Some home projects get all the glory, but if you really want your home to feel modern and updated, don’t focus on just the big-ticket items.
You’ll need to pay close attention to some of the tiny details, too. Though the following fixes may be small, their impact is anything but—spend a little time making these upgrades and updates, and you’ll breathe new life into your living spaces.
Replace the Blinds
You don’t realize just how big of an impact blinds make until you completely replace them. If your blinds are broken, permanently bent, stained, or just looking a little blah, it’s definitely time to pick up new ones.
If you can afford it, spring on more expensive models—it’s an investment right now, but one that will pay off for many years to come. Lighter, thinner blinds are great for taking advantage of natural lighting, whereas black-out blinds are a splurge-worthy indulgence for a great night's sleep.
Add Height with Trim
If you’re planning on repainting your walls, be sure to pick up a little extra paint in the same color. Most people automatically opt to paint the trim in a crisp, clean white—but painting in the same shade as your wall is one of the next big things in interior design. Not only does it cut down on some tedious taping time, but it also elongates the walls, creating the illusion of higher ceilings. We call that a win-win!
Upgrade Floor Transitions
Most homes contain a variety of floor types—hardwood, tile, carpet, laminate, the list goes on. The key areas where one type transitions into another are all too often neglected (including doorways).
If your floor transitions strips are loose, dirty, or have been there since your home was constructed, now would be a good time to replace them. This fix is relatively quick and easy, but it will make transition areas of your home feel more harmonious.
Swap Out Old Hardware
Doorknobs, cabinet pulls, towel hangers and hinges offer the ultimate home upgrade shortcut. Replacing old, worn, or mismatched hardware can give a room a subtle but impactful update.
Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with hardware—it’s typically relatively inexpensive, so you can play around a little (as with throw pillows and blankets, for instance).
Update the Undermount Lights
It’s officially time to say goodbye to the institutional glow of fluorescent tubes emanating from beneath your cabinets. With super easy-to-install under-mount lighting options, there is officially no more reason to subject your eyes (or your kitchen) to that unflattering neon glow.
This is the kind of update that is necessary to make other renovations—like new countertops—truly shine. It’s relatively easy to DIY this upgrade (many new under-mount systems plug right into a regular outlet), but you can hire an electrician to get it done if your project requires finicky wiring.
Find Rugs that Fit
When it comes to area rugs, avoid the “one size fits all" mentality—it simply isn’t true. An ill-fitting area rug can totally throw off the scale of a room, which can distract from awesome furniture or gorgeous artwork.
So how big should you go? While there are no hard and steady rules, it’s generally a good idea to leave about a foot and a half of space between the rug and the wall if you’re planning on covering an entire room.
Another key guideline: ensure that furniture “anchors" the rug, meaning your couch should sit partially (or completely) on the rug; the rug shouldn’t lie in front of it, like a floating island.