A kitchen makeover that boasts style, efficiency and function
Four easy updates around the home that will take you just the weekend to complete.
Fall has arrived and, with fewer weekends spent on the beach or at the cottage, it’s the perfect time to tackle some projects around the house. Here are some of my favourite easy home updates you can take on now.
Photography by Donna Griffith
1 Lighten up
If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time in your kitchen. Valance lighting is a quick fix for dim kitchens, allowing you to highlight your workspace and create ambience at the same time. Just choose between fluorescent, halogen and incandescent lighting and whether you want hard-wired or plug-in. Fluorescent strip lights that plug into an outlet are the easiest and least expensive option, but halogen lights mimic natural daylight best. Hard-wiring to a switch will require the assistance of an electrician but can be done quickly without cutting into the walls significantly.
Time and cost: 1 day, $50 and up.
Photography courtesy of iStockphoto.com
2 Make an entrance
In my experience, the entryway is one of the most neglected areas in people’s homes. The good news is that updating it can be an easy weekend makeover. New outdoor light fixtures and a fresh coat of paint on your front door (I like Para Paints Ultra Low Temp Exterior Semi-Gloss) can go a long way. If your foyer isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, try adding a window to your front door – it will make your whole entrance feel bigger. not prepared to take on a big project? Consider replacing your door altogether – it’s a fast and inexpensive way to improve your entryway and enhance your curb appeal.
Time and cost: 2 days, $50 and up.
3 Go long
Unless your bathroom is tiny, there’s no excuse for not having a nice toilet with an elongated bowl and quiet-close lid. For a few hundred bucks, you can “go” in style. Look for a low-flow model to keep water usage down as well. Just make sure to buy a standard, elongated toilet, as opposed to a European model, to ensure easy installation.
Time and cost: 1 day, $200 to $400.
4 Apply yourself
Ever wonder about the easiest way to give a room a high-end look with architectural interest for the least amount of money? The answer is applied mouldings. Whether it’s a chair rail in your dining room or picture boxes in your living room, the colour and style possibilities are endless. And applied mouldings aren’t just reserved for walls; You can also use them to up the ante on standard kitchen cabinetry or create a focal point on high ceilings.
Time and cost: 1 day, $50 to $200.