Home Remodeling in the Merry Month of May

May is National Home Remodeling Month, and with so many of us still stuck at home, it should come as no surprise that remodeling has taken off like a rocket ship to Mars. But how do you get started on a new remodeling project? And, for that matter, which rooms should you start with?

Start at the Heart

For most people, the heart of your home is the kitchen or living room. This is especially true now that we’re all endlessly snacking and binge-watching shows on Netflix. But, how do you decide between the two areas? Simple. Either go with the room that will add the most value to your home (kitchen), or go with the one you spend the most time in (living room). It really depends on whether or not you plan on sticking around for the long haul.

Beautiful and bright finished kitchen with white cabinets.

If you’ve already managed to update your kitchen and living space, how about moving on to something like flooring upgrades, bathrooms, bedrooms or anything else that tickles your remodeling fancy?

Create Your Master Plan

A great way to create a plan is to make a list of everything you want to do to your chosen room. We recommend splitting your list into 3 sections based on the level of difficulty of each project.

Handwritten checklist of things to do.
  • Things you can DIY without help
  • Things you can do with a bit of research or assistance
    • Adding a tiled backsplash
    • Putting your light switches on dimmers
  • Things that require a professional touch
    • Extending your counter into a breakfast bar
    • Rearranging your entire kitchen counter and built-in appliances

Once that’s done, go through your list again and cross off anything that seems out of reach or unrealistic. Whether it’s just plain expensive or you simply can’t do it because of the constraints of social distancing, get crossing!

Take Action

Now that you’ve got your refined list, it’s time to, as Ms. Frizzle says, “take chances, make mistakes and get messy!” Though, maybe you should forego the mistakes part in an effort to prevent “re-remodeling.”

First things first, figure out which project on your list you’re going to tackle first. Obviously you won’t be installing a tiled backsplash before rearranging your counters, so let’s just pretend you’re redoing EVERYTHING and go from there.

Kitchen blueprints in black and white.

If you’re hard-core remodeling your kitchen, the best place to start will likely be with a professional contractor. Get a recommendation from a friend or google a few and get a couple of quotes and designs to compare. If you need some inspiration, check out this article! Oh, and pro-tip – you’ll want to keep in mind that most remodels end up more expensive than quoted. There’s always something that gets uncovered.

From there, we suggest supervising the work occasionally to make sure everything is on track and course-correcting as appropriate. Once the professional work is done, the next step is to tackle other projects as you see fit. it might be a good idea to do the more difficult, research-intensive tasks first just in case you run into any issues.

Grey subway tile backsplash in a white kitchen.

So, if you skipped having the contractor add that subway tile backsplash you’ve always wanted, now’s the time to do it yourself! And even if you’ve done one before, we recommend checking out this video by Home RenoVision DIY. It covers the tools you’ll need and even how cut tiles to fit around outlets and make sure your whole project stays level.

Once you’ve gotten the harder, more time-consuming or labor-intensive projects out of the way, you can move on to the finishing touches. If you didn’t have brand new cabinets installed, now would be a great time to strip and paint/stain them, then add some adorable new handles or knobs.

Blue paint and paintbrush on a white background.

To do so, you just need to remove the doors from the cabinets, sand them down and repaint or stain. If you plan on upgrading the handles or knobs, it might be a good idea to invest in matching or complementary hinges as well to complete the look. once everything is dry, simply reinstall the doors in the same place and screw in the new handles and BAM! NEW KITCHEN!

Wash, Rinse Repeat!

After that, just keep plugging away at your list until you tick all the boxes. Regardless of whether you start off with a contractor or stick to tasks you can DIY right away, the important thing is to keep the momentum going. Once your list is complete, you can happily move on to any other room.

Quick & Easy Projects to do During Quarantine

With little to no commute time and basically zero random weekend outings, there’s plenty of time for you to take on those little projects that have been adding up over the years. Here’s a list of some of our favorite quick projects you can do around the house now that you finally have the time.

1. Boost Your Bathroom’s Style

A stunning blue and white themed bathroom.

It’s easier than you think to upgrade your bathroom. forget ripping out tiles and putting in a new toilet. All you’ve really got to do is change up your style. Get a new shower curtain (or other accessories), a new rug or two and clear off unnecessary clutter from the top of your sink. As a finishing touch, get those new towels you’ve been wanting and toss the faded ones with holes. Just make sure everything matches and you’ll have a bathroom to die for in no time.

2. Join the Purge – Go Through Your Closet

Highly organized closet in shades of white and cream.

Pull everything (and we mean everything) out of your closet, dump it on the bed and get your purge on! I did it this past weekend (no, this pic is not my closet) and it feels great to be able to find anything I want in seconds rather than minutes. And you wouldn’t believe how much stuff we got rid of! Sure, cleaning out your closet might take a few hours, but WOW! There’s nothing quite like that feeling when you free yourself of clutter.

3. Deck Your Windows with Blinds of Beauty

Beautiful black and white kitchen with white blinds.

Adding new blinds or shades to your windows can completely change the atmosphere or a room. It can brighten or darken any space in an instant and even add a pop of fun color if you go that route. These simple 2″ American Hardwood Blinds in Super White are a great choice for brightening up any room, especially kitchens.

4. Personalize Your Glassware

Woman looking through two wine glasses.

Quarantine is the perfect time to break out the arts and crafts. And if you’re over the age of five, macaroni art just doesn’t cut it. Use clay to turn wine glasses into medieval goblets or use a Dremel to engrave names or funny phrases onto pint glasses. You can even use chalk paint to make your glasses personalized every time you use them!

5. Paint Your Cabinets a Fun Color

Blue kitchen cabinets add a pop of color to your space.

While monochrome is definitely in this year, so are pops of color. Blue is especially popular for 2020, so why not take your kitchen or bathroom a step further and add a little color to those old oak cabinets? You can even paint some cabinets one color and others a different color. It’s really whatever you want!

6. Upgrade Your Kitchen Hardware

Galley-style kitchen with new hardware.

Upgrading cabinet hardware might seem like a pain, but it’s super easy and is an easy way to enhance the look of your kitchen (or bathroom) without going for an all-out remodel. And if you’re already painting your cabinets, why not upgrade the hardware to match your new style?

7. Update Your Outlet & Switch Covers

White outlet with a black plug.

If your house is anything like mine, the previous owner decided that painting over stair rails, switches, outlet covers and other hardware was the clear solution to modernizing a place before selling. My response? Outlet covers aren’t that expensive! Just upgrade! They come in so many different materials and colors that there’s guaranteed to be a style to suit any room in your home.

8. Hang Some Patio Lights

Outdoor patio with string lights and comfortable seating.

Just because you can’t have friends over in person doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy your outdoor space. And now that summer is on its way, you’ve got more cause than ever to get your patio ready for some nighttime hangout sessions, even if they are just video chats. String lights are a great way to set the mood or just take in the fresh air.