So you’ve successfully moved. You’ve unloaded, unpacked your belongings (even that shirt you said was going to Goodwill), and taken a well-earned breath of relaxation. Now the work to turn your new home into your dream home begins.
With every move, you have a unique opportunity to plan improvements and upgrades from the get-go. A clean slate. Some take advantage of this time more than others — they’re called smart people. Trust us — while these six DIY home projects are worth your time and effort, they only scratch the surface. Read on, and then tell us about your favorites too.
1. Give your kitchen some love
Go big and go home. Think of the kitchen as the centerpiece of your house. The community space around which meals, stories, glasses of wine, laughs, and holidays are shared with family and guests. Leave bigger items like the countertops and flooring to the professionals, but smaller projects are well within your wheelhouse. Update to a more modern look with hanging or floating shelves. Build your backsplash using unconventional materials like tin or epoxied wood. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity.
2. Sponge paint your bathroom walls
It’s gorgeous, plays well with lighting, and looks far more complex than it is. Paint your base (we recommend something dark), then grab an accent color and sponge roller. This technique looks best as part of well-decorated bathrooms, so be sure your Feng Shui is on point as well. Consider redecorating existing tile, replacing your light fixture, installing floating wall shelves or baskets, or other great upgrades, and you’ll have a bathroom to be proud of.
3. Green everything
No, we don’t mean the color, unless you’re into that. Make it a project priority as soon as you move in to replace electronics like bulbs, power strips, and TVs with the most energy-efficient options available. Consider upgrading HVAC units or water heaters if you have the budget, but simple additions like dimmers or a Nest can go a long way. Both your energy bill and our coral reefs will thank you.
4. Invest in a good light fixture
Like this one. Or this one. Now is the time for a bit of introspection. What’s your personality? What’s going to bring the room to life? A lot of people settle for the lights that come with the house, but adding this little touch can go a long way to making your new home more personal. Turn off the breaker box, make sure you have the right bulbs, connect the wires, and voilà!
5. Bring family together outside with a homemade, underground firepit
Are you one of those people who won’t settle for an above-ground firepit? So are we! That’s because firepits you build into the ground are categorically cooler than their cousins. They make clean-up that much quicker, are generally safer, and bring a bit of sophistication to the regular-old bonfire. You can even surround it with stone for a flatter, more controllable area. This can easily become the centerpiece of your backyard, and our friends at Lowe’s have the perfect how-to video to get you started.
You’re all settled in your new place. Now really make it your place to enjoy! If you haven’t already, take a look at our tips for downsizing possessions; this is another way to improve your new home. Be sure to check out more PODS articles for other interesting tips, DIY projects, and more.