While we all dream of the day when our home feels complete — when we’ve hammered that last nail, painted that last wall — the reality is that home renovation isn’t so much a journey with an endpoint as a hamster wheel that keeps on going. It never really ends — and that’s OK.
That also means that it’s fine to take the renovations one easy-breezy step at a time.
Here, find five low-key, easy home renovation projects that adds up to a more enjoyable home, or, at least, a cleaner closet or more ambient kitchen.
1. One-wall makeovers
Accent walls can shift the tone of a room completely, making them one of the most satisfying time-to-reward-ratio weekend renovations. Painting is straightforward—potentially relaxing and a fun weekend home improvement project idea for the family—and derives most of its stress from tedious taping and moving furniture.
The possibilities for simple wall switch-ups don’t just stop at paint! Shop around for wallpaper to really make that feature wall prominent. For a wallpapering project, the bulk of your time will be spent preparing the wall, depending on the material you’re working with and how much cleaning of the wall is required. With modern tools, wallpaper may not even need to be pasted—just cut with a straightedge, soak the paper in a tray of lukewarm water, and begin the adhering process. By Sunday night the whole thing will be dried and ready for enjoyment.
For an even faster wall-renovation project, opt for contact paper instead of wallpaper. You may need to enlist the aid of a friend, family member, or even the kids to help keep the contact paper straight and have an even application. However, contact paper can be more easily removed than wallpaper in case you decide to switch up your decor a few years — or even a few months — down the line!
2. Installing under-cabinet light fixtures
Under-cabinet lights have become modern kitchen standards. Unfortunately, many homes don’t come with these fixtures pre-installed, making this a project to add to the list. It’s well worth the effort being an easy home improvement that adds value to your home.
These lights, tucked just beneath top cabinets and powered either through a standard outlet, battery, or hardwiring, add not only the practicality of illuminating countertops at night without beaming bright lights into your eyes, but envelop the space in a warm glow.
The whole process can take an entire weekend if you opt to hardwire your lights, and you’ll certainly want to consult with an electrician in that case to ensure your plan is sound. But for plug-in and battery-operated lights, the most difficult part of the installation should be making measurements for spacing out puck lights and determining where among your cabinets to hide wires. Rope and tape lights, meanwhile, are even simpler, often just using adhesive or discreet plastic mounts.
3. Closet reorganization
As sprawling as your closet may seem at the time you moved into your home, once sweaters, shoes, and suits take up residence, the whole closet space starts to look small. Clever closet hacks are a way to make the most of the space and give you even more room without expansion.
Fortunately, most closets are equipped with enough free space to expand storage with simple supports and shelving. While building extra closest storage seems more practical than fun, you can always try adding a pop of color to your closet area and storage with a coat of paint.
For a more rustic look, and in larger walk-ins, try purchasing floating steel rods for floating shelves. In an afternoon, you can easily activate dead space into storage space, using equipment as basic as a drill, nails, a saw, and some paint or varnish of your choice. The end result; a quick, budget friendly home improvement, will look and feel several times more premium than any plain set of plastic shelves.
4. Entrance and front door upgrade
Homes are full of statement pieces, but none carry quite as much weight as the front door, which is essentially the first impression of any space. Changing the look as your taste starts to change, or the flow of entrance-to-living-space needs a refresh, is delightfully simple and brimming with options. There is the obvious starting point, the main attraction: the door, which can be repainted in an afternoon, cleared of its rust spots or adorned with a new knocker and hardware.
But touch-ups along the periphery can be just as important and offer options if overhauling a door feels like a chore. Chipped railing can be repainted, the squeak in the screen or storm door can be fixed, a walkway can be peppered with new flowers and re-mulched, or porch plants can be repotted. You could even just dress up your mailbox—all of which work in tandem to up a home’s curb appeal.
5. A change of faucet
Considering items in your home that get the most use, the kitchen and bathroom faucets are probably one of them. When you’re tired of looking at the same design while washing your millionth dish or brushing your teeth; swapping it out for something more appealing is a relatively simple fix.
Changing your faucet is as simple as shutting off hot-cold valves, using a wrench to change water lines, removing the old one—while also cleaning any residue—and then connecting and using putty to adhere your new, beautiful faucet that reflects your current tastes.
It’s one of the easiest plumbing jobs that won’t require a plumber or more than a couple hours of your time. It can also be a low-budget home improvement based on your aesthetic tastes.
Certainly, much like there are renovation mistakes to avoid when doing the big overhauls like flooring installation, even simple renovations have room for error. Remember to pace your projects and plan accordingly.