6 Surprisingly Easy Home Upgrades You Can Accomplish in an Afternoon

March 14, 2021 Updated: March 14, 2021

Trying to create the home of your dreams? Never underestimate the satisfaction of completing small house projects. Here are six mini home makeovers that can be accomplished in an afternoon.

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Try adding just a touch of patterned wallpaper to the back of a bookcase or to a small accent wall to create some visual interest. (Photographee.eu/Shutterstock)

Get Creative With Wallpaper

Subtle and less of a commitment than wallpapering an entire room, try adding just a touch of patterned wallpaper to the back of a bookcase or to a small accent wall to create some visual interest. To really make an impression, choose a pattern or color that complements the rest of the decor in the room.

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Make a standard piece of furniture feel more custom by adding intricate hardware. (Zhukov Oleg/Shutterstock)

Swap in New Hardware

Make a standard piece of furniture feel more custom by adding intricate hardware. It takes just a few minutes and can have a huge impact. Attaching leather drawer pulls to a dresser or a colorful knob to your nightstand gives the piece an entirely new look and feel. For a really big change, switch out the hardware on your kitchen cabinets.

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Art adds color and life to a room, and can also hide dents, scratches, or imperfections on the walls. (New Africa/Shutterstock)

Hang Some (Custom) Artwork

Art adds color and life to a room, and can also hide dents, scratches, or imperfections on the walls. Find frames and matting for your favorite artwork or photos. Then, spend a few minutes with a hammer and level to hang them on the wall.

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Install a floating shelf to put your favorite books, travel souvenirs, and glassware on display. (NukTD/Shutterstock)

Add Open Shelving

If you like to collect beautiful things, why not show them off? It’s a great way to incorporate small pops of color and pattern into a room without having to buy new pieces. Instead of tucking away your favorite books, travel souvenirs, and glassware, put them on display.

Installing a simple floating shelf takes very little time and usually doesn’t require fancy equipment. Make sure to use a stud finder when deciding where to hang the shelves, and buy sturdy enough hardware for what you’ll be placing on top.

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A brand-new sconce or chandelier can create an entirely new ambiance within a room. (Breadmaker/Shutterstock)

Brighten Up the Lighting

A brand-new sconce or chandelier can create an entirely new ambiance within a room. Swap in a modern chandelier for the traditional brass one that came with the house. It will instantly give the space a more contemporary feel. If you’re already in love with your lighting, install a dimmer switch: Wall colors and furniture can look different depending on the brightness.

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Repot your houseplants in fun terracotta or ceramic planters. (Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock)

Repot Your Plants

Leaving houseplants in their original container isn’t always a great idea. Not only will the nutrients in the soil deplete eventually (and need to be replaced), but the greenery will also look better in a beautiful planter. Choose a fun terracotta or ceramic option to add color and texture to your space.

Caylin Harris is an Emmy-nominated producer, writer, crafter, stylist, and branded content creator. Real Simple magazine provides smart, realistic solutions to everyday challenges. Online at RealSimple.com. Copyright 2021 Meredith Corporation. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.