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Dump to Dream Home – 5 DIY Ideas to Improve Your Home’s Appearance and Feel

July 16, 2012 by     Checklists, Real Estate

fix up your home
Your home should be your sanctuary; it should be a reflection of you that’s inviting, mood lifting, and brings you peace day to day. You might be thinking that this ideal is absurd, and that maintaining this type of dream home would be too costly and too much work. However, following the ideas within these five steps can help you transform your home from dumpy to dreamy quickly and on a budget. You might be surprised by the many ways you can remodel your home with the treasures you have lying around.

Easy Repairs for Unattractive Damage

First thing’s first: if you’re living in a house with dented furniture, stained walls and squeaky doors, you may feel drained and uninspired. Small damage can add up, bringing down the appearance and mood of your home, making it feel dated, ugly or depressing. Luckily there are simple ways to fix many small dents and damages. If you’ve got peeling wall paper, you can purchase a cheap wallpaper seam repair for under $5. Spread a thin layer of the repair adhesive on the back of the peeling paper or along the walls. Many of these adhesives are humidity-proof, meaning you wont have to reapply if you take a steamy shower. For dents and dings in wood furniture, dampen a cotton dishtowel and fold it into quarters. Turn your iron on high and turn on the steam setting. Press the iron against the damp cloth for several minutes until it stops steaming and watch the wood grain restore itself. Go over your wood with a polish when you’re finished. If you’ve got unruly, stained grout, try a grout ink that costs less than $10 and can dye your grout back to its original color. Clean the grout first, then apply the ink. Wait and hour, then apply the second coat to have grout looking as good as new. If you’ve got annoying squeaky doors, close them shut and remove the center hinge pins. Scrub and scour the pins, then coat them with petroleum jelly (less than $3). Put them back into the hinges and coat the hinges with jelly. Open and close the doors several times to work it in, and enjoy the silence.

Making Better Use of Space

A large amount of clutter can close off space in your home, making it feel smaller and cramped. The first thing to do to clear out clutter is to take inventory of your closet space—both bedroom and hall closets. T rash, sell, and/or donate the things you don’t need or use. Now you have extra space to store clutter and furniture within your home. Storage boxes, shelves, and shoe racks can help you organize. Once you’re clutter free, you can get creative. Try measuring your furniture and room dimensions and play with around with floor planner software. There are plenty of free online floor planning applications available, and these let you explore the possibilities of furniture rearrangement without the hassle of moving everything around multiple times. Be creative: try turning your closet into an office, or dividing a large room into several different nooks using room dividers or curtains. Sometimes just rearranging the furniture you have can make you feel as though you’ve moved into a brand new home.

Small, Simple, Seasonal Accents

If your home feels blank or bland, it’s time to make it your own. You don’t have to spend lots of money on home decor; sometimes it’s the small and simple pieces that make all the difference. If you’re having trouble thinking of ideas, adding seasonal decor is easy and can uplift your mood, allowing you to feel festive. For example, try redesigning your dining table by adding a centerpiece and place mats. A bowl of seasonal fruit, such as green apples with matching green cloth place mats can give your dining room a carefree summer appeal. If you want to go beachy, try filling a serving dish with white sand and shells. Add ocean or sea breeze candles to the center, giving your living room a matching, delicious aroma. Another simple way to accent your home is to replace old sinks with shiny new ones and replace tarnished old dresser and cabinet knobs and handles with shiny new ones. Accent an empty hall or corner with an antique-style end table or cabinet. These give you more places to put small decorations, such as table lamps or a vase of fresh or fake flowers.

Redoing Your Windows

Sometimes it’s the blank windows and ugly old blinds that get you down. Adding fun DIY drapes can work to decorate your room, tie furniture and wall colors together, and block out the heat of the summer sun. You don’t have to go out and buy expensive new curtains; if you’ve got extra tablecloths, tapestries, or stylish bed sheets, you can hang these up using a curtain rod and curtain rings. Customize the plain old curtains you have by tying them with a bright accent ribbon. You can also try doubling up on curtains: create a two-tone look or layer with multiple sheer colors.

New Color for the New You

You may now be walking around your refinished home, but still feel as though something’s missing. Sometimes repainting the walls is all you need. If you’ve rearranged your dining room, for example, and have added small accents to your dining room table, such as aqua cloth place mats and aqua candles inside your beachy centerpiece, you may want to add an aqua accent wall to tie in your decor with the rest of the room. You can paint an accent wall, depending on the color you choose, even if you’re renting. One or two walls are easy to cover up, and they can lift the mood of your entire home. If you plan on repainting, and must repaint your walls white, stay away from reds and blacks, which can be difficult to cover.