6 Ways to Upgrade Your Home This Weekend
Create amazing changes in 48 hours (no table saw or big budget required).
Photo: Claire Richardson - Creating the Vintage Look
If You Have 2 Hours...
Update your window treatment—without any sewing. Ellie Laycock, the author of Creating the Vintage Look
, created curtains from fun, appealing dish towels. To do it yourself, establish that the length of your dish towels covers the height of the window. Then, add the width of all your towels together and make sure that number equals the width of your window times 2.5. You can sew a hem on top, like Ellie does, but an easier option is to clip on curtain rings and slide the dishtowels across a wire. Another simple window treatment: Take a twin-size flat sheet in a fun pattern or color and, again, clip on rings to hold it to the rod.
Photo: Kelle Boyd of Ann Kelle
If You Have 3 Hours...
Please give a warm welcome to Washi tape. The decorative Japanese masking tape is known for its affordable price and durability for all sorts of projects. But our favorite use of the tape is as an alternative to wall stencils. Create a rainbow-striped room like Kelle Boyd, the designer behind the brand Ann Kelle
, put up a honeycomb pattern using Jane and Fern's how-to guide
or add different-colored polka dots
. Don't worry if you mess up—Washi tape can easily be removed without leaving any marks and
you can reposition the same piece of tape without it losing its stickiness. A dream come true for renters and (anxious, all-thumb) crafters.
Photo: Modern Masters, Inc.
If You Have 5 Hours...
Make over your front door in metallic copper. The metal is a pretty-established home interior trend—usually found on kitchen countertops and fireplace fronts—but we love the idea of taking the trend outdoors. Try painting a metallic copper finish over a charcoal or dark-colored door to create a weathered look. Or, go for a more modern approach by painting the trim of a metallic copper door in an inky black color. For more ideas on how to update your front door, here are five more dazzling projects
If You Have 1 Day...
Try some $5 Magic Marker magic. When Nancy, of the quilting and home decor blog Owen's Olivia
, found that the perfect fabric to use as wallpaper for a child's room was no longer being manufactured, she decided to make it herself—by projecting the image of the wallpaper from her laptop onto her wall and then tracing it with a Sharpie. (If you don't have a projector, here's how to make one out of a cardboard box
.) A few pointers: (1) Choose whimsical prints, like Nancy's, which are more forgiving to human errors than striped or intricate patterns; (2) To keep from having to match up the lines at all four corners, limit yourself to only one wall, as an accent; (3) Avoid shaky-hand syndrome by spacing this project out throughout the day.
Photo: Simon Brown - Thrifty Chic
If You Have 1.5 Days...
Turn your dreary staircase into a work of art. "Carpet can be one of the most expensive elements of decorating a hall, but a painted 'runner' will give you the same fashionable look for a fraction of the cost of the real thing," said Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell in their book Thrifty Chic
. You can replicate theirs (at left) by following these steps: First, clean and sand your steps thoroughly. Then, apply two coats of a white paint to brighten up the hall. Once that's dry, measure and mark the stripes with 1-inch masking tape—ensuring that no two lines are the exact same size. Paint the stripes using a selection of dark, medium and pale green paints. Once the stripes are dry, tape over them and fill in the white lines that separate the green stripes with pale pink. After the pink dries, remove the tape and paint two thin black lines on top of the pale green stripe.
If You Have 2 Days...
Install a little life-changing wainscoting—one of the simplest ways to renovate your home without actually having to knock, rip or tear anything down. The paneling adds character to otherwise plain walls and also creates a line for the eye to follow around the room, making the space feel bigger. There are all sorts of different styles of wainscoting available, from beadboard
, that you can choose from. We love Young House Love
bloggers Sherry and John Petersik's time-saving shortcut
. The couple decided to skip the big, awkward boards of the board-and-batten, and simply install the batten, plus railing. (The one catch: You need smooth drywall. If you have textured walls, you will need those boards). The sweetest part? The couple spent $57 on the whole project. Leaving plenty of money left over for pizza and a movie on Sunday night.
Next: 5 decorating trends you'll love—and 1 to avoid