22 Home Improvements Worth Making

By Kalina MacKay

Starting a home improvement project can be challenging, especially if you’ve never tackled one before. However, the end result of seeing your project come to life always makes it worth the challenge. On top of the satisfaction, home improvement projects can increase overall home efficiency, make your house feel more organized, and re-energize your space.

From updating paint colors to redesigning a room, here are 22 home improvement projects to consider.

1. Give your walls a fresh coat of paint

Whether you go for a deep jewel tone like Night Watch by PPG Paints or an earthy tone like Sherwin-Williams’ 2019 Color of the Year, Cavern Clay, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way to transform the space. Consider selecting a color that’s versatile enough to serve as the centerpiece of the room or an accent.

2. Transform one of your walls into a new backdrop

If you’re looking to do a little more than just change the color of your walls, think about using wallpaper to give your rooms some more character. Wallpaper’s bad reputation of being dated and stuffy has disappeared with the increase of wallpaper collection releases that are modern and timely.

Alternatively, you can incorporate a wall texture such as a basic stucco float finish, skip trowel finish, or wood planks to give more depth to your space. Unlike a new pattern or paint color, adding texture to an existing wall can be a more neutral way to transform a room without completely starting from scratch.

3. Give your living room some extra TLC

Our living rooms are our most used and versatile spaces, and there should be so much more to a living room than a sofa and a coffee table. Even if your space is small, it deserves attention because a living room can be a powerful tool for communication, especially to guests. The simple addition of a portrait, armchair, or bar cart can take your space to the next level. 

4. Upgrade your coffee table 

What kitchen island is to kitchen, coffee table is to living room. Typically the focal point of your living room, a coffee table does much more than just hold your coffee. It’s a haven for old fashion magazines and decorative books, and a hub for scented candles, indoor plants, and coasters.

Coffee tables bring the living room space together, unifying the angles and flow of the room. Whether it’s modern, artisanal, mid-century, or eclectic, a coffee table can go a long way in making your space feel more comfortable and cohesive.

5. Make the most of your closet space 

Your closet is home to your entire wardrobe, so it deserves some attention. It’s important to use as much vertical space as you possibly can to maximize storage. (Visit tinyhousehugeideas.com for more tips on making the most out of small spaces.) You can also consider adding elements like a mirror, task lighting, or a curtain. 

The appearance is just as important as what’s inside, so think about ways you can give your space a facelift. A pop of color or interesting wallpaper may not help much with storing your clothes, but it will give the space a little more character. 

6. Map out a plan to redesign your kitchen 

From adding a backsplash to entirely new appliances, there are many ways you can upgrade your kitchen. New countertops are also a great way to refresh your space—marble and soapstone are two of the most popular and timeless materials used. Modern kitchens are turning into more liveable spaces beyond cooking alone, so keep this in mind when planning. 

Even a galley kitchen with hardly enough space for a table or seating can be remodeled with a little creativity. Adding a backsplash, hiding appliances, using lighter colors, and upgrading cabinets and countertops are all great ways to make the most of a small kitchen space.

7. Add some new lighting fixtures 

Whether you want to increase productivity while working from home or make your rooms a little more stylish, changing the lighting fixtures in your house can make a big difference. Most of us don’t think about how light can affect our mood, but the different types of light we’re exposed to can actually have a significant impact on our emotional health and wellbeing.

Some of our favorite unique lighting brands are Pelle, Tom Dixon, Circa Lighting, FLOS, FX Luminaire, Lee Broom, and Richard Yasmine.

8. Reimagine your space with new decor 

When it comes to decorating, form is just as important as function. Balance is important in creating a space that is both efficient and useful, especially if you’re working with a small space. 

Before you start, declutter the space entirely so you have a blank slate to start with. Then, set a budget and measure your space so you know your limitations. It can be helpful to tackle decorations room by room so that each space gets the proper attention it deserves. 

Redecorating doesn’t always have to be expensive. In fact, you may even be able to reinvent what you already have without spending a dime. To do this, take inventory of what you already have, set your goals for the space, and look for potential before you throw out items. Be intentional with the items you choose to decorate your home with and let them tell your story. 

9. Give your shower a makeover 

Curbless showers are becoming increasingly popular because the design provides benefits such as safety, privacy, ease of cleaning, and maximizing safety to people of all ages. To revamp your shower, consider the size, showerhead, doors and walls, and tile and grout before starting the renovation.

10. Reinvent your bathroom 

After upgrading your shower, take the whole space to the next level with a few simple changes. If you’re looking to pamper yourself, purchase a soaking tub, the perfect emblem of an indulgent bathroom—an invitation to pause and relax. This will go great with your curbless shower. 

You may also want to rework your walls with a new stone material or add a vintage light fixture to set the mood. These are simple, yet powerful ways to update the look and feel of your bathroom.

11. Replace your worn-out furniture with customizable pieces

Custom furniture comes at a premium. Or it did, once. There are now dozens of brands that offer customizable furniture at a relatively affordable price. This gives homeowners the ability to create one-of-a-kind furniture that perfectly matches their environment. Replacing your old furniture with unique pieces can be an easy way to refresh your space. 

One brand we love is Inside Weather. They allow customers to choose the level of customization they want in their design process, all the way from selecting a style and color and fabric and clicking ‘buy,’ to consulting a designer and sending them a picture of an empty room and saying ‘help!.’

