Why Not . . . Make Simple Home Touch-Ups?
Wednesday June 18, 2014

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Upon turning our home into our sanctuary, it can sometimes seem that the only solution is hiring a contractor or moving to a different location. But the truth is, every place you most likely will move into will need your own personal touch to create precisely the ideal space. The good news is, much can be done on your own and at little cost.

As I’ve been refurbishing my own home over the past eight years, so many of the changes were DIY – the wall color, the fixtures, the hardware, just to name a few. So today I’d like to share with you a list of ways you too can turn your home into a sanctuary that is even more welcoming, comforting and rejuvenating to you and your guests.

1. Hardware

By changing the doorknobs, hinges, draw pulls and cupboard knobs, the kitchen, bathroom, hallways and entries to every room can present a fluid look throughout the entire home. When refinishing my kitchen, one of the first things I did was to replace the cupboard knobs to clear glass rather than black as they created a monochromatic look with the white cupboards, presenting a streamline more professional appearance. And in even better news, you can find such hardware at reclaimed hardware stores, yard sales to save money. The choices are endless.

2. Light Fixtures

Depending up on the style of your home, choosing light fixtures that complements your decor is a simple way to make a big change. Looking for retro lighting? Try Schoolhouse Electric or Rejuvenation. Looking for unique modern fixtures? Try Like Modern.

3. Switch plates

Changing the tired plastic switch plates throughout your house to porcelain or metal can clean up each wall and finish the room’s aesthetic.

4. Crown molding

The thicker the better in my opinion, but that’s my preference. Adding crown molding to any room where the wall and ceiling’s marriage is 90 degrees is a beautiful way to finish and elevate a room. Think Parisian apartments with decorative molding such as this, or simple, clean molding that is regal and strong.

5. Lamp shades

An inappropriate shade can date a room immediately. Choose a shape that is in balance with the lamp pedestal, a color that pops in a neutral room or is neutral as an essential element, and just like that – perfection.

6. Appropriate lightbulb wattage

Speaking of lamps, choose the appropriate wattage for the room it is placed in. Don’t choose too bright of wattage for a bedroom for example. Only place brighter lights (100 w) in reading lamps, kitchens or hallways, otherwise choose 60. In other words, remember  the power of light and strike the right balance. And yet another idea, add a dimmer. So simple and can give you a variety of lighting options.

7. Paint or wallpaper

Always a fan of painting, and recently a convert for wallpapering, there are very few rooms in which I’ve called home that I have not done one or the other. Why? The transformative power in making just the right change to the walls is a powerful tool in our DIY arsenal (and don’t forget the ceiling either).

8. Slipcover furniture

If a new sofa is not within your budget or you have a sturdy and beloved piece of furniture that needs reupholstered but that’s just not in the cards at the moment, why not add a slipcover? An immediate change and the ability to wash and clean as needed.

9. Window treatments

Whether you choose Roman shades, blinds, valances or curtains, adding the right window treatment can dramatically change the tone of the room. By tricking the eye into making the walls appear taller or allowing more light through the window, scour decor magazines for ideas on what would work best.

10. Add a rug

Whether you have hardwoods or carpet, you can always add a rug, or layer one rug on top of another. Doing so adds texture and warmth as well as creates an area of conversation and engagement, anchoring the furniture.

11. Replace the kitchen faucet

Can’t change the kitchen sink? Why not just change the faucet? Absolutely doable for anyone, purchase for beauty and ideal function and enjoy your sink a little bit more.

12. Add a disposal

Old sink? Make it more user-friendly and add a garbage disposal.

13. Clean the oven and replace baking element for even baking

For safety sake, always keep your oven clean, but also to do so to make sure your vegetables don’t come out smelling like yesterday’s fruit pie. Also, depending upon the age of your oven, replace the burning element at the bottom of an electric stove. For less than $50 you can easily do this yourself and ensure even baking.

14. Add monochromatic frames

Create wall decor that is unified and appears as one item from a distance. Choose monochromatic frames, and the larger the better to create a signature look.

15. New dishwasher

After saving up, replace the old dishwasher with a new quieter, more efficient model. Bosch and Miele both offer top of the line options to fit into a variety of spaces. Click here for Good Housekeeping’s top dishwasher reviews.

 16. Choose monochromatic bath towels in a neutral color

Bathrooms and kitchens are the two places throughout your home that when updated immediately increase the value of your home. However, even if the fixtures are new, the decor can also be elevated. Choose monochromatic, neutral towels. Why? Typically bathrooms are small, and if the space is broken up into multiple colors, it appears even smaller. By choosing the same or similar colors, the space creates the illusion of a larger space.

17. A light, white or neutral shower curtain

Again, light is right, especially when it comes to small spaces. So choose a shower curtain that white or translucent to give the perception of more square footage.

18. Clear clutter

And no matter what changes you make or if you love the home the way it is, the simplest decision is to rid your home of clutter. Either toss it, donate it or store it, but no matter what, don’t leave it lying about. You’ll immediately reduce your stress and increase your comfort level, not to mention any guests that stop by as well.

The good news, for any one of these simple DIY tasks, no home equity loan or a contractor is necessary. Simply begin organizing an idea board of favorite decor images, save up a bit of money, carve out a weekend and before you know it, your home will be your dream sanctuary.

~Peruse all of TSLL Decor Pinterest boards, organized by room, here


~Why Not . . . Decorate Small Spaces?

~Why Not . . . Create a Sanctuary?

~22 Tips for Creating a Grown-Up’s Living Space

4 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Make Simple Home Touch-Ups?

  1. Great tips. I particularly like the one about clearing clutter as that is a process that I am working through myself – room by room, drawer by drawer, shelf by shelf. Despite the work and time involved in this, the sense of calm I get once I have de-cluttered a space is more than worth it!

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