projects that might need consideration before spring rolls around:
- Insulating water pipes. Hot water pipes aren’t likely to freeze, however, insulating them can reduce heat loss and lower the costs of heating the water. Insulating cold-water pipes not only keep them from freezing, but it also helps prevent condensation, which can eventually drip and ruin floors.
- Clean and organize the pantry, refrigerator, and closets. Set a goal to create a healthier pantry for the new year and downsize unwanted or outdated clothes.
- Check toilets for running water. A running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day while racking up your water bill. This is a great time of year to give those thrones a look over!
- Change your furnace filter. Changing your filters can extend the life of the furnace, reduce energy bills, and improve indoor air quality.
- Replace interior doors. Most interior doors are thin, which can be almost like having no door at all if you want privacy. This season, consider investing in higher-quality doors that will last longer, look better, and provide privacy.
- Rotate Accent Pillow Covers and Table Coverings. Changing over your fabrics is a quick to-do that will entirely change the feel of your home from breezy to cozy.
- Add a backsplash in the kitchen or bathroom. Installing a backsplash gives you a great opportunity to showcase your style. Not only does it come in many different styles, types, colors, and textures, it’s a project that just about anyone can do. Really.
If your project involves fabric and/or accessories, be sure to stop by one of our showrooms. We have a wide variety of items (including some lighting) that can lift those winter blues you might be feeling!