You love your home. But be honest—when you come home after a long day, does it look a little too much, well, the same?
Fortunately, freshening up your living space doesn’t have to entail renovations that turn your life upside down. You may already know about these weekend-long makeover projects, but if you can’t spare that much time, there are even simpler ways to revamp your space.
“The impact of home updates, no matter how small, can be life-changing,” says Dawn D. Totty, an award-winning interior designer and real estate investor. “A lot of people are convinced they don’t like their house, but it turns out they just don’t like how it looks,” she explains. “They have the power to change that.”
Here are five easy ways to do it.
Hang A Picture
Hanging art is one of the simplest ways to express personal style, but it’s something that Totty thinks most people get wrong.
“Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s hung too high,” she says. “Why put a piece of art where you have to crane your neck to look at it?”
The focal point of a picture should be at your eye level, she says, or about 60 inches from the floor. Once you’ve picked a spot, get a hammer, a pencil and a picture-hanging hook. If you’re hanging a sizable piece of art, use a stud finder to locate a reliable place to mount it. Mark the spot where the hook will need to go, hammer the hook and nail into the mark, and you’re ready to display.
Or, to make this process even simpler, look for peel-and-stick photo tiles; you’ll be hanging pictures in record time.
Put Up Curtains
If you’d like to add elegance to your living space, consider installing curtains. To do it right, install the curtain rod about six inches above the window frame; when you hang the curtains, it will make the windows look taller and the ceilings feel higher. It’s an age-old trick that works, says Totty.
To get started, find the studs that usually run to either side of a window and mark the bracket locations for those spots. (If there are no studs, use drywall anchors.) Put a level against the markings to ensure that the rod will hang evenly. Before drilling, have someone else check your work, advises Dina Dwyer-Owens of Neighborly, a platform that connects homeowners to service experts, or you may end up with stray holes in the wall. “It never hurts to get that second look,” she says.
Hold the bracket in place and drill pilot holes for your screws. Install the rod and give the screws one last tightening before hanging your curtains.
Add Storage With Style
Does part of your house always seem dominated by clutter? Whether it’s a jumble of kids’ toys, old paperwork or an ever-growing pile of magazines, toss the distracting mess into a bin you can store on top of a shelf or in the bottom of a closet. With the right container, you’ll also add some style to your space. Your best bet? Baskets. Totty suggests wicker or grass baskets, which are as durable as they are charming.
Make Your House Number A Statement
Consider adding some flair to the front of your home by swapping out standard house numbers for something that suits your personal style. For $20 or less, you can buy stylish numbers cast in bronze, chrome or brass that will make your house stand out as truly your own.
When you’re ready to install them, position and trace your numbers, marking where the screws or pegs will go. Be sure to check their visibility. Sometimes, notes Dwyer-Owens, tall plants and trees block house numbers, and you want them to be high enough to be spotted from the street. Drill small pilot holes into the marks you’ve drawn on your mounting surface and screw in your numbers. Before switching up your digits, be sure to get approval from your landlord, super or homeowners association, if required.
Make Your Light Fixtures Shine
Sometimes we think of light fixtures as purely functional. But lamps, bases and bulbs are the “jewelry” of indoor spaces, says Totty, and they’re an important component of your home’s design. A quick cleanup can add elegance and expression to your room where you hadn’t noticed it before. Zipping over the tops and bases of your lighting with a feather duster or rag, she says, is a surefire way to brighten up your space in just a few minutes.
Giving your home a little extra love can be quick and simple. Protecting it can be too. Learn more about how homeowners insurance can help protect your property by requesting a fast, free quote from the GEICO Insurance Agency today.
Read More: House numbers are just the beginning. You’ll love these 5 Ways To Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal.
Originally published October 2017.