6 Home Renovation Tips for a Successful DIY Project

Looking to tread into DIY waters? There are many home projects where you need a designer and contractor’s help to fulfill your vision, but there are certainly those small projects or touches where you can make a big splash on your own. Here are 6 tips to successfully DIY:

1. Swap out accent pillows or a rug

Our in-house designers recommend using accent pieces to add whimsy to your room. In this Sherborn home, notice how the pillows and accent chair coordinate with the blue cabinetry in the adjoining kitchen. When the homeowners want a change, they can easily swap these out with different accent pillows to achieve a completely different look. The contemporary rug allows them to bring in that modern feel that they love. What can they do when they are tired of it? Simply replace it with a more traditional-style rug. Voila – a completely new design style is achieved.

2. Upgrade cabinetry knobs

This is one of the easiest and inexpensive upgrades that can pack a big punch. Replacing lackluster knobs can freshen up a tired cabinet. The cabinet featured above was newly installed, but we featured it here because we love the look of these brass circular knobs. Picture how a standard small silver knob would look instead: Fine, but it certainly wouldn’t have the same pop.

Knobs can also be a way to weave in an accent color, like these red knobs in this Natick powder room. Tip: Make sure the hole sizes and placement of the new knobs are the same as the existing knobs so you don’t end up with visible holes in your cabinetry.

3. Refurbish picture frames

Create a picture wall of all different frames or go with the same frame for a repetitive display. You can easily repaint or polish picture frames to achieve your desired look. If you want a frame to match an interesting accent piece, use color matching technology to get the perfect pairing. If you don’t have a paint chip or sample, you can order a handheld color analyzer, like Color Muse that sells on Amazon for about $60, or you can use a mobile paint matching app, like ColorSnap® Visualizer from Sherwin-Williams. These advancements in color matching have made this task much easier than ever before.

4. “Heighten a window” with a valance or curtains

Short of having a contractor install a new window, how can you create the appearance of height that’s not really there? Install a curtain rod closer to the ceiling to hang a longer curtain or valance. Height can also be achieved by selecting curtains that drape closer to the floor rather than stopping right below the window frame. These visual effects go a long way to heighten a small window.

5. Add wainscoting

This requires a bit more work than our previous suggestions, because you will need to do some carpentry work. But we find many novices can tackle this task and love the finished look. The trickiest part will be the chair rail corners. There’s lots of helpful DIY articles to walk you through the steps if you’re up for the challenge.

6. Tackle a paint project

If you want to repaint instead of replacing your cabinetry, we highly recommend using a professional painter who is experienced in this domain. It is extremely difficult for a DIYer to get the desired smooth finish when refinishing cabinets. This is better left to the professionals!

However, smaller paint projects are good candidates for a DIY upgrade, like repainting your aging molding to give it some much needed life back. But don’t feel like you need to stick with white. Grays, greens, blues, and black moldings have successfully made their way into Boston’s Metrowest homes. The beauty of paint is that you can match any color you’d like.

We have seen our clients make significant updates to the look and feel of their homes with small DIY projects. But let’s face it, not everyone has the time or desire to go it alone. If you’d prefer to talk to one of our design experts, feel free to share a bit about the project you have in mind.

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