Ideas to Improve Your Home While You're Stuck Inside It

March 31, 2020
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We've been home for awhile now, and while we know it's important to stay there, many of us are feeling the need to do something. Working on your surroundings can make your daily digs feel like an entirely new space, and we've finally got the time to dedicate to projects we may have been putting off for awhile. So, let's build some stuff!

It's totally ok if you don't know how to use a wrench, these projects range from easy to masterful, and you can challenge yourself, or just stick to the simple stuff. Up to you, this is just here for inspiration, with a few handy how-tos included in the links.

diy pergola
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Outside

Easy - Paint the front door
Paint is the quickest, least expensive way to give your home an immediate facelift. Also, your neighbors can admire your handiwork as they take their walks around the block. All you need for this is paint, brushes, and tape.

Intermediate - Build window boxes
Once you have the proper materials and tools, this project is actually pretty easy, though whatever you plant in these boxes will require some regular upkeep.

Advanced - Create a patio
If your yard is missing space to gather, you can build your own! This may involve some clearing of grass or weeds, leveling and actual hands on building. You can be ambitious and pour concrete (which sounds impossible, TBH), lay stones, or go for wood tiles.

Bob Vila Level - Add a pergola to your patio
The Colorado summer sun is wonderful, but it’s also intense! Set yourself up with some shady seating, and when the time comes, you’ll be ready to enjoy our warmer weather. You will need a lot of tools for this one, and some general construction knowledge. It’s also going to be a lot easier with at least one person to help.

diy living room

Living Room

Easy - Mount your TV
Most televisions come with all the necessary materials to be hung on the wall. If not, mounting kits are easy to find online, and putting the TV on the wall not only looks better, it frees up some space in the living room. This job is a bit easier with two people.

Intermediate - Add floating shelves
There aren’t particularly hard to construct, but the placement and leveling can be tedious and hard to get just right. However shelves are a great way to display art or photos, and will definitely elevate the level of class in the living room.

Advanced - Reupholster furniture
This requires not only some well-loved chairs or sofas, but also fabric, upholstery, and a couple specific tools. However, furniture is expensive, and a few stains or tears is no reason to toss a couch that’s otherwise in good shape. 

Bob Vila Level - Take down that wall
Wish you had an open floor plan? Well, you might be able to create one. Emphasis on MIGHT. A lot of Colorado homes are pretty old, so just knocking out walls may not be structurally possible. However, some walls do nothing more than visually block a room, so take ‘em out! Obviously so many tools are needed, as well as some general structural knowledge.

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Bathroom

Easy - Change out your showerhead
You can have the rain shower you’ve always wanted with a simple hardware upgrade. Showerheads are easy to change out, and some can even improve your water pressure. This upgrade is fast, simple, and cheap.

Intermediate - Add a flat-panel fireplace
If your bathroom, or more specifically the bathtub, is your sanctuary, you want it to be as cozy as possible. Warm up hard tiles with a relatively easy to install fireplace. This can go in any room, but a bathroom fireplace is luxury.

Advanced - Add a stained glass/frosted glass window
If you’re tired of passers-by peeking in your bathroom windows (who wouldn’t be), stained or frosted glass with let light in, and keep curious eyes out. This isn't hard to do, but it also isn't easy to do right.

Bob Vila Level - Create a new tub/shower setup
Maybe your shower is grimy or your tub is tiny and you’ve been lusting over something a little roomier. The materials alone will be pretty costly, and you’ll need things like a tile cutter and some plumbing know-how, but doing it yourself is a more affordable option. You’ve got the time, if you’ve got the skills.

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Kitchen

Easy - Change out cabinet hardware
This is by far the easiest DIY on the list. If your cabinet handles are a bit outdated, or you just aren’t feeling them anymore, they can simply be swapped out. This project should take no more than an hour or two, possibly less, depending on how many handles you’ve got. 

Intermediate - Add a backsplash
Backsplashes have become an almost foolproof DIY. Sheets of tiles are available and easy to trim, meaning you might not even have to cut tile, depending on the measurements of your space and size of tile you choose. You will need basic tiling tools, and experience is always a plus, but it’s definitely doable on your own.

Advanced - Install glass panels on cabinets
A cabinet refresh isn’t a quick project, but it’s less difficult than you might expect, and a DIY is thousands cheaper than installing new ones. Some additional equipment and meterials will be needed.

Bob Vila Level - Build an island
Not every kitchen will even accommodate an island, but if you’ve been longing to add one to your space, it can be done! There are tons of variables here, and some building experience is probably a bonus, but if you feel confident, a new island is just a few days and some hard work away.

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Bedroom

Easy - Marie Kondo your dressers
Step one, binge Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. When you feel peak motivated, book it to the bedroom and start figuring out what brings you joy. This will require a donation box, or three.

Intermediate - Install closet shelves/organization
Adding a few shelves, racks and drawers can turn even the smallest closet into an organizational dream. It’s best to come up with a clear concept before buying materials and getting to work, that way you can be sure to create the maximum amount of storage in your space.

Advanced - Put in a ceiling fan
Warm summer months aren’t far off, and nothing is worse than a hot bedroom. If you already have a ceiling light fixture in your room, swapping it with a fan isn’t overly complicated, but may require two sets of hands.

Bob Vila Level - Change out the floors
Depending on what you’ve got in your room, and what you want to replace it with, this might be easy, or it could be really hard. New carpet takes ages and needs to be measured, and padded, and cut with precision. Hardwood and wood-look floors are more forgiving, but still take some time and energy. Research your wants and figure out the perfect surface for you, and go to the store with your measurements in hand!

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Misc.

Easy - Hang utility hooks/coat racks
Always losing your keys? Nowhere good to hang a towel in the kitchen? Want to add a little greenery to a room? Utility hooks can make all these things possible, and they don’t have to be ugly and functional looking. Stores like Anthropologie can deliver beautiful hardware in just a few days.

Intermediate - Shiplap walls
Calling all Chip and Joanna Gaines fans! Shiplap is the trendy upgrade. It absolutely adds depth to a room, and creates a cool country feel. Not many materials are needed, and this project can be mostly done in a day, just try not to over do it. All wood walls aren’t the best look.

Advanced - Install a chandelier
Good lighting can completely transform a room. Changing just one fixture can give any room a brand new vibe. You can also brighten up an otherwise dark space, or go for something warmer for a cozy glow. Light electrical know-how is a plus, and maybe don’t do this one alone.

Bob Vila Level - Add crown molding
There’s not a room out there that won’t benefit from crown molding. It makes almost all spaces look a little more elegant, and covers up any paint mishaps that may have taken place in the past. You’ll need a few tools, a ladder, and persistence to do it right.