I often get overwhelmed when I survey my home and notice all the things that need to be repaired and areas that could do with improvement. It is easy to become stressed out by this, especially if, like me, you don’t have the disposable income or time to sort them all out.
During one of my home improvement induced panic episodes, I turned to the internet for help. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I am in no way alone in this situation. In fact, there is a wealth of advice and “how to” guides addressed to people who want to make easy, quick and affordable improvements to their property.
After studying articles on home improvement at exploded home, as well as other blogs and websites, I dedicated the last two weekends to revamping my interiors. I am pleased to say that it has really worked; my home looks and feels completely transformed. With minimal effort, I have developed such a feeling of pride and comfort in my home. I feel compelled to help others achieve the same. So, here are my tips on how to make the most of your home with just a few easy domestic improvements.
- Paint your way to a finer home
During your home improvement activities, paint will fast become your best friend. It is amazing the difference a fresh coat can make in brightening and enhancing your walls and furniture.
Over time, the interior walls of your home become dull and blemished due to general wear and tear. This can come in the form of chips, holes, dirt and scratches. If you are a parent, you may even notice the occasional grubby hand print or crayon mark.
To start, I went around my home and used post-it notes to mark the areas that needed a touch-up of paint. I used a mild household cleaner and warm water to remove any surface dirt. I was then left with the blemishes that required a lick of paint. Luckily, I had an assortment of paint tins stored from previous DIY jobs and so I didn’t need to spend any money on this domestic improvement.
If you don’t have any leftover paint, I would recommend picking up a few tester-sized tins. These will provide more than enough paint for touch-up work and only cost a couple of dollars per sample. How long this task will take depends on how scuffed your walls are. However, it shouldn’t take any more than a couple of hours. When touching up walls, make sure you are using the same color and that you apply the paint in the same way and direction as the rest of the wall.
However, if you think your home would benefit from a more extensive paint job then you’ll need to purchase a full-sized tin of paint. DIY store own brands are usually the most economical option. Any paint that you don’t use will come in handy when you need to cover up any marks in the future. There is an abundance of information available online on how to paint your walls quickly and easily.
2. Revitalise your tired furniture
There is always something you can do to fix and refresh your worn out furniture.
Gently use a baby wipe or microfiber cloth with a little vinegar to remove stains from your upholstery. After spot cleaning, your upholstery may benefit from an overall clean and rinse. Most sofa cushion covers can be removed and machine washed, but do check the cleaning instructions before doing this. Alternatively, mix a little mild laundry detergent with some warm water and apply all over the furniture using a cloth.
Any loose threads can be snipped or sewn back into the material. Holes or rips in upholstery can be fixed easily using a needle and thread, fabric glue or they can be patched up with spare material.
Surface scratches on wooden furniture can be removed by applying a paste wax to the surface and buffing the area. The wax will fill the scratch mark and the buffing will even out the surface. If the scratch goes deep into the wood, before applying the wax you should use shoe polish or colored pencils, for example, to make the blemish match the surface color of the wood.
As well as cosmetic fixes, you can give your interior a new twist with a few finishing touches to your furniture. Your cabinets may benefit from a fresh coat of paint or varnish and some interesting new handles. And your sofas and chairs will look refreshed when covered with beautiful cushions and throws.
3. Make your home sparkle
I spent one day doing a proper clean, and I have to say, it was by far the biggest improvement I made. I concentrated on the things I don’t always have time to do like buff the faucets and clean the inside of the windows. Yes, it took the best part of the day to complete, but it was worth it, and I know I won’t have to do it again for a while.
Crystal clear windows will make your home look bright and spacious. You can clean your windows like a proif you are equipped with the right utensils. Instead of using a paper towel and spray, get yourself a squeegee (these products range from $20 to $100, but are well worth the money). With this piece of equipment, I halved the time I would normally spend on the windows. Apply some soapy warm water to your windows using a sponge and simply clean away the water with the squeegee for a spotless, streak-free finish.
During your deep clean, pay some attention to your chrome and stainless steel items. Believe me, this will really make your kitchen and bathroom shine. Once you have given them a good clean, apply some baby oil to your stove top and faucets and buff with a cloth. After you’ve done this, they will be so shiny they will double up as a mirror.
This article has shown you that it is possible to make the most of what you’ve got at home in an easy and affordable way. If you get the chance to try out some of these tips, I hope that you see as big an improvement to your home as I did.