Fresh Paint: Easy DIY Home Upgrades

diy home improvement ideas
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DIY Home Improvement Ideas

If during the pandemic you had the overwhelming urge to nest, you are not alone. I personally channeled my inner interior designer and painted, wallpapered, and moved furniture every day. The desire to love my space became part of my daily mental state.

Now the world is opening up again (yay), sunshine is seeping through the windows, and I am still at it. And most likely, so are you. Whether you are changing things up in the home you have owned pre-babies or just moved to the suburbs — there are ways to makeover your space with a few coats of paint for a brighter home. So in the spirit of being realistic about your time and money. Here are some ideas on updating one room or spot in your home.

painting a wall diy home improvement ideas
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Paint a Space for an Instant Lift

I love a nice white painted wall, and frankly, I have to get talked into a new paint color every few years. If you have the same ‘challenge’, pick one area you feel needs a bit of life, choose a color that you haven’t tried before, and paint away. Once the new color hits the wall, it is a welcoming refresh and may inspire you to paint more rooms.

Change Up the Wooden Stairs With a Bright Color

This is one of my favorites, and while it can be a bit tedious, the payoff is tremendous. First, give your stairs a refresh of a base coat or apply a new base coat. Then using painter’s tape — tape the seams of the stairs, basically at the parts you don’t want to get any paint on. Make sure you paint over the tape, so you have clean lines after the paint dries and the tape is removed. Finally, using a Semi-Gloss, paint the stairs, dry, repeat, and voila!

Color Block for a Room Upgrade

You have the painter’s tape, so why not fun up the bathroom wall, kids’ room, or the bathroom with color blocking. Color blocking can go from simple to a bit more intricate. Thankfully, there are many tutorials online that can help you with the more artsy color blocking. I like to first use a yardstick to pencil in the line, then outline it with painter’s tape. I stick to triangles or more geometric shapes as they are frankly the easiest to do.

Tip: Your color blocking doesn’t have to be in geometric shapes. You can paint half the wall, half a circle, or a square on the wall. I have even used color blocking in place of a faux ‘headboard’ for my oldest son’s first toddler room.

kids writing on a chalkboard wall
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Paint a Chalkboard Wall

Are your kids at an age where they are drawing on the walls? Listen, it happens, and kids should not be drawing on the walls. But giving them a fun canvas where it is allowed will minimize if not stop the tagging altogether on your precious walls. I have had chalkboard paint on the kitchen door, covered half a wall, and at one point, an entire wall in the kids’ bedroom. What I love most about it is it looks chic and really can change up a space. Chalkboard paint comes in an array of colors; I love classic black.

Tip: Before you paint your chalkboard wall, make sure the wall is smooth. I will use sandpaper or wipe the wall clean before applying the first coat. Also, I have never gotten away with just one coat; usually, you will need to do at least two coats.

7 Paint Colors that Brighten Up a Room

What paint hues brighten up a room? We asked the experts at Wallauer Paint Hardware and Design , headquartered in White Plains, New York, to shortlist what paints brighten a room up.

Benjamin Moore Excalibur Gray. While this color is on the lighter side, its grayed-out lilac hue is perfect to create an almost neutral moody feel—this color in a relaxing tone-on-tone bedroom.

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray. It is not too gray and not too light, and it has a nice mix of warmth and coolness, so it is highly adaptable to fit any style home or design theme.

Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. It is a very crisp white and really makes a statement. This shade of white is perfect for a modern Farmhouse or a more traditional home and pairs wonderfully with cool shades like blue or purple.

Benjamin Moore Victorian Mauve. A light dusty mauve that is soft, soothing, and impactful. A great option not only for a living room, but a girl’s bedroom transitioning into her teens. It is a classic and timeless color.”

Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee. This color is grounding, yet adaptable. It sets the perfect foundation for nearly any color palette and works as a gentle neutral. “It gives your home a deeper, more relaxed feel than a basic white or off-white paint.

Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray. When it comes to painting a living room. If white is too plain, color is too bold, and beige is too warm, you will not find a more fitting option than a gray like this. “It’s a light, cool color that works really well in both modern and traditional rooms.

Benjamin Moore Polaris Blue. A perfect French blue. It’s vibrant with a subtle gray undertone that keeps it understated and relaxing—just what you want your bathroom or master bedroom to feel like.

Furniture Statement Pieces

You have given your favorite space an upgrade; now, what sort of furniture pieces should you add? We checked in with Country Willow Home in Bedford, New York, for design pro tips on elevating your space with essential furniture pieces. 

Key Furniture Pieces to Invest in When You Are Changing Up the Family Room

The two most important pieces for a family room are seating and the entertainment center. Sectionals, the most popular choice for family rooms, have large sizes and flexible configurations to give each member of the family comfort and space. When shopping for sectionals for a family room, consider investing in performance fabrics. Performance fabrics give you some additional piece of mind when it comes to spills and stains, making it easier to clean. The construction of the frame and suspension for the cushions is also important considering that a family room is a busy place! Entertainment centers have evolved since TV’s are increasing in size and are considered a little more disposable. In lieu of large built-in TV cabinets, entertainment centers have moved to more of a center console with tall bookcases for storage. This gives you a cleaner look with lots of storage.

Design Tricks When Upgrading a Nursery Into a Toddler Room

Look for furniture that grows with your child. If space is a challenge, there are some great loft options that can give you more floor space for playing, and as they grow you can raise the bed to a bunk with a desk and storage space under the bed!

Many parents are also skipping “toddler” furniture and getting higher quality furniture that can last through childhood. It is a better investment and can provide more flexibility throughout the years.

When shopping for any room, be sure to bring dimensions and photos with you so you can get an expert’s advice.