Three Unexpected Places For Easy Home Improvement

So often I see people working on their homes constantly, only to end up dissatisfied with their results. Whether its a weekend of painting or a hundred bucks at Home Goods (usually on pillows a miscellaneous decor), it can be an expensive and frustrating habit.

What should you do instead? Well, if you love home improvement as much as I do, the answer is to look in different places! You can buy all the pillows you want, but if your couch isn’t the problem, you’re wasting your money.

Here are my three favorite (and commonly overlooked) places to start some home improvement that WILL make an impact.

1. The Stairs.

You probably use them everyday and they become as much of a utility as your washer and dryer. But please don’t overlook this wonderful opportunity to make a feature in your home POP!

Do you have carpet on your stairs? Consider a runner over the carpet. Sounds nuts, but looks great.

A bright pop of color transforms a simple, carpeted staircase. Via Design Sponge.

Don’t have carpeted stairs? But also don’t have a pretty wood set? PAINT THEM.

A clean yet subtle color changes a blah staircase to a lovely accent (Tripping hazards aside). Via Pinterest.

2. Hanging Light Fixtures.

Dear everyone, please stop buying new things to put on your floor until you’ve purchased the right thing to hang from your ceiling. I mean, you wouldn’t go out in some ratty out shirt and Manolo Blaniks, would you???

By far the biggest impact piece in my entire house is our ($130) Wayfair light fixture. Everyone notices it first and asks if its original to our midcentury modern house. No. Its not. There was a terrible ceiling fan there that is still in a bag in our basement.

Light fixtures can be scary and so can getting electrocuted. So if you’re worried, hire the install out, but it shouldn’t cost you much (unless you’re dealing with vaulted ceilings). Here are some of my favorite light fixtures under $200.

Via Wayfair $125.
$69 on IKEA!!! Image via Cate St. Hill.
Please do NOT underestimate the power of a simple drum shade light! $123 via Wayfair.

3. Common Tones.

Ok but what does this mean?? I fundamentally disagree with “sets” of anything house-related: bedroom sets, furniture sets, and even pots and pans sets. But what I do believe in is common tones throughout your spaces.

Think wood grains not wood colors. Or look around at the color of your chair and table legs, are they all a similar color tone? Or are they all different? If you feel a little confused, they’re probably different.

Here are some great examples of common tones in spaces that work.

Light tones with pops are dark all around, this works. Via Pinterest.

Above picture too light for you? If this feels dull, here is tonality done in brights.

Via Domino.
Via Jungalow.

So there you have it. Keep those three simple tips in mind when you’re attacking home projects or just some shopping this weekend and I guarantee, your home will feel more “together” than if you go buy a dozen plaid pillows.