12. Turn your guest bedroom into the perfect retreat 

Near the bottom of the never-ending home to-do list, the guest bedroom receives little attention and is often left to be a drab and uncomfortable place for company. It’s important to focus on the ambiance of your guest room and to anticipate your guest’s needs.

It won’t take an overhaul—incorporating one or two simple touches will boost the appeal of the room and ensure that your guest is able to relax, retreat, and recharge. Consider changing the bedding accents, adding a fragrance, incorporating soft lighting, and decluttering to provide a delightful experience for your family, friends, and guests.

13. Add concrete to your home

Thanks to its durability, versatility, and affordability—and the fact that it’s just plain chic—there are pretty much an endless number of ways to use concrete in your home. According to Erin Powell, design director and principal designer at roOomy, a company that helps you better visualize your space through the power of 3D, augmented, and virtual reality, “Concrete is a neutral element that balances nicely with any other material. Given its sleek look and feel, it can be blended with a variety of other design palettes and easily paired with wood, marble, or steel.” 

You may associate concrete with walls and floors, but you can also use it in your countertops, kitchen island, decor, shower, fireplace hearth, sink, or outdoor furniture. These may seem like bold upgrades, but they can also be incredibly elegant, indestructible additions to your space. 

14. Make minor improvements to your laundry room 

The laundry room may seem like one of the most boring spaces in the home, but improving it can make housework feel a lot less like a chore. Depending on how much space you’re working with, adding a backsplash or reorganizing the cabinets can give it an instant refresh. You can also consider adding small upgrades like glass jars to store detergent and a bin for lost socks. 

15. Create a productive workspace

Even if you don’t have the space in your house or apartment to section off an entire room for your home office, there are plenty of creative ways to turn the space you do have into a productive work environment. This can be done by simply nestling a desk in the corner of a room that will really allow you to zone in. 

Be cautious with decorations, especially if you’re someone who is easily distracted by their surroundings. Think of creative ways to incorporate items you already own, such as using your TV as a second monitor. Reserve this physical space solely for work to establish mental distance. It may also be helpful to establish a dress code, stick to a schedule, and block out noise when you’re trying to stay on task.  

16. Designate a learning space for your little ones 

Similar to adults who need a specific location to work, children can benefit from having a space that encourages learning. It doesn’t have to be expansive or expensive, but it should be a distraction-free zone with excellent light, low noise, and a comfortable temperature. This space should be easily accessible and encourage a healthy balance of work and play. 

Having multipurpose furniture in the learning space can reduce feelings of clunkiness and provide adequate storage for children to access materials. Though your home learning environment should be functional, it should also be inspiring and motivating. Inject your child’s personality into the space by showcasing their projects and making it a colorful and fun environment. 

17. Modernize your windows 

Windows may just be a panel inviting the outdoors in, but they can take many different forms. You can get fancy with them by incorporating windows with narrow sightlines and state-of-the-art temperature control. It’s also important to consider curtains and blinds that are both functional and decorative.

18. Incorporate minimalist decorating techniques

Minimalism is a movement that flowed from popular art to home design in the 1920s, yet it’s still regarded as one of the most innovative styles. This style of decorating breaks a room into the necessities—this means every single item must be functional. This can be used in any of your spaces, from the kitchen to the living room.

After pinpointing the furnishings a room needs, consider the form of each piece. Think of the basic shapes: squares and rectangles. Then think of the most common lines used in design: horizontal, vertical, diagonal, zigzag, and curved. Sticking to the basics will unify the room and present the room as a whole and therefore minimized package.

A specific way to do this is adapt Kanso living practices into your design approach. Kanso is all about the appreciation of wear and tear and not throwing something away only because it’s old. It’s an opportunity for you to get rid of your clutter and appreciate the beauty of life. Kanso gives us a peaceful break and allows us to not worry about how our space looks. Rather, it allows us to relax and enjoy our surroundings, despite the lack of things.

19. Go all out with maximalist decorating influences

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, maximalism emphasizes excess and redundancy (the more repetition in a room, the more it’ll stand out) and is characterized by decoration, sensuality, luxury, and fantasy. It brings out the homeowner’s style, character, and emotion, allowing for a beautiful, visual cacophony.

Start with a base of a fun wallpaper, bold color, or interesting tile pattern, then add textures and colors through furniture pieces and accents. Be careful to avoid clutter by being intentional with your decisions and making sure you can easily direct your eyes from one piece to another. 

20. Add a fragrance 

Home improvements extend beyond just what you can see. Incorporating a signature fragrance for your space can set the mood and unify all of your rooms with a common scent. We recommend selecting candles to match the respective season (for example, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice for the fall). If essential oils are more your style, try diffusing clove, nutmeg, cinnamon bark, orange, or patchouli.

21. Use crown molding to increase the value of your home 

Not only does crown molding add charm, it can increase the resale value of your home. Costing between $120 and $260 (for wood-based materials) per room, crown molding installation can be completed in a single weekend. Install crown molding where it makes the most impact, like your living room or master bedroom, to achieve maximum resale value.

22. Spruce up your home’s exterior 

It’s easy to forget about the outside of your home, but the exterior sets the first impression for your house. Consider painting your shutters, swapping out the house numbers, and upgrading the landscaping to up your curb appeal. Get exterior painting tips at sprayerguide.com.

Home improvements not only upgrade the overall appearance of your space, they make it much more livable for you. It’s important to refresh your rooms every now and then so that you can stay on task no matter what life throws at you.

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