Home Improvement: Doing it yourself, room-by-room

Repurpose old jars to give your bathroom a fresh look.
Repurpose old jars to give your bathroom a fresh look.

Pretend you’re walking into your home for the first time. Chances are, once you take that step back, you’ll start to notice plenty of outdated decor that could stand to be freshened up, or a cluttered area that could be put to better use. Rather than overwhelm yourself with a whole-house overhaul, start making small, easy changes one room at a time. You won’t spread yourself – or your wallet – too thin.

Bathroom
Make your bathroom swankier by displaying everyday items in glass. Use mason jars, sugar kegs, or even old jam jars to hold your cotton swabs, cotton balls, and toothbrush.

If your linen closet is overflowing and perhaps a little musty, too, air out and display clean towels, rolled up, in a basket or recycled wooden crate.

And if all else fails, it’s shocking what a fresh shower curtain can do to shift the bathroom’s style.

Kitchen
Even the best kitchens are sometimes lacking in countertop space. Free up some of that precious commodity by giving everything on the counter a new home.

Start with a wall-hanging spice rack, which you can build, buy or upcycle from old shelves.

If you have a bulky, cylindrical container on your countertop that holds large utensils, move it to the wall. Use a wall-mounted flower pot holder to keep your container off the counter.

Bedroom
Time to redo the core of this room: the bed. New sheets and a mountain of matching pillows are great, but if you want to get your hands dirty, try creating your own headboard.

It only takes a tiny bit of sewing skill to create a slipcover for your current headboard. With the wide choice of fabrics available, you can set the tone for the whole room.

If you’re looking for something more rustic, see if you can dig up weathered wood. Paint and sand an old door or shutters to match the room’s theme and mount it behind the bedframe.

Don’t throw that out!
During all of this updating and remodeling, it’s easy to absentmindedly trash anything that doesn’t have an immediate purpose. You might want to hold off, though. Before you dump that empty glass jar, consider giving it new life as a DIY snow globe or tiny terrarium.

The head of a rusty metal rake just needs a thorough cleaning before nailing it to the wall and using it as an Americana-style piece to hold keys, necklaces or dishtowels.


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