You don’t have to shell out to give your home’s interior a little pampering. If you’re a homeowner with a mind for do-it-yourself, you’ll find there’s plenty you can do to update and reorganize your living room, kitchen, and other rooms. Here’s a few simple projects to get you started on a little spring sprucing up.
1. Mid-Century Modern Shelving
It’s easier than you would think to get a little Mad Men in your living room or office. Vintage lovers can easily build their own shelving unit for added convenience (and added style). With just some shelf brackets, tracks, gold spray paint and plywood, you can build a series of shelves to suit small spaces, or add a little visual interest. You can configure your shelves in a variety of ways, depending on your needs—you can buy longer tracks and brackets for a more symmetrical look, or mix and match. Many shelving units will come with particle board or plywood, but you can also buy and stain your own wood, depending on the look of your home.
2. Picture Perfect Cork- and Chalkboards
If you’re looking for a new way to write reminders and recipes, you might consider adding a blackboard wall with some blackboard paint. Wherever you have a little extra wall space, use chalkboard paint and a magnetic primer either directly on the wall or on a sheet of Masonite or hardboard. Paint several layers with the primer, let it dry, then go over it again with the chalkboard paint, and voilà! Quick tip: when you’re finished painting over with the chalkboard paint, be sure to cure or prime the board by rubbing chalk over the board. This will prevent you from making any permanent marks.
3. Refinished Vintage Chairs
One way to spruce up your space? Mixing and matching vintage furniture! You can get used and vintage dining room chairs and refurbish them for low cost. Sand, prime and paint old chairs for your kitchen, and reupholster accent chairs for your living room. For many re-upholstery projects, all you’ll need is some new fabric, a staple gun, a glue gun and a little patience. Remove the original cording and upholstery and save it for another project.
4. Toe-Kick Cabinets
For enterprising homeowners who are a little short on kitchen storage, consider utilizing an oft-forgotten part of the kitchen—the area underneath your kitchen cabinets. While it’s a bit more involved, adding under-cabinet drawers can help you reclaim lost kitchen space. You can easily build drawers yourself, however, you’ll want to be careful installing cradle and drawer slides.
5. No-Sew No-Stress Floor Covering
You can easily whip up a new rug or floor cover using a few basic materials. You can buy a heavy-woven fabric at most craft stores, as well as fusible web interfacing, which will help protect your new floor covering from damage and slippage. Cut the interfacing to fit the floor covering. Iron down the raw edges to just over a half an inch, then iron the interfacing to the cloth. Flip it over, and you’ve got a new covering for your dining room or office.