Sometimes even the simplest of things can have a big impact, especially around our homes. The perfect art piece to fill in an empty wall space, a cozy throw to bring in some colour + texture, or a new wall colour to totally change up the feel of a room. Just a few weeks after moving into this new/old house of ours, I actually shared several ideas for some quick + easy projects that we could jump into fairly easily to start making this place feel like home for us (you can find them all here). While we didn’t manage to get through them all, and the list may have evolved a bit along the way, we did make a pretty good dent at least (I shared a little progress update here).
Brady and I have been working on putting together a list of project goals for the house this year and, while many of them are pretty extensive renovations, we also had a ton of smaller projects we’d hoped to sprinkle into our year too. I’m planning to do a deep dive into our bigger reno plans next week, but today, I wanted to focus more on the little things we can do in all those spaces in between. These ideas might be simple ones, but all these little bits add up to make a pretty big impact overall.
The Quick and Easy Projects I’m Hoping to Kick Off the Year With
ONE: Installing smart switches.
This one has actually been on our list for months now. While I don’t think we’ll switch out every single light switch in the house for a smart switch (there are A LOT around here), there are quite a few that I think would be SO handy to be able to add smart features to. I’d love to have our outdoor lights come on as the sun sets each day automatically rather than having to remember to turn them on ourselves each night. And it would be so nice to have some of our main lights come on automatically as it gets dark each evening too. I’d also really love to be able to turn off all of our basement lights at once – right now there are 5 different switch locations just in the main living areas of our basement (not counting any of the rooms that separate off of that) and Carson always seems to leave at least one of them on every time he comes upstairs. It would be SO handy to be able to turn them all off with the press of a button on our phones, or better yet, just ask Google to turn off all of the basement lights for us.
My brother is pretty into all of this home automation stuff (he’s a computer programmer by trade) and so, rather than sink hours into my own research, we’re just trusting his recommendation and outfitting our house with this line of smart switches. He actually has a TON of other ideas to automate things as well (honestly, SO many!), let me know in the comments below if you’d be interested in learning more about all of this.
TWO: Change out the white switches in our study.
Speaking of switches, I am also planning to change out all of the white switches and outlets in our front study to a bronze instead. After painting the walls this gorgeous black/brown colour, the white outlets stick out like a sore thumb. Here are the ones I’ve ordered up, I think the darker bronze will blend in seamlessly with the darker walls. The two light switches in this space are for accent lighting and so, we’re just going to go with regular switches in here rather than the smart switches I shared above. The switch for the main lighting is actually on the hallway wall just outside of the study doors, so that will likely be the one we switch out for a smart option.
THREE: Repaint our antique desk.
Another bright white that stands out far more than I’d like, this old desk is ready for a new look. I’m not sure yet just what I want to do with it, but I know it’s going to be darker. I’ll likely switch out the nickel hardware for some unlacquered brass while I’m at it too.
FOUR: Paint the basement.
Like the rest of this house, our basement walls are in ROUGH shape and are in desperate need of some patching and paint. Now that I’ve made it through all of our main living areas, painting the basement is definitely making it’s way up the priority list.
FIVE: Painting some of our interior doors.
I’m not entirely sure just how far I want to go with this yet, but I’ve been toying around with the idea of painting some of our interior doors. We’re planning to tackle all of our doors and trim upstairs in the months to come, so I’m not going to bother with any of those just yet, but it’ll be a while until we make it down to the main floor of the house. I think it would be really fun to introduce some colour to through doors and trim in our back hallway and mudroom, even if it’s just a boring beige, it’ll really help to make the space feel fresh I think. At the very least, I think I’ll paint our pantry door as well as the door to our back hallway in a beige or brown – they’re the only two doors that are white with oak trim and I’d love to do something a bit different with them
SIX: Change our doorknobs.
To help that new paint stretch even further, I’d love to switch out the old dated knobs we’ve got everywhere as well. We’ll be doing all of our upstairs doors anyway, so might as well change out the knobs throughout the whole house while we’re at it, right?
SEVEN: Slowly start changing out some light fixtures.
While I’m not ready to commit to new light fixtures everywhere just yet (lighting is not an easy thing to choose when you don’t have a very clear picture of where you’re going with everything else in the space yet), I do know there are a few I can start with sooner rather than later. I have a pretty clear picture of what I want to do with the sconces in our entryway and up our staircases. I would also love to change out the hanging light in our office space for a semi-flush mount. And, I mentioned this one in my last list of quick + easy project ideas, I’d REALLY LOVE to change that ugly fan we have hanging over our dining table – though this is one light I’m really struggling to envision as I know our kitchen and dining space will see some pretty drastic changes down the road and I’m not entirely sure about where that design will take us just yet. It’ll likely be quite a while before we get around to renovating the kitchen though, so I’m really tempted to find a budget friendly option that I can pop up there for now, but that I won’t feel pressured to make work if the design plans take me in another direction down the road.
EIGHT: Window coverings.
Last, but certainly not least, we desperately need to add some window coverings around this house. Again, it’s SO hard to feel sure enough to make a decision for each space when I don’t really feel sure about our future design plans and, with window coverings being such a big investment, this isn’t a decision I want to get wrong. I think I’ve made up my mind about the front study at least, hopefully I can get our kitchen and living room spaces figured out soon too. #wishmeluck
While these are all relatively quick + easy ideas, I’m not sure I’ll be able to make my way through them all that quickly. At least it’ll give us some easy(ish) ways to continue on our journey to making this new/old house feel like home again for us. And sometimes it’s the little things that seem to make the biggest difference.
Wishing you SUCH a lovely day my friends!