8 Home Projects You Can Tackle This Summer
The sunny season is a great time to take on home improvement projects to update your look, increase your home’s value or simply check those nagging tasks off your list. Here, our favorite no-construction-required ways to freshen things up.
Written by Cody Torgersrud
Summer is here, and if you missed your chance for spring cleaning, now is the perfect time to tackle a project or two to get your home feeling fresh and new. Here are a few ideas (some that can be done in an afternoon or weekend) that will get your home feeling cool for the summer.
1. Silence Summer Heat
Did winter make you forget how much noise your old ceiling fan makes? Get rid of clanky, wobbly or just plain loud fans and update to something that will stick with you for many summers to come. To choose the right one, make sure you consider ceiling fan size for the room that it’s in, and look at features like energy-saving DC motors, remote controls and even fans that integrate with your mobile device.
2. Start With a Fresh Coat
As simple as it seems, a fresh coat of paint can make a room feel brand new. We quickly become blind to scuffs, smudges and marks that build up over time. If you’re not sure about taking on a new color, freshening up your existing color can make a world of difference.
Make sure you are selecting the right paint for the job. While ultra-matte paint is all the rage right now, it might not be the best choice for every space. Spaces like bathrooms and kitchens may require another formulation than what you’d choose for the dining room.
3. Be Gone, Basic
Take a look around your home: There’s a chance you have at least one—or more likely, a handful—of “builder’s special” light fixtures in your home. It’s usually in the form of a boring flushmount with a finial at the bottom. Sound all too familiar? Swap that tired light out and find one that truly suits your taste. From casual to statement-making, there are plenty of flushmount lights that can transform a space with just a quick afternoon’s worth of work.
4. Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space
With warmer days and nights drawing us outside, make sure your yard and patio are up to snuff. Besides making sure the lawn stays green and the garden beds are weeded, you may want to take a look at your outdoor living area and make sure it’s a space you can enjoy for (oh, oh) those summer nights. Try adding lanterns or even battery powered table lamps to extend your outdoor time into the darker hours. Slinging up some string lights can take a few hours, but will instantly transform a patio into a piazza. If you want a more classic outdoor experience (without the smoky campfire), try a tabletop firepit or oil lamp to bring back those summertime memories and create the ultimate ambiance.
5. Mini Remodel
If a down-to-the-studs remodel is out of the question, there are little updates you can do over a few weekends to make an old space feel new again. The bath is a great candidate for a mini remodel, as small rooms can create a big impact with just a few steps:
- Update simple finishes like paint or go for something more daring like a modern wallpaper, which can add some flair to a small space.
- Then, update the bath’s hardware. New hooks, towel racks and drawer knobs can be statement-makers on their own.
- And finally, trade in your lighting fixtures, even if it’s just swapping out the vanity light or overhead light. (Read: our Bath Lighting Buyer’s Guide first)
Voila! Those simple steps will have your bathroom feeling fresh and new—no contractor required.
6. Purge the Storage
Getting out your summer gear is a great time to take stock of your storage space. If there are items you haven’t used in years, chances are you're not going to use it anytime soon, either. This is a great opportunity to give items a second life, trash broken or unusable items and recycle what you can. Ridding the space of clutter will make it easier to organize and get to your stored items, as well as keep what’s there in good condition.
Taking the time to evaluate what you have tucked away and get rid of old, outdated and unneeded items now—that way, packing back up come fall will be a much more pleasant experience.
7. Let There Be Light
We all have a space in our homes that’s just a little too dark, whether it’s a dim hallway or a closet that desperately needs a light. LED technology has made it easier than ever to add recessed lighting to any space, as newer lights can be installed with as little as three inches of clearance. This is a quick way to brighten the spaces that need it most with powerful, dimmable lighting. While they are quite easy to install, it’s still a good idea to talk to an electrician before you begin.
8. Reboot Your Hardware
Something that everyone seems to ignore but which can make a huge impact in the space is hardware—plugs, switches and other controls that are probably found in every single room of your house. But a simple swap of these can bring a whole new sense of elegance and design to a space. One of our best bets is the Adorne collection from Legrand, which allows you to combine the device you need (a switch, an outlet, a USB, etc.) with a customized wall plate. Their clean, simple formats are available in a huge array of finishes─even hand-forged metals that coordinate with lighting fixtures by Hubbardton Forge.