If you're looking to tackle a few home improvement projects, but you don't want to hire out the extra help of a contractor or builder – there are a few home improvement projects that you can tackle yourself. You can increase the value of your home, customize your space in a way that you love, and save a little money by doing it yourself. Most of these projects can be done alone, but for a few, you may want to grab a friend for a little extra help.
Image by Emily Henderson
There are several different types of accent walls that you can create all on your own. Most commonly, you can use paint to create an accent wall in a room in less than a day. Using paint, you can cover the whole wall in one color or get creative – but it's a really easy and inexpensive way to create a focal point in a room.
If you want to get crazier, you can use trim or wood to create an accent wall. this does require the use of a few power tools, but with a little wood glue and a nail gun, you can create something really stunning and still really inexpensive. last year we added a slat accent wall to the primary Suite in our home. It took us a few hours, cost less than $50, and looks incredible. We use wood glue and a nail gun to make sure the wall was nice and secure and then painted it to match the wall behind the slabs. It's a project you can tackle yourself or with a friend, and it pays off big.
If you don't own power tools but still want to create a really cool accent wall, you can use self-adhesive trim. Self-adhesive trim is a little more expensive, but it's really easy and fast to use and it's paintable so you can blend it with your wall. The self-adhesive trim can be used to create a variety of shapes and designs on your wall and it can ultimately create a really high-end look for not a lot of money.
Peel and stick wallpaper, and even peel and stick beadboard are other fun ways to add an accent wall to your space.
Gone are the days when you needed a builder to create custom floating shelves for you. You can now order custom floating shelves online and the shelves come with a bracket that is really easy to install. While this is one of those projects where it helps to have a friend help you hold the bracket level on the wall while you attach it to the studs, it can definitely be done alone.
The trick to getting your floating shelves perfectly on the wall is attaching the bracket right, and once the bracket is attached right all you have to do is slide your shelf onto the wall and you're done. This is a project that takes under an hour and dramatically improves the look of your home. Especially when you're installing custom shelves, you can mimic a built-in or create a look in your kitchen or bathroom that looks expensive and high-end.
Hanging Rack by Urban Outfitters
Closets don't usually come super customized in most homes, so sometimes you've got to customize your closet yourself. One way we love customizing closets is just by using a little paint to create some visual interest in the space. Just because it's a room for your clothes, and you’ve got a door you can shut, doesn't mean that it has to be boring and basic. We're always surprised by how fun a little bit of paint makes the closet space feel.
If building custom storage for your closet is out of the picture, or if adding floating shelves to your closet isn't something that you want to do, they're still customization options that you have. You can shop at a place like Ikea for a closet system where you can install a closet organizing system yourself, but that's a project you may need a friend for. If you want something that you can do on your own grab a screwdriver or a drill, and get ready to optimize your closet space in a really simple way.
One super simple way that we like increasing our closet usability is by adding hooks or racks. We have a lot of blank space in our closet, so adding hooks to the walls or a cute coat rack gives you a space to hang items and gives those items that float around your closet and get in your way, a concrete home. We like hanging things like hats and scarves so that they're out of our way — and off of the shelving that we do have in our space. You can buy inexpensive hooks and upgrade them using metal spray paint so that you get a really fun custom look without having to spend a lot of money on hooks – which can get expensive.
Image by Framebridge
Gallery walls are a controversial topic right now, but when they're done well, we think gallery walls are always in style. Putting up a gallery wall can feel really daunting, but it's definitely something that you can tackle on your own. Give yourself a lot of time and take some of the pressure off yourself, because you can always move a nail if you need to.
There are a ton of different ways to tackle gallery walls — and they range from haphazard to methodically planned out. If you're going to tackle a gallery wall, you're going to want a method that really works for you. We're a little more haphazard about the way we put up our gallery walls, and we prefer to tweak it later. But when we have a wall where all of the lines need to be perfectly straight and symmetrical, we will often map out the wall using cut pieces of wrapping paper that are the same sizes as our frames.
To execute a perfect gallery wall all you need is frames, nails, and a hammer. Sometimes we don't even have all of the art planned out for our walls, but it's okay if a blank frame sits on your wall for a few days while you figure out exactly what you want inside of it.
Backsplash and Tile
Image: Hight and Tight Design | Backsplash: Fire Clay Tile | Shelves: Ultra Shelf
Perhaps the most daunting task on this list is installing your own backsplash or tile, but it's definitely something that you can do on your own. You may want to watch a few YouTube videos first before you tackle the project, but go slow, take your time, and you'll definitely be able to do this project.
One of the coolest things we've seen recently is a double-sided adhesive that works on your walls for backsplash, so that you can stick your backsplash tiles right to the adhesive and begin grouting right away. No wait time in the middle. This self-adhesive bonding agent makes tiling and backsplash installation really easy and cuts down on the mess that's so overwhelming about this process.
Change the Hardware
Pulls by Hooked Pull Me Knob on Etsy
Upgrading the knobs and pulls on the cabinets and dressers around your home is an easy upgrade that you can definitely do yourself. When we first moved into our home, we had brushed nickel pulls on all of our cabinets that we didn't love, so we sanded them and added metal spray paint in matte black. If you buy the right spray paint, it's going to stick to those pulls forever and not chip. We do this trick all the time when we're upgrading or updating things around the house, and have even used this paint on doorknobs.
If you want to add all new pulls to your cabinets or dresser, you’re probably going to need to fill and sand the old holes before you can add new polls. Heading new puls does require a drill, but that's an easy power tool to use. You can purchase a little knob and pull placement card that will help you place all of your knobs and pulls in the exact same place on your cabinets or dressers. It's a small investment that makes a huge difference because everything will look pristine and perfect when you're done.
Shopping for new hardware is always fun because you can really create a great customized look with just a small change.
Written by Maddison Driggs
Maddison is a copywriter who has been working in the interior design and home improvement area for the last five years. From hands on projects to writing for your favorite HGTV home reno couples, Maddison has developed a deep love for a well-styled room with the perfect personal touch.