12 Projects to Indulge Your Spring Fever

Get busy beautifying your home with one of these budget-friendly DIY decorating projects

By Laura Gaskill  |  Courtesy of Houzz.com 

If you’ve made it through the snow, sleet and rain, and it’s warming up where you are, take advantage of your spring fever and get to work! Read on for a dozen doable, budget-friendly ideas for making over your home this spring, inside and out.

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1. Put up statement wallpaper (permanent or removable). If you want to make a bold change to your home, you can’t get much more high-impact than wallpaper. The cost is more than paint, it’s true — but if you take into account the fact that a gorgeous wallpaper pattern makes additional artwork unnecessary, it can be well worth the investment. For those looking for a shorter-term (and lower-cost) commitment, temporary wallpaper can be a good solution. Just remember that it can still be tricky to apply, so if you plan to DIY, choose a wall without windows or other openings, and be sure to have an assistant on hand to get the positioning just right.

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2. Remove a few cabinet doors. Open cabinetry can make your kitchen look bigger. It’s a great way to show off some of your favorite ceramics and glassware, and if you save the doors it’s reversible, so you can close things back up if you tire of the look. Pick a cabinet that will be easy to keep neat (so not the overstuffed Tupperware cabinet), and use a basket to keep small items contained if needed. If you’re not sure you’ll love the open cabinets long-term, live with them for a while before filling in the holes from the hardware.

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3. Invent your own repurposed planter. Get creative and search your house for off-kilter planter possibilities: rubber boots, old shoes, discarded sinks, chipped teacups, toy trucks — it’s all fair game. If the item you choose isn’t permeable, you may need to drill a few drainage holes before planting. And even if your experimental planters end up lasting only one season, the fun of the process will make it worth your while.

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4. Hang a chair (or two). It’s a fact: Hanging seats make outdoor spaces more fun. Install a hanging chair, porch swing or hammock in your outdoor space and it’s sure to become your family’s new favorite relaxation zone. Just add a tall glass of something cold to drink, and enjoy.

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5. Reinvent a room. If you find that you rarely use your formal dining room for meals, why not give it a new purpose? Transform the space into an art studio, playroom, study, yoga-meditation room or whatever else your heart has been desiring. It’s just furniture — so you can always move things back if need be.

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6. Make over a flea market find. If you love a good DIY project, revamping an old piece of furniture is just the thing to tackle on a warm spring day. Pull your piece outdoors if possible, and cover the work area with a drop cloth before beginning.

Remove all drawers and hardware and elevate the piece on bricks or wood blocks over the drop cloth. Sand lightly and wipe away the dust. Tape off glass as needed with painter’s tape. Give the piece a coat of primer and let it dry. When you’re ready to paint, use a small roller, starting at the top and working your way down. Let the paint dry completely between coats.

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7. Update your bedroom. Give your bedroom an overhaul without breaking the bank by working with your existing furniture but tweaking the details. For example: Paint the wall behind the headboard a vibrant hue, frame a new art print to hang above the bed and swap out the bedding for lighter spring linens.

8. Add pretty shelves to the bathroom. Short on bathroom storage space? A few wall shelves can make all the difference. Use them to hold a stash of towels or a basket filled with extra toiletries, or simply beautify the space with fresh green plants.

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9. Re-cover a small chair or bench. Reupholstering a sofa or armchair can be pricey, but smaller projects (like a bench or stool) are easier on the budget yet still make an impact. It’s important to discuss your project with a local upholsterer before ordering fabric, since he or she can tell you how many yards you’ll need to purchase. 

If your upholsterer doesn’t carry any fabrics you love, don’t feel pressured into buying. Quality upholsterers are usually happy to use fabric you’ve purchased elsewhere, as long as it’s the right amount and type for the project. They may even be able to refer you to a favorite fabric source.

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10. Add an edible window box. Who says window boxes are just for flowers — or just for windows, for that matter? Add a window box to a sturdy balcony or deck railing and plant with quick-growing lettuces or fresh herbs for a pickable bounty steps from your door.

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11. Make over your plant pots. Plain terra-cotta pots are affordable and come in a wide range of sizes — give yours a customized look by taping off simple geometric designs and painting them. If you want to keep the natural terra cotta as the base color (as shown here), simply use painter’s tape to tape off your design and paint with the color of your choice. If you want a different color as the base, paint the entire pot first and allow it to dry before tackling the design.

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12. Repaint the front door.It’s less costly than having your whole house painted, but it can make nearly as big an impact. Take your time, gather front door color inspiration and swing by a paint store to pick up paint chips. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, be sure to test the colors you’re considering in both bright and low-light conditions before committing.