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Love Your Home: 10 Projects to Give Your Home Some TLC This Winter

Young couple painting walls
supersizer / Getty

The products featured here are independently selected based on thorough research from our editorial team. If you buy something through links on our site, we may receive a commission.

Winter is all about cozying up inside. According to one study, the amount of time spent inside at home increases by more than an hour each day from summer to winter. To make the most of that extra time inside, check out these easy DIY projects and maintenance tasks to keep your house feeling like home this winter. 

Give a room (or two) a fresh paint job

Very few home improvement projects offer more bang for their buck than painting a room a new color. Fresh paint makes the home look (and smell) extra clean, and you can completely revamp the feel of a room over a weekend.

Just choose your colors carefully. A recent Zillow study found that a light gray and blue color palette can increase the value of your home by up to $5,440! These cool-tone neutrals make the home feel larger and brighter than warm, dark colors. 

Rotate your mattress

Closeup of mattress
Evrymmnt / Getty

Let’s start with an easy one. Experts recommend rotating memory foam, latex, and newer innerspring mattresses a couple times a year. This will help extend the life of your mattress by reducing wear and tear at specific points. 

If you have an older innerspring mattress that’s a little more worn down, you should rotate it every few months. At this point, though, you might be better off replacing it entirely. Most mattresses last around seven years. If you start to notice any sagging or lumps, it might be time to upgrade.

Spruce up your kitchen

Winter is the season for cooking up hearty meals, and there are several DIY projects that can make your kitchen an inviting space to spend time in:

  • Give the old cabinets new life with paint. Today’s kitchens are all about light and bright. Cover those dark cabinets in (several layers of!) white paint for a crisp, modern look.
  • Update the fixtures: door pulls, plumbing fixtures, and lighting. Fixture trends change quickly, so it doesn’t take long for your once-trendy fixtures to look dated. And you don’t need to be a plumber or electrician to do this. You just need an afternoon and a how-to video on YouTube. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you!
  • Add a tile backsplash. With all the pre-fab mosaic backsplash tiles available to DIY-ers, anyone can rent a wet saw and install their own backsplash. It will completely change the look of your kitchen (and it’s a lot of fun to do!).
  • Replace outdated appliances. If you have the budget for it, new kitchen appliances can make all the difference in getting excited about cooking.

Give your bathroom a makeover

There are a number of DIY kitchen makeover tips that can also be applied to bathrooms: paint cabinets, update fixtures, add some tile work. Replacing the mirror will also instantly update the look and feel of the bathroom.

But my favorite DIY project to increase your home’s value via the bathrooms? Simple staging. Brand new fluffy white towels, a candle, and a little life (like bamboo, artful branches, or an orchid) are all you need to go from bathroom to spa.

Install crown molding

Nothing says I live in a fancy house like crown molding. Like a fresh coat of paint, installing crown molding is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to elevate a room. You can rent a saw and a nail gun if you don’t own them already. Pick up some ready-to-go molding and some finishing nails and you’re in business. One afternoon of work, and boom — immediate transformation.

Add storage space

Woman assembling flat pack furniture at home
Andrija Nikolic / Getty

There’s no such thing as too much storage space. There are a few DIY ways to add storage to any room. Simple floating shelves in small spaces, especially bathrooms, are inexpensive and take just minutes to install.

Or try this killer hack for easy “built-in” bookshelves: Pick up a few BILLY Bookcases at IKEA® and add crown molding to make them look floor-to-ceiling. This makes a great focal point in the living room or home office!

Clean dryer vents

Winter is the perfect time to tackle some of those deep cleaning tasks around the house, and cleaning the dryer vents is about as easy it gets. It’s also a matter of safety: dryers are responsible for 2,900 home fires each year, and dirty vents are the leading cause. 

Just move the dryer away from the wall, unplug it, disconnect the vent, and vacuum the inside of the vent with a hose attachment. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can buy a dryer vent cleaning kit for about $20 that extends your reach in the duct to 30 feet.

Seal up drafts around windows and doors

If you haven’t already, one essential winter checklist item is to check all doors and windows for drafts. Your energy bill will thank you — I saved about $50 each month after sealing my windows with film insulation. There are several things you can do if you find cold air coming in:

Give carpets and upholstery a deep clean

No matter how diligent you are about keeping your house clean, carpet and upholstery inevitably starts to fade over time. The best way to keep your carpet looking fresh is to do an annual deep cleaning with a steam cleaner. You can buy one yourself for around $100, or rent one through places like Lowe’s or Home Depot

Once you have a carpet cleaner, start by moving all the furniture out of the room and spot cleaning any noticeable stains with a spot remover. Next you’ll want to vacuum the carpet or upholstery to get rid of as much dirt as possible before your steam clean.

Now it’s time to get steamy. Follow the instructions on your cleaner and go slow, allowing the steam to work its way through the entire carpet. Be sure to check your furniture’s label for cleaning instructions before tackling the upholstery.

Upgrade your lighting

Young man working on the chandelier and painting the house
Marko Geber / Getty

Who doesn’t need a little extra light during the dark winter months? Projects can be as big as adding recessed lighting to your ceiling or swapping out light fixtures in a stale-feeling room. 

Even something as small as changing your light bulbs can have an impact. Full spectrum light bulbs simulate natural sunlight to help increase your energy throughout the day. Adding one to a desk or reading lamp can have a noticeable effect during the winter.

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