“Meh”-curing Home Improvements You Can Totally Do Yourself


By Bethany Johnson

There’s nothing more fun (or frustrating) than witnessing those incredible transformations on home-improvement television shows. After each episode, viewers are left feeling inspired . . . and overwhelmed.

If you’re moved by those amazing before-and-after images and the squeals of delight from the happy homeowners, make your own dramatic home improvements without demolishing, renovating, or building.

To refresh your home and update its aesthetic, check out these hacks:

Open Up

You might not be able to knock out interior walls today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t score a little extra breathing room. Lighten up your rooms by hanging curtains higher to simulate taller ceilings. Replace clunky bookshelves with glassy shelving systems like the Open-Concept 5-Shelf Bookcase by Monarch Specialties. Swap out heavy-feeling furniture with skinny-legged pieces to open your living area up even further.

Lighten Up

Brightening your spaces can make them feel like new. Bring in a new coat of neutral light-colored paint to trick your mind into feeling that there’s more room: a DIY hack that can benefit every area in the house.

Of course, there’s nothing quite like a new color . . . or 10. Statement walls like this ridiculously fun multicolored French Bull Polka-Dot Wallpaper by WallCandy Arts stimulate more than just the eyes—everytime you walk into the room, your spirits will soar, too.

Look Up

Flip tradition on its head. Changing outdated ceiling styles can have a huge impact on your space, so scrape off popcorn ceilings and repaint them. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, use interlocking plank flooring for an eye-grabbing improvement that costs less time and money than a traditional plank ceiling.

Grade Up

Upgrading simple light fixtures can make a world of difference. Need proof? Check out these before-and-after pictures of simple home improvements completed in the kitchen. Note the replaced light fixtures, and how simple upgrades can make a big difference. To get these exact solutions, visit Nuvo Lighting at Build.com.

For another quick DIY kitchen upgrade, add corbels to the bottom of existing upper cabinets, and bun feet to lower cabinets.

Tidy Up

The previous before-and-after picture may have you excited about new lighting pendants, but look closely, and you’ll see that the savvy homeowner also did some decluttering. Going minimalist in your kitchen can make the whole space look like a completely different home.

The best way to simplify? Organize. Install a lazy susan so you can easily store those small appliances that tend to hang out atop countertops when not in use. Better yet, make it versitile—like a Blind Corner Swing-Out Unit from Hardware Resources—to make retrieving items even easier. These quick hacks save you time every day.

Soften Up

Transform your workout space into a place you’ll actually want to be, with attractive, durable, flexible Dark Wood Grain Eva Mats. This flooring solution looks more like hardwood than foam, and it’s among the few home improvements you can both see and feel. So softening up your high-impact routine is not just an aesthetic move, it’s a healthy one. Your eyes and joints will both notice a difference.

With these brilliant ideas, you don’t have to totally renovate to score that dramatic before-and-after photo you crave.

Stop dreaming and start doing. Get your own Monarch Specialties Open Concept 5 Shelf Bookcase now with Masterpass, and declutter today. Click here to scope it out on Office Depot!


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