Everyone is looking to make small changes to the space they can’t leave. Here are some simple ideas for making the house you’re stuck in a little more hospitable.
My parents recently got a quote for new windows, where they quickly learned through their estimate that home improvement projects are in high demand (as are windows). It seems that after months on end of at-home lockdown, they weren’t the only people interested in improving their space.
We each have that one thing that every day looks us in the eye and says, “Please, fix me.” For me it’s the framed art still leaning against the wall unhung; maybe for you, it’s the storage room that’s no longer navigable. While we originally put off the dreaded task, waiting for life to return to normal, it’s time we come to terms with the inevitable: we’ve still got months to go, meaning we can’t put it off any longer. To make this last stretch of quarantine more bearable, we’re helping you tackle your home renovation project.
Top Picks for You
A Pop of Color
While white used to be the it color for homes—simplistic and sleek—sitting at home all day surrounded by what is essentially a blank canvas can become somewhat daunting. To give your home new life, and brighten up your day and spirit, add a pop of color to the room that needs a little pick-me-up. If you’re not ready to commit to painting the entire room, accent walls—where you choose one wall to paint as opposed to the entire room—offer a change in pace from plain white while offering less of a commitment, and can make a space seem much larger. Additionally, there’s the option to create something a little more unique with painter’s tape and a steady hand.
While we might not all be art collectors in the owns a Matisse way, most of us have accumulated paintings, posters, and tapestries over our years, some of which now just sit in the closet we’ve designated for storage. To both stop them from collecting dust and make your space a little more inviting, do what you’ve been putting off for years and create that gallery wall that’s completely taken over Pinterest. It’s hard to know what a gallery wall will look like before it’s all placed, but there are some things that can help. Pull your Christmas wrapping paper out of storage, and cut rectangles the exact lengths of each frame you want hung. From there, you can test out different wall placements and find the best spacing before finally pulling out the hammer.
Designated Mask Space
I don’t know that many of us envisioned a world in which we would be grabbing a mask to accompany our keys each time we left the home. As such, we had no such space to keep those pesky masks that often go misplaced or clutter our countertops (not the cutest). This is a simple project for those of us who are tired of seeing a pile of masks each time we turn a corner—you grab a new one each time you can’t find the old one and suddenly every nook and cranny of your space is home to 2020’s newest accessory. To keep your place organized and as stylish as the rest of your home, create a designated spot for your masks—coat hooks do the trick without taking away from your overall aesthetic. There are also more stylish options as well as quirky, so no matter your personal style, the masks have a place.
Picture Frame Molding
This is a simple way to make an otherwise fine room a little more elegant. Picture frame molding adds dimension to a wall—it’s a great alternative to those who find wallpaper, an accent wall, or art a little busy. While this project requires a little more work than hanging frames or painting, it’s still not a project that takes a pro. The end results look far more expensive than the actual cost of the project, and you’ll find that adding just a bit of dimension to the room can change the look and feel entirely.
A Coffee Bar
This is something that’s simple but might just change the way you start your morning and spend your money. Often, when our at-home coffee situation isn’t exactly simple (we’re talking outdated coffee pots and no place to store the K-cups), we feel inclined to buy a coffee. Where before we could rely on our office to always have a fresh pot of coffee to get us through the day, we’re now reliant on our own roasting abilities, making it pretty easy to become a regular at Starbucks. To incentivize an at-home cup, create a space for your morning caffeine. Eatwell101 shared their favorite at-home coffee bars so you can get inspired, looking at what design might best fit your space.
I know we don’t want to admit it, but the end isn’t that near, and working from your couch one day more might be what drives you over the edge (or at least hurts your back). And, even once we reach the end of the pandemic, working from home might become the norm at many companies that found money was saved not renting an office space year-round. Do yourself a favor and, please, finally create yourself a designated workspace. Home offices don’t need to be anything fancy, they simply need to be functional (and fit what space you have left). For those with an extra room at their disposal, the options are endless and I implore you to get inspired by any of these extraordinary home-offices featured in Architectural Digest. But for those needing to make the most out of their small space, something like this wall-mounted drop-leaf desk could be perfect, folding right back into the wall once the work day is over.
Touch of Green
Nothing has quite lifted my spirits during lockdown quite like bringing the outside in. While we might enjoy a nice walk now and then, sometimes days will go by before you realize you can’t remember the last time you took in a breath of fresh air (because, you know, there’s nowhere to go). This home improvement project isn’t about patching a hole or reorganizing, it’s about improving your mental health with something small. Live plants give you something to care for—oh how therapeutic it is to watch them grow and bloom—while brightening and livening the space in a way a lamp can’t. Local plant shops can tell you what’s in season in your neck of the woods and what would best bloom inside. Or, if you live in the Los Angeles area, Plants & Spaces comes to you for an in-house plant consultation and design. But, we understand if venturing outside or letting someone in is a little worrisome for you right now, which is why The Sill delivers pre-potted plants to your door.