Whether you’re coping with a full-on quarantine or just working hard to obey a stay-at-home order, you probably have a lot of spare time on your hands right now.
If you’re used to being more productive, that extra time can feel like a burden. Plus, there’s not much to distract you from everything that’s going on — which can make it all feel more relentless and stressful. Since Americans are great do-it-yourselfers under any circumstances, we recommend turning your attention to some of these household projects.
Paint an Accent Wall in Your Living Room
Paint is one of the cheapest, easiest ways to transform the look of your home. If you’ve been dying to try a bold color in your living room but don’t want to commit to anything drastic, an accent wall can let you experiment.
If you’re looking for inspiration, Classic Blue is Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year and considered a great shade to match with virtually any kind of decor, whether you prefer a modern, classic or rustic look. You can also simply choose whatever color you’re already using as an accent and go bold. Since this is such an easy project to do (or re-do), there’s no reason to fear; if you hate it, you can simply paint over it again.
Create a Gallery Space for Your Art
Now that you’ve got a fantastic accent wall going, why not use it to highlight your favorite artwork? Grab a bunch of old frames and paint them the same neutral color (black or white or brown, depending on the remainder of your walls) and group several together in one spot. Since mirrored walls are also popular, you may want to gather several mirrors and intersperse them among the artwork for a creative combo.
Don’t be concerned about sizes or styles. Part of the goal is to create some visual interest that keeps rewarding people as they continue to look at your choices. The only rule is to hang what you love since this is your space. Don’t have enough spare art sitting around? Put your kids to work with crayons or fingerpaint and frame the results!
Fix Those Screen Doors
Screen doors get pretty neglected, especially over the cold winter months when they’re sitting in storage or otherwise ignored. Now that the weather’s getting nice, however, you don’t want those tattered screens to stop you from opening the door and letting in the spring air.
This requires a minimum of tools (you’ll probably only need a Phillips-head screwdriver, an awl and something that you can use to trim the replacement screen) and strength to accomplish. If you’ve never fixed a screen door before, don’t feel intimidated — there are plenty of videos available that will walk you through the steps needed to re-screen a door.
Add Some “Smart” Features
If you’ve been meaning to explore some “smart” additions to your home, now is the time to do it. You can easily order home automation components through the mail that will work with your existing technology, and most upgrades are inexpensive and easy to self-install.
Some fan-favorites that you may want to explore include:
- A smart thermostat: These programmable devices can connect to a voice-assistant like Alexis or your smartphone — or you can set them and forget them at will. Either way, they’re bound to keep your home more comfortable and keep your utility bills more tightly controlled.
- Smart lights: Imagine being able to adjust your lights without getting out of bed, or knowing that you can turn your lights on and off remotely for security even when you aren’t home.
- Smart locks: Never worry about losing your key (or having the kids lose theirs) again. A smart lock combined with a security camera is one of the best-loved security features of modern times.
The best part about putting your energy and money into wireless technology and smart home features is that you really get a return on your investment. Voice-controlled home technology is in hot demand among most consumers. The vast majority of homebuyers already appreciate smart home products and consider them an important feature when they’re searching for their next residence.
Add Some Decorative Storage Space
Shelving is one of the best ways you can both increase your home’s storage space and add decorative elements. All it takes to put up some nice shelves are some sturdy brackets, screws and a few heavy boards — or you can invest in a few pre-made shelves.
Either way, consider adding a touch of color to the shelves, especially if you are putting them in the same room where you’ve already added an accent wall. That will help tie the look of your room together (and still be easy to change if you decide you want to go with another shade down the line).
Once you have your shelves where you like them, try adding a mix of functional and decorative items to the shelf until you have a combination that’s both pleasing and useful. Pairing books with your favorite hanging vine or a cool piece of metal art, for example, can create a cozy look.
Focusing on something that needs to be done around the house can absolutely help get your mind off of everything that’s happening and leave you less frustrated at the end of each day. Plus, when it comes time to emerge from isolation, you’ll have that many fewer things to distract you from what you want to do once you’re able to resume your normal life.