While some projects are best left to the professionals, many homeowners long for the opportunity to DIY. Devoting time (and sweat!) to remaking your space can give you a sense of accomplishment and pride. Not to mention, your personal renovations can also save money.
If you're up for the challenge, these projects are not only on-trend but also expert-approved for amateurs to do themselves.
DO SOME (LIGHT) DEMO
It's safe to say that HGTV has made home demolition look incredibly fun, so much so that homeowners may want to get their hands dirty before calling the pros in to do the rest. Of course, high-stakes jobs involving electrical, plumbing and anything structural shouldn't be done by novices.
That said, "if you're careful, there is no reason you can't remove cabinets, flooring, tile and even drywall and insulation as needed," says Nathan Outlaw, CEO of Onvico, Inc., which provides commercial and residential design and contracting services. "Homeowners are able to do a lot more today than they could even a few years ago. The digital age has provided a lot of resources and information online to help."
Just be sure to wear gloves, safety goggles and a mask before you start.
GET CREATIVE WITH PAINT
Paint is an easy to way to give any room a new look. While a professional painter is more skilled than the average homeowner, Outlaw says, doing a paint job yourself is cost-effective. "I highly recommend using good quality paint and doing some research on what is going to work best for your needs," he advises. "Your local Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore store should be a good resource."
As for what to paint, interior designer Dayna Hairston has some on-trend tips. "Painted ceilings engulf the room in color," she says. "It can be a simple as matching the ceiling with the color of the walls, or going wild with a bold accent color."
Painted stair risers are another unexpected touch. "Instagram is filled with images of bohemian tiled risers, boldly painted rainbow risers and even inspirational quotes," she adds.
STENCIL A WALL OR PIECE OF FURNITURE
Another great use of paint is to use color to create a pattern. "When used on a wall, painted stencils give off a wallpaper effect without the permanency," Hairston says.
You can also use stencils on painted furniture, allowing you to repurpose an old piece (or flea market find). If you mess up or don't love the results, you can always paint over your work and start again.
RESTYLE A FIREPLACE
A fireplace can either be a cozy focal point or a total eyesore. If yours is the latter, consider a makeover. According to interior designer Erica Leigh Reiner, you have many options for reimagining the space: replacing the mantle, painting over stonework or even swapping out the guard or doors. "Even adding peel-and-stick tile to the surrounding area can really create a big difference on what is typically a centerpiece of a room," she says.
Browse Pinterest for trends that would work well in your space. Giving old brick a coat of white paint or replacing a tired mantle with a rustic wood beam are two projects that complement almost any home's style.
REVIVE BUILT-IN SHELVING
From dry bars to bookcases to butler's pantries, Reiner says she often sees built-in shelving units that are warped or that have been painted over a few too many times, creating a caked-on, shabby look.
Instead of removing these often-original features, revive them yourself. "Stripping back the paint and sanding down built-ins, as well as adding some new wallpaper to the backs and interiors of these features can refresh their old, dated look." A part of your home that you may have wanted to hide can become a stunning focal point.
GROW DROUGHT-TOLERANT PLANTS
Many homeowners avoid landscaping for fear that they'll kill all of their new plants. But anyone, Outlaw says, can pull off a gorgeous yard. Opt for drought-tolerant plants (like succulents), which are not only popular but also very, very difficult to harm during the transplant process. Since they require little water, they're easy (and cost-effective) to maintain, too.