We’ve all been spending more time at home lately. Maybe even a little too much time at home! With warmer weather comes home improvement season. If you’re ready to make some changes to your home environment but aren’t sure where to start, small projects are a great way to dip your toes into the DIY world.
Paint Your Front Door
Front doors are often one of the most overlooked opportunities to add personality to your home. It’s also one of the places that often becomes faded or scuffed the soonest. Typically, you’ll need one quart of exterior paint and primer. It’s best to paint your front door on a clear, sunny day that’s not exceptionally humid or hot. If the sun tends to hit the door directly during the hottest portion of the day, consider setting up some shade to keep the paint from getting too hot.
Alternate idea: if you have a porch or lanai, paint the ceiling a lighter color, like Haint blue.
Container gardens can make your front door even more inviting. They provide living seasonal décor all year long with a mix of evergreens and rotating blooms. Talk to the staff at your favorite local greenhouse to figure out what will work well for the amount of light your entryway receives.
Alternate idea: Don’t have room for containers on your porch? Aim higher! Wall mountable containers could work for your front door, porch posts and more.
Are your exterior steps as safe as they could be? Add step treads or safety tape to increase your traction. If you prefer to paint your steps, mix four parts paint to one part sand and stir well as you paint. Once completely dry, apply a second coat of paint without sand (okay, this one will take more than one day… but it’s worth the effort!)
Alternate idea: Add solar lighting to illuminate your steps when it’s dark out.
Warmer weather means you’re going to have your windows open. If there are holes in your screens, bugs can get in. Replacing window screens is surprisingly easy. But if you find yourself daunted by YouTube tutorials, you can find easy screen patching kits at your favorite hardware store, many of which require just scissors and a hairdryer.
Alternate idea: Have a doorway you’d like to open without letting those pesky flies in? Look at magnetic screens, fly blinds and retractable screen door options.
Get organized in time for the grilling season. The right type of storage will depend on your setup. If you have a grill cart, installing hooks on the side will offer you a place to hang your grill tools. For a place to stash seasoning within reach, make a wall-mountable cabinet. Looking to make your setup the envy of the neighborhood? Build cabinets to sit beside your grill. If you prefer to keep things portable, altering a vintage toolbox or vegetable crate might be the ticket.
Alternate idea: Build a cooler cart to keep your drinks close and chilly.
Have a room that just needs a little something extra? Molding adds texture and visual interest to any space. Add panache to the tops or bottoms of walls, or create boxes to add dimension to walls, doors or cabinets. Create a coffered ceiling in a snap. Molding can make your front door more grand or let your windows really shine. Not a carpenter? Worry not! There are tons of tutorials online for adding molding without making confusing angled cuts.
Alternate idea: Already have molding on your walls? Look on Pinterest for creative ways to make the corners and transitions look more polished.
Terra Cotta Patina
Give new pots an aged look by creating a natural patina in a snap. For an earthy look, soak the pot in water for 15 minutes. Using a dry foam brush, spread plain yogurt on the surface. Set in a shady spot outdoors for a week or two. For a more “artisan” look, press clay-filled dirt against the surface of the pot, adding water to help it adhere. Place in a shady spot for a month to let the soil adhere, then brush lightly to remove excess. Want moss on your pots? Mix buttermilk and crumbled moss, then brush on as desired. Let sit in a shady spot until it’s perfect.
Alternate idea: Have a pot painting party with your kids! Just be sure to seal their artworks with a plant-friendly paint sealer when finished.
Flip the Switch
Never upgraded the covers on your light switches or outlets? Now’s the perfect time. It’s a subtle touch that makes your room look more luxe, and it just takes a few turns of a screwdriver. From modern metals to embellished beauties, the options are virtually endless. If your old covers are just looking a little yellowed, a coat of spray paint and sealer fix ‘em right up.
Alternate idea: Let kids paint, sticker or bedazzle their own! This is a creative way they can personalize their space.