Dimmer switches quickly give your dining room the atmosphere of a swank restaurant. You can use fluorescent lights or special dimmable LED bulbs. As you rotate the knob clockwise and counterclockwise, the intensity of the light changes.
Related: How to Install a Dimmer Switch. To quickly and easily rehabilitate your existing fireplace, a gas or wood-burning insert adds energy efficiency to your home without tearing apart your hearth and mantel. Equipping your fireplace with glass doors blocks heated and cooled air from escaping and amplifies the fire's heat, which in turn reduces energy costs.
Closing the damper when the fireplace is not in use will help keep cold out of your home and add to heating efficiency. Having your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned will also improve fireplace efficiency. Create extra storage in a snap with kits for bookcases , shelving, or cabinetry that you assemble yourself. Try a combination of open shelving and cabinets for a mix of storage and display space. Improve lighting and ventilation by replacing an existing light fixture with a ceiling fan.
A ceiling fan will help you save money by not running the air-conditioner on those days when all you need is air movement. To keep your family comfortable and energy costs low, set your fan to spin counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter. The clockwise motion in the winter makes cool air rise and redistributes warm air. A sliding barn door adds dimension to any home with a farmhouse flair. Perfect for a kitchen or den entrance, a sliding door provides privacy when needed or acts as eclectic decor when not in use.
They are relatively easy to install; all it takes is assembling and mounting the hardware and door to a doorway.
If you're considering replacing an appliance, replace it with an energy-efficient product. Products that earn the Energy Star label are independently certified to save energy, save money, and protect the climate. Now you can look for appliances that are designated as Energy Star Most Efficient , a distinction recognizing products that deliver cutting edge energy efficiency along with the latest in technological innovation.
Homeowners can safely and properly dispose of broken or outdated appliances by selling, donating, or recycling them. If you're looking for a quick way to change the look of your room, hanging a new light fixture is your best bet.
Be sure to choose a high-quality fixture. A well-made light fixture looks better, lasts longer, and gives clearer light, so inspect your fixture's construction the way you would a piece of furniture. It's even easier to add a new light fixture into ceilings connected to attic space, says Daryl Berg, a journeyman electrician in Longview, Washington. Make boring cabinets sing by replacing the door inserts. Stainless steel, stamped tin, wrought-iron grillwork, glass, and wood painted to match your flooring or countertops are all possibilities.
A new sink can energize a boring bathroom. Before you choose your sink design , though, consider your needs. You might want to try standing in front of the model you're considering and acting out your morning routine. Will you have enough room to brush your teeth or put in your contacts? Your choice should balance aesthetics with practicality. Related: How to Install a Bathroom Sink. Stripping and staining cabinets will give your space a major facelift. Sealing cabinets with polyurethane will also increase durability.
Before staining, you'll want to prep your surface. Begin by removing cabinet doors and hardware, then wipe cabinet fronts and doors with mineral spirits to remove any dirt, dust, and grease.
Apply a gel-type stripper per manufacturer's instructions, and then remove the stripper with a plastic putty knife. Next, sand the wood with sandpaper, and you'll be set to begin staining. If it's time to replace your dated mantel, choose one with enough depth to let you display pictures or other decorations. If you buy a ready-made mantel, don't be afraid to paint it or add moldings. Shop your existing inventory of accessories and display a few on your mantel for a quick, no-cost refresh. Update these often-overlooked interior elements with form and function.
Switch an ordinary door with a finely detailed antique. Or simply upgrade with solid-core doors, which dampen noise far more efficiently than the hollow-core doors common in new construction. Installing a hardwood floor can take longer than a weekend, so choose a material that's less time-consuming.
Start with anything that comes in a roll, such as sheet vinyl, which looks better and lasts longer than it used to. Loose-lay sheet vinyl is unique because it doesn't require adhesive. Once you cut it to size and put it in place, it's installed.
It's an ideal solution for covering surfaces such as painted concrete, to which adhesives don't adhere well. Give your ceiling a little eye candy. Beautifully highlight a coffered ceiling with colorful paint, and keep the trim white for a bold visual effect. Placing a ceiling medallion around a fan or light fixture is another way to add architectural flair overhead. Decorative ceiling medallions are available in all shapes, sizes, and styles.
Living room , dining room, great-room: Any common area looks better with the finishing, defining touch of moldings. Installing molding is a simple way to add style and definition to any room. Crown molding bridges the junction between walls and ceiling, a prominent location where the architectural accent can shine. If you live in a historic home, make sure your molding choices complement your home's architectural style. Add drama to a staircase with distinctive railings or embellishments.
The right staircase railing design for your home will reflect its architecture and provenance. In an open and airy room, the best stair railing ideas will stay in step with the space rather than detract from it. Architectural-salvage and reuse centers are hot spots for ideas and materials.
Grab bars are one of the simplest ways to make an existing bathroom more accessible. Stylish designs can be found at your local home improvement center. The most important thing to remember when installing grab bars is to find the studs and mount the bars directly to them.
Miss the studs and you'll be pulling out more than the bars when you put your weight on them. By Sheryl Geerts Updated May 27, Save Pin FB ellipsis More. Spruce up every space with our collection of quick do-it-yourself home improvement projects.
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