15 Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer
'Tis the season of sweat... equity.
Photo By: Pinnacle Estate Properties, a member of Luxury Portfolio International
Photo By: Studio Jaki Photography
Photo By: Studio Jaki Photography
Photo By: Bethany Nauert
Photo By: Windermere Real Estate, a member of Luxury Portfolio International
Photo By: Studio Jaki Photography
Photo By: Michelle Drewes, MichelleDrewes.com
Photo By: Sawhorse Design & Build
Photo By: Harry Norman, REALTORS, a member of Luxury Portfolio International
Photo By: @properties, a member of Luxury Portfolio International
Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images
Photo By: Alain Pinel Realtors, a member of Luxury Portfolio International
Photo By: GARDNER, REALTORS, a member of Luxury Portfolio International; SNAP Real Estate Photography, LLC
Up Your Curb Appeal
Throw on your ball cap and slather on some SPF — it's time to get outside and put in some sweat equity to up your home's curb appeal. While summer temps aren't ideal for repainting your garage door or tackling a full garden overhaul (save those projects for fall), do spend some time improving your curb appeal in other ways. Consider installing an inviting new driveway with stone pavers, or use brick to create a classic pathway to your front door. Snag our top twelve tips for cranking up the curb appeal below.
See More Photos: 20 Ways to Enhance Your Home's Curb Appeal
Update Your Kitchen Tile
Looking for a project that offers instant, stylish satisfaction? Start in the kitchen. Rid yourself of old tile and liven things up with a brand-new backsplash. This space features bright white tiles that are a new twist on the classic subway design. Join us in obsessing over the fresh cross shape, won't you?
See More Photos: Our Favorite Kitchen Backsplashes
Switch Out Light Fixtures
Toss those sad, dusty builder-grade fans out of your home, and out of your life forever. Replace them with sleek light fixtures that are better suited to your home's individual design style. Doing so will make your home feel equal parts personal and polished. Can't live without your ceiling fan? Check out our favorite fan upgrades.
Get the How-To: How to Install a Pendant Light
Upgrade Your Hardware
Wow-wee! Un-lacquered brass appliance pulls, drawer pulls and cabinet hardware come into play to finish off this striking, blonde and white kitchen design. Let this be a lesson for all of us to never underestimate the dramatic pull (get it?) that carefully curated hardware has on the overall aesthetic of one's home. Bonus? This summer project requires little time and almost zero sweat.
Lay the Groundwork for Style
Many of us are guilty of giving our walls more attention than the giant design opportunity that's right under our noses. Whether you pull up the carpet, add a darker stain to your existing hardwood or go full-on makeover with black and white tile, consider giving your floors some TLC this summer.
Leave Popcorn to Movie Theaters
ATTENTION! If your home currently boasts popcorn ceilings, we urge you to skip every other project on this list. Make it your summer mission to right the wrongs of contractors past by removing said popcorn from your home, and your life, forever. Replace it with a soft, clean coat of paint and, if you're feeling extra ambitious, add custom beams or a crisp, coffered ceiling for instant dimension with timeless appeal.
Watch the Video: How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling
Add Wallpaper to Unexpected Spaces
Around here, we have some major love for whimsical wallpaper. If you're a little apprehensive about taking on this project, start small by papering a tiny space in your home first. Our top picks: closet interiors, the laundry room and that barely-used powder room off the den. Can we also talk about the instant wow-factor in this hallway? Recreate the magic by picking a petite place to plaster some pretty, printed wallpaper in your home.
See More Photos: Make Statement Wallpapers Work in Any Room
Up Your Pantry Game
There are few projects as therapeutic as this one. Head out to your go-to storage shop and stock up on neat, transparent containers for the kitchen pantry. Purge all the rainbow-colored, cardboard snack containers and expired products and relocate them into your new, clear containers. Your sweets and salty treats will never taste better than they do coming from a clean, cohesive kitchen pantry. That's a fact.
Finish the Basement
You bought your home with all the good intentions in the world to finish off the basement. So what are you waiting for? Sure, finishing a basement is not exactly a 3-day weekend type of task, but don't let the scale of this project overwhelm you before you even begin! Start the process by creating a list of intentions and desires for the space, and use that to draft a to-do list. Remember: Rome wasn't built in a day and baby-steps are key. Remain consistent and by the time you're ready to hibernate during fall and winter, your man cave or basement bar will be open for business.
See More Photos: 10 Things You Must Know: Finishing a Basement
Refresh Your Walls
A rule to live by? Never underestimate the power of paint. Add a fresh coat of color (or bright, bright white) and prepare to be shook to your core by the transformation of your home. This is as close to instant gratification as you can get when it comes to home improvement projects.
Get the How-To: How to Pull Off a Better Paint Job
Speaking of paint — painting the exterior of your home is always a good idea in our book, too. Real talk: there are very few homes that wouldn't benefit from a nice power-wash or coat of crisp white paint. Lover of color? Dip your toes (read: paintbrush) into this soft, baby blue hue. We suggest hiring a pro for this job, but if you're feeling ambitious, check out our tutorial for painting your home's exterior below.
Get the How-To: Painting the Exterior of a Home
Craft Custom Built-Ins
Roll up your sleeves and try your hand at some custom carpentry. Add bookshelves, a kitchen bench or install a functional piece in your mudroom. We're inspired by this project because the mudroom entrance appears just as light-filled and pretty as the rest of the house, but boasts more handy places to stash coats, sports equipment, shoes and other random "stuff." Score!
Watch the Video: How to Create a Mudroom Bench
Pretty-Up Bathroom Vanities
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, why are you so dang small? If this feels familiar, it's time to reflect on your tiny mirrors and, ultimately, upgrade your vanity(ies) altogether. This remodeled master bathroom features a gorgeous, glass-enclosed walk-in shower with marble tile. But the best part? A large, wall-to-wall mirror is positioned above the vanity area and flanked by pretty sconces on either side for a luxurious finishing touch.
Take it Outside
Though small, this backyard is packed with style, boasting a petite patio, lush green lawn and, at the back, a deck and seating area. Enjoy the sunshine and put in the work to create an outdoor space that is better suited to your family's needs.
Paint Your Cabinetry
Hate your kitchen cabinets but don't want to spend an arm and a leg to replace them? Grab a paintbrush! Painting cabinetry is the most cost-effective way to give your kitchen a whole new look. To really up the ante and transform the space, swap out or add spray paint to that old hardware, too.
Watch the Video: How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets