Want to add extra style to your space without spending a ton of time and money? For the next thirty days, we’re sharing one small update you can make to add simple design appeal to your home. Print out the graphic below and follow along the tutorials beneath it to build a more beautiful living space in less than a month, for less than $200.
Day 1- Print out our challenge chart and hang it on the fridge (or somewhere else where you’ll see it every day). Make sure to keep a link to this article handy as well (you can create a bookmark, Pin it or email a link to yourself). You’ll need that link because some of the tasks on our chart require more specific DIY instructions that you’ll need to return here for.
Day 2- Today we get started with our first home improvement task by focusing on kitchen cleaning supplies. One of the most common and unfortunate trends we’ve noticed is that so many people ruin the aesthetic appeal of otherwise beautiful kitchens by leaving cleaning supplies and household products on countertops. These products are not home accessories and need to be properly stored. So today, pick a cabinet or drawer that isn’t being used to its full potential. If you don’t have one to spare, work with your under-sink area. Organize all your products based on frequency of use- so things like trash bags and paper towels that need to be handy on a daily basis should be up front, and less-used things like drain unclogging fluid can sit in the back where you won’t have to constantly reach past them (and inevitably knock them over).
Day 3- Today we’re making a hanging pantry to-do list! This is a super simple project but one that will save you plenty of time in the future. Not only that, it’ll help you avoid the common issue of random lists and post-it notes building paper clutter on your countertops or in a junk drawer. Instead, pick a cabinet located at eye-level in a convenient place and DIY a handy to-do list space. You can pick up chalkboard paint for about $10 at your local hardware store. Use this to spray or brush the inside of your cabinet door. Then, simply keep a handful of chalk inside a small cup on an adjacent cabinet shelf. You can now use this cute, functional space to keep grocery lists or track appointments without accumulating a disorganized mess of notes and papers in plain sight every week.
Day 4- Today we want you to install an adjustable rod across your under-sink area. This is an awesome organizational hack that will help keep that bottom space available for other supplies. Far too often, this area becomes a messy, disorganized abyss of fallen products. But once the rod is in place, you can hang spray bottles by the nozzle instead of tossing them below. That way, you can stack other things neatly in the newly freed space below.
Day 5- Today’s task is simple. If your shower curtains are ugly or outdated, replacing them is a super inexpensive way to bring new life into your bathroom. Pick a cool pattern or an exciting new color to add a pop of life to the space. You can get a new shower curtain at Target for less than $20. Such a low-cost option is perfect for making your home look refreshed and new without breaking the bank. If your shower curtain liner needs replacing, get that done today too. If yours isn’t that old, you can just clean it by adding it to a load of towels in the wash and tossing in 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar.
Day 6- Today we want you to survey all the furnished rooms in your home and complete a balance test. For this test, there are 3 things you need to check. First, make sure the heights of any major objects are varied throughout the room. If all your tallest pieces are side by side in one corner, you should separate them. Second, spread color throughout the area as well. Color adds visual weight in the same way a large object can, so too much in one place throws off good balance. Third, if you’re intentionally going for a funky informal look, make sure it’s being executed properly. If you’re using two unmatched end tables on either side of a sofa for example, they should still be approximately the same height. If not, one of them should probably be replaced.
Day 7- Do you have a linen closet in your home? If so, today’s the day to reorganize it. Before getting started, survey all the bedrooms in your home and decide if any of them could use some updating. If so, make that a part of today’s project as well. If you have colorful sheets that are seasonally appropriate for right now, pull them out of the closet and exchange them for the plain white ones you’ve been using. Simple efforts like this can go a long way when it comes to keeping your home looking fresh throughout the year.
Day 8- Today’s task involves a little technology, but don’t let that turn you off. If you’ve been holding onto a paper trail of recipes, magazine clippings, newspaper articles or notes, try to digitize archives of these things instead. If you have access to a scanner, use it. If not, you’d be surprised at how clearly you can capture photos of these things with a camera phone. Carefully photograph what you want to keep, then email those pictures to yourself to be stored on a computer where they won’t clutter your home or get lost. Also, remember that many local libraries keep plentiful volumes of newspapers and old magazines that can be borrowed for free if the things you’re holding onto can be found there.
Day 9- If you have an ugly ceiling fan, today we’re going to repaint it. A fresh coat of crisp white paint can really make a difference if your blades are chipping and old. Or, if you’re feeling spontaneous, opt for an unexpected accent shade like olive green or sky blue. For this DIY, we’re sending you over to the Pretty Handy Girl home improvement blog for more thorough directions (she includes great step-by-step pictures of the whole process). Click this link to get the instructions.
Day 10- Today we’re going to reorganize all the bookshelves in your home to give them more modern-looking, decorative appeal. For this project, we have 4 basic tips for creating a stylish shelf layout. First, don’t just line all your books side by side vertically like you’re restocking a library. To add more unique style appeal, lay some horizontally in stacks as well to break up the monotony. Second, make sure you’re using your shelves to hold more than just books. Add some small decorative pieces like a globe, picture frame or crystal. Third, try to add a little plant life like a little cactus or a tiny terrarium. And finally, add some unique personality via your décor choices. Are you a marathoner? Frame one of your old race bibs and place it on a bookshelf to add some character to your space.
Day 11- Are your hangers mismatched, disorganized or broken? This is such an easy, inexpensive fix and goes a long way in updating the look of any closet. Head out and grab some new hanger sets in matching colors. If you want to go the extra mile, pick a shade that matches the surrounding space (if your master bedroom is full of blue accents, grab a set of blue hangers to tie your closet look into the rest of the space).
Day 12- Today’s task is to reorganize your bathroom storage spaces- drawers, medicine cabinets and under the sink. To start, take out all your products and do a purge of things you don’t use anymore. Old chapstick tubes, expired products, broken hair scrunchies- all these things should go. Once you’ve narrowed your supplies down to only the things you actually plan to use, get organized. One of our favorite ideas? Work with cute storage items you already own. Remember that pretty teacup you never use because you lost the rest of its matching set? Repurpose it as a cute dish to hold things like manicure supplies or lip gloss tubes.
Day 13- Today we want you to install simple hooks inside your bathroom’s under-sink cabinet door. You can buy damage-free, easy hang plastic hooks at your local hardware store or at Target for under $5. Once these are installed, use them to hang hair tools like straighteners, curling irons or blow dryers. Simply wrap the hair styling tool’s cord repeatedly around its handle, then pull some of that wrapped cord free a bit so it can hang in an easily accessible space.
Day 14- Is your laundry area a soapy, sticky mess of detergent bottles and fabric softeners? If space allows, install a simple shelving unit in the room somewhere nearby. Not only can you now add pretty containers for holding your detergent and laundry supplies, if the shelf is at an appropriate height, you can also use it as a convenient sorting and folding spot as well.
Day 15- We’re going to make one more awesome update to revamp your laundry area today. We want you to install an adjustable rod above your washer and dryer. This is a great organizational hack that gives you a space to hang wet clothing. Make sure to remember what we said on Day 11 as well- grab a pretty set of matching hangers to store here for easy, accessible use.
Day 16- Is there a room in your home that has a super-awkward, unaccessorized blank wall that you don’t know what to do with? Let’s fix that today. One of our favorite ideas? Make it an accent wall. By either painting it an interesting shade or installing some inexpensive, removable wallpaper, you can give an otherwise boring space an amazing interior design pop without spending a ton of money or time. Single panels from West Elm are only about $55 but can totally update the entire feel of your room.
Day 17- Today’s update is super simple and inexpensive. You know those metal air conditioning vents in the corner of your room’s floors? If they’re ugly and old, pull them out and spray paint them.
Day 18- Every professional interior designer understands that little changes can go a long way when it comes to creating a specific vibe throughout a home. So if your entire bathroom has sea glass-colored accents and oceanic décor but then your hand soap is an old evergreen-scented bottle from the holidays, this totally throws off the entire vibe. Today we want you to head out and buy pretty, scented soaps that tie in the theme of all your home’s bathrooms as well as your kitchen and use those instead.
Day 19- Adding a simple, thoughtful element of plant life is an extremely effective way to bring some rustic, vibrant character into any space in your home. Today, we want you to pick a dull, lifeless area that could use some energy- then add some plant life in that spot. For a while now, little terrariums were all the rage, so they’re a no-fail option. But if you want to get a little funky, this years’ style favors a wild overgrown look- think large hanging baskets with long ivy freely growing over the side, dangling from a high corner in your home office.
Day 20- Today’s task is to reorganize your shower and bath storage spaces- no more lining the tub with all your products or worse, leaving them on the floor. To start, take out all your products and do another purge of all the things you don’t use anymore. Nasty old shampoo bottles, expired facial soaps, gross looking soap bars that are shriveling down to practically nonexistent shreds - all these things should go. Once you’ve narrowed your supplies down to only the things you actually plan to use, install a shower organizer and use that instead.
Day 21- Do you have a ton of family photos, graduation certificates, paintings or trendy wall décor pieces hung in a straight, boring line in your hallways or living rooms? Try turning them into a funkier, modern-looking gallery wall. For this tutorial, we’re sending you over to the experts at Houzz, who wrote this gallery wall placement guide for Huffington post. Click this link to get to their guide and get started.
Day 22- Today we head back to the bathroom with a focus on cleaning supplies. You don’t want to fall into the habit of distracting guests from an otherwise nice looking bathroom by leaving cleaning supplies and household products on your floors and countertops. These products are not decorative accessories and need to be properly stored. So today, pick a cabinet or drawer or work with your under-sink area. Organize all your cleaning products based on how often you use them- so things like Clorox wipes that you grab on a daily basis should be up front, and less-used things like Windex can sit in the back where you won’t have to constantly reach around them.
Day 23- Today we’re getting crafty and making our own inexpensive home air freshener. Grab a simple spray bottle from the dollar store. Add about 20 drops of some peppermint essential oil to a cup of water, fill the bottle and you’re good to go. You can use this as a minty-fresh scented room and linen spray whenever your space needs some quick freshening up.
Day 24- Every smart interior designer knows that even the smallest decor changes can go a long way when it comes to creating a thoughtful vibe throughout a home. So for today’s project, simply pick a room that needs some love. This could be your home office, the kitchen or a powder room for example. Replace any mundane looking knobs or drawer pulls with pretty patterned new ones to add some understated pop. Anthropologie sells some beautiful picks for about $6 each.
Day 25- Today’s task is really simple but if it’s something you’ve been putting off, it’s time to get it done. Where do you keep your shoes? Whether it’s the garage, a mud room, the foyer, or in your own bedroom closet, invest in a shoe organizer. This could be a shelving unit that’s placed on the ground, or one of those hanging closet racks we’re all familiar with. Using one of these options is the quickest way to avoid that sloppy, all-too common look of random, mismatched shoes strewn in an unnavigable pile.
Day 26- Today, we want you to walk from room to room throughout your home or apartment and pick out the one space that seems a little dull and colorless. Once you’ve decided, give it some life with a simple pop of color. If it’s your family room for example, head out and invest in a colorful blanket for the couch. Or maybe you have a guest room that’s drowning in dull greys and white. Add some pink and orange paisley throw pillows to the bed.
Day 27- Want to add some pizzazz to boring light switch covers? We found an awesome DIY on Pinterest that shows you how to do it with barely any effort. Simply pick out a small, decorative picture frame that fits over top of your light switch and install it there to turn something functional into a little thoughtful piece of wall art.
Day 28- Did you know that you could be killing the vibe of what would otherwise be a beautiful room simply if you’re using the wrong lightbulbs? Today we want you to head from room to room and make sure you aren’t making this silly mistake. If you want a warm and soft look, your bulbs should be incandescent. If the space you’re designing has a sharper, more industrial look, brighter fluorescent is the way to go.
Day 29- Today’s task is a quick and easy one. Head to every bathroom in your home and check out the bathmats you’re using. If they look gross and old, replace them with fresh new ones. If they’re in decent shape, you can put them in the washer and clean them on a warm water setting.
Day 30- For the last day of the challenge, treat your space to something special by adding a pretty bouquet of fresh flowers to your kitchen table. Head out and grab an inexpensive bouquet of something seasonal and arrange them in a pretty pot or vase to add a well-deserved touch to the home you’ve worked so hard to update.
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