Budget-Friendly Projects for Social-Distancing Weekends


Editors’ Note: An earlier model of this text included a photograph equipped by a designer that included inappropriate imagery. It has been eliminated.

With a lot time spent at house, many people are paying extra consideration to our environment — and discovering that we don’t like what we see.

Now may not be the time for a intestine renovation, given the social distancing measures nonetheless in place and shifting guidelines relating to development in several areas and residence buildings. But it’s an excellent time to consider smaller house enchancment tasks. With weekends largely devoid of social plans, what else have you ever received to do?

If you’re keen to deal with the work your self, there are modifications you may make that received’t value a lot however could have an enormous impact on the looks and luxury of your property. Just a few designers lately shared a few of their favourite budget-friendly D.I.Y. tasks.

Painting has lengthy been touted as one of many least costly methods to make an enormous aesthetic change. But there’s a caveat that’s usually neglected: Painting all of the rooms in a house, from ceilings to baseboards, is an enormous endeavor that may require weeks of neck-craning effort.

For extra speedy gratification, take a focused method to introducing a brand new paint coloration.

“Paint a small space — say, a bathroom — a brighter or bolder color that makes you happy,” instructed Rebecca Atwood, a Brooklyn-based textile designer and the author of “Living With Color” and “Living With Pattern.”

Or apply a favorite color to all the trim in one room, or all the interior doors, to change them from background elements to decorative features. “We all think about the color of our walls,” she said. “But we don’t think enough about the doors.”

Robert McKinley, a New York interior designer, offered another suggestion: Choose paint with an uncommon finish. In his beach house in Montauk, N.Y., most of the walls are white, but the den is painted with a cloudy, deep-red lime wash from Domingue Architectural Finishes.

“The lime wash basically gives the look and feel of a plastered wall, but anybody can do it,” he said. “I mean, talk about changing the room — it made this simple, white room into the most special room in our house.”

As well as replacing flush-mount fixtures with more flattering pendants or chandeliers, Ms. Mangini said, she also tells people to add fixtures closer to eye level: “Add some lamps and sconces, which is also a really great way to bring in character.”

If you use plug-in sconces, installation is easy. Just mount them on the wall near outlets. Sconces are particularly useful beside beds or sofas and above counters or desks.

Compared to a single, bright ceiling light, having multiple lower-wattage fixtures “creates a mood,” Ms. Mangini said.

Wallpapering is another job that might sound easy but can quickly become problematic when the paste spills and the paper bubbles and sags. One option for a simpler installation is peel-and-stick wallpaper, which is effectively a giant sticker for your wall.

“I’m embarrassed about how often I use it,” Ms. Palmisano said. “But it’s a really easy way to make a dramatic change in a room.”

Another advantage: Removal is almost as easy as installation. “If it’s put on right, it can last a long time,” she said. “But if you change your mind, or you’re renting, you can take it off before you move, usually without damage.”

And if you want to cover ugly flooring in a bathroom, mudroom or kitchen, there are peel-and-stick vinyl floor tiles — an old product that companies have improved with new patterns and colors.

The bed is usually the focal point of the master bedroom, and the headboard is typically its most distinctive element. If you have an upholstered headboard that you don’t love, reupholstering it is an easy D.I.Y. project.

“You just need a staple gun,” Ms. Atwood said. “You’re stretching the fabric taut and staple-gunning it to the back. It’s just like stretching a canvas.”

Unlike reupholstering a sofa, re-covering a headboard requires a minimal amount of fabric, she said, and you could even dye or print your own. (Ms. Atwood’s book “Living With Pattern” includes instructions for a D.I.Y. shibori-dyed headboard.)

If you don’t have a headboard, you can make your own, said Ms. Palmisano, who has made them out of plywood covered with carpet padding and faux leather.

It doesn’t even need to attach to the bed frame. “You just make a wall cleat,” she said, or buy one, to mount the headboard directly to the wall behind the bed.

If new paint, light fixtures and wallpaper aren’t enough to make you happy with your interior, Mr. McKinley suggested adding a bar. In his Montauk house, he and his wife, Kate Nauta, removed a door from a small closet to convert it into a space for mixing drinks.



Source link Nytimes.com

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