It’s that time of year again—the pocket between chasing New Year’s resolutions and prepping for spring cleaning—where so many of us get restless, determined, and on a kick to change something in our routines, habits, or homes.
While some goals are dying down, in many ways we’re getting a second wind with some of our design updates and ideas. From repainting and redesigning to attempting something creative (and everything in-between) here are some of the DIY projects you should do this year, according to design and home experts.
Redo Your Entryway
Your entryway is your focal point, and whether you have plans to sell your home in the future or stay in it for a number of years, it’s a good idea to spend some time and energy making it look nice.
“Consider making DIY modifications to your entryway or foyer to make a positive first impression on visitors and possible homebuyers,” says Michael Simons, real estate broker and the owner of Tres Amigos Realty Group. “The style and aesthetics you choose for your entryway will set the tone for the rest of the house, so be sure they complement what's already there or what you intend to modify about the space.”
If you have a family with many pairs of shoes or odds and ends, Simons suggests creating storage or shelves to accommodate these items more intentionally.
“You can build custom storage containers to keep shoes and other items of urgent necessity nicely organized and put away,” he says. “For a multi-purpose DIY entryway project, you can also make a small storage bench with built-in shelves to store shoes in and provide an additional seating area.”
Add a Grid Mirror
Good mirrors can make all of the difference in your space, and if you’re due for an upgrade, it’s an easy to-do.
“[Grid mirrors are] probably one of the hottest trends right now in home decor, and it's an easy DIY project,” says Vicki Liston, a multi-award-winning voice actor, writer, video producer, and host of On The Fly DIY and HomeTalk TV.
“Mounted on the wall, these grid mirrors are roughly a foot square—each is trimmed with a black frame—and a collection of them spans a space of at least four-foot square.”
While many people are adopting the IKEA hack route and using square mirrors to create plywood-backed frames, Liston has created her own lightweight and DIY version—perfect for following the trend without all the work.
Update Your Door Handles & Hinges
When it comes to remodeling, renovating, or making significant changes to your home, this often comes with a hefty price tag. But smaller changes can also have an impact. David Hoffman, CEO & Co-Founder of Beam, suggests replacing your door handles and hinges. Not only will this cost significantly less than replacing the entire door, but you can be intentional about the size, style, and price tag when making this upgrade.
“When replacing hinges there are a few things to look out for,” he says. “First you’ll want to note the size and shape of your existing hinges. Some are squared, some are rounded, what is known as a ‘radius corner hinge’ and these come in one of two sizes, ¼ inch or ⅝ inch.”
“Measure from the top of the hinge to the apex of the corner to know what you are working with,” Hoffman continues. “And make sure to buy hinges that will work with the existing cutouts in your doors.”
Swap Your Air Filters
Sometimes the list of home cleaning tasks can feel overwhelming, but when it comes to DIY projects, there are a few cleaning necessities that make the list. One, in particular, has to do with air filters and the importance of routinely swapping these out in our homes.
“Swap out your air filters every 30-90 days,” says Brian and Mika Kleinschmidt, home renovation experts, stars of HGTV’s 100 Day Dream Home and instructors of Homeowning 01’s second semester. “This is such a simple DIY preventative measure that can take just minutes to do but can help ensure your HVAC system is working efficiently year-round and can help save money in the long run.”
Rethink Your Rugs
When it comes to updating a space, so often we’re inclined to paint, add decor, or switch items (and their locations) around. However, another option is to upgrade or swap out the items we have right now.
“Add tassels to spice up your favorite rug,” says Taha Lamnii, co-founder of Zarabe. The process, although complicated at first glance, is relatively simple. Lay the rug out flat and pull every 4-5 threads on the outside of the rug. Then take two additional threads with a rug hook, fold these threads in half, and pull them through the other threads until you create a connected loop/tassel. Then continue until all of the sides are done.
Add Fresh Paint & Accents
While 2021 was the year of all-white (for the clean and refreshed feels) in our homes, 2022 is all about creating contrast, which Liston recommends doing with black accents like cabinet handles, drawer pulls, faucets, and more. And this can be accomplished with a can or two of black spray paint. The black accents will not only create a much-needed change but also a contrast that can be exciting, powerful, and perhaps a bit more sophisticated.
But black isn’t the only color that’s popular this season. Painting, in general, is an easy DIY for anyone looking to make something feel new.
“Give rooms a new coat of paint for a more accessible and straightforward DIY project,” says Simons. “A freshly painted room gives the space a rejuvenated look.”
“Painting a room does not require much gear, and there are lots of resources online to help you along the way,” he continues. “Consider light, neutral colors when selecting colors because they easily carry any aesthetic and are easier to repaint.”
Consider Environmental & Sustainability Updates
When it comes to upgrading your home, it’s always good to consider sustainability as well as the long-term impact.
“More people are becoming concerned about the environment, creating a boom in sustainable home improvement,” says Andra DelMonico, Lead Interior Designer for Trendey. “This could be a major project such as installing solar panels. Or it could be a small DIY project like updating landscaping to feature native plants and protective stone walls.”
As far as DIY projects go, DelMonico suggests considering the area where you live and how you can address certain challenges. “For some regions, this could be to address wildfires; in others, it’s for flooding,” she says. “This trend can also be seen in the home, with flooring choices like cork, bamboo, and recycled wood.”