How to easily update, customize and decorate your space
Do-it-yourself home projects can add personality and function to a house or apartment. While many home renovation shows make it seem like the only way to accomplish this is to demolish and rebuild, smaller projects can also make a big impact. To help you develop ideas, we've collected several plans, photos and tutorials to inspire you.
DIY home projects for beginners
If this is your first time tackling home updates, it's best to start small to learn how to handle tools and gain confidence in your DIY abilities. Most of these beginner projects include changing or upgrading existing features to modernize and customize the home.
Change out hardware
This project is easy, requiring only a screwdriver, and can completely transform the look of furniture and cabinets. You can find knobs and pulls at hardware or craft stores to fit any décor from intricate scrolls to sleek modern styles. If you’re looking to make a space unique, search on sites like Etsy.com for handmade artistic knobs.
Create an accent wall
If you don't want to paint the whole house, start with an accent wall. Adding a bold color, wooden planks, wallpaper or a stencil to one wall can personalize a space without too much work.
Looking to decorate without spending too much time and money? Get room-by-room tips for budget decorating.
Adding fresh caulk to a bathroom or kitchen can make the space look new again. It’s about form and function here — old caulk can get grimy, and it can warp and get less effective over time. This tutorial will show you which tools to use to remove and replace caulking easily.
Temporary upgrades for apartments and rental houses
If your landlord won’t allow you to make permanent changes, try one of these easy DIY projects. These can all be removed without causing damage, but it’s a good idea to talk to management before starting.
Important tip: If you complete a project that requires you to remove something that came with the rental property, be sure to save it in a safe place so you can put it back if you move out.
Cover the flooring
Since apartments usually have smaller rooms, it may be possible to find a rug to cover the entire floor in your bedroom or living room. If you find one you love, use rug tape to secure it to prevent it from bunching up. In bathrooms and kitchens, you can install peel-and-stick tiles over existing tile or vinyl. This tutorial shows you how.
Use peel-and-stick wallpaper
Quickly add some personality to your space with temporary wallpaper. Be sure to test it on a wall in an inconspicuous area (like inside a closet) to make sure it doesn't harm the paint when removed.
Upgrade the kitchen
There are many ways to improve the look and feel of a rental kitchen. If you want to add decorative elements, you can easily apply a peel-and-stick tile backsplash or cover countertops with contact paper. Another idea is to remove cabinet doors to create open shelving in a small space. Whether you do the entire kitchen or just one cabinet, it can make the kitchen seem airier.
Built-ins to transform your home
Built-in elements make for fun DIY upgrades to your home that you'll want to show off to all your friends.
Build a window seat with storage
Built-in window seats are a great way to mix comfort with function. While you could get out the woodworking tools, you don't have to for this one. This tutorial shows you how to take your favorite Swedish furniture store's drawers and turn them into a window seat.
Add a built-in bookshelf
Whether you have a book collection or want somewhere to display decorative items, a custom bookcase can be the perfect addition to any room. You can make them big or small, from a large shelving group in a living room to a smaller bookshelf in a hallway or nursery. Choose the right project for your needs, skills and budget from this list of woodworking tutorials.
Create a hall tree
Hall trees give you a place to drop bags and shoes when you come in. You could build one from scratch or go with an easy DIY hack using pre-made pieces and hooks. This tutorial shows you how to transform a store-bought storage cube with metal feet, shiplap and hooks into a custom hall-tree.
Backyard DIY projects
These simple projects can turn your yard into a fantastic place to relax and entertain.
Add patio pavers
If you don't have a deck, you can easily make one with patio pavers. These are tiles that either nest together or interlock and come in a variety of designs. Just make sure the ground is level and use a rubber mallet to set them in the proper spot.
Create a fire pit
A fire pit is a great focal point for a backyard, and you can easily build your own following this tutorial.
String lights can add character to a deck or other outdoor space, and they're easy to install. Make sure to use lights made for the outdoors — they'll have thicker wires and waterproof sockets. If you have a covered patio, install strands by wrapping posts and using staples to secure. If you don't have a covered deck, this tutorial uses shepherd's hooks to hang them.
Looking for other ways to spruce up the exterior of your home? Check out these easy curb appeal projects.
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