With the country in lockdown, many of us are turning our energy to projects around the home to keep ourselves busy. After all, we are spending a lot more time than usual in our homes, so the inclination to create a comforting and cosy environment isn’t surprising. In fact, a whopping 71% of Brits are aiming to complete a project during the coronavirus shutdown.
Home projects are great to get your mind off the situation outside while creating a safe and cosy haven for you and your family. Many of these DIYs include items you already have in your home, if not you can order items online to complete your project.
Here are our top ten suggestions for projects to complete while you have a bit more free time than usual.
Make a dedicated office space
Most of us have now made the move to home working and are facing the challenges that come with having one space for home life and work life. If you are working slumped on the sofa, with cats or toddlers climbing over you during conference calls then now is the time to make yourself a dedicated office space!
If you have a spare room, of course, this is the obvious choice. If this isn’t an option, try to find a space in your home that has adequate natural light, plenty of power sockets and a good Wi-Fi signal. A good quality chair is essential, as is lighting, especially if you find yourself working late. Look to Pinterest for inspiration on how to decorate your new home office. Filling it with plants is a great idea for making a calming space.
Try to clear an area and kit it out with what you need, and then don’t use it for anything else. Having a specific working area in your home will help you separate work and home life during these unusual times.
Paint a blackboard wall
Have you suddenly found yourself homeschooling? Here’s a great idea that you can get the kids involved with. Painting a blackboard wall is extremely easy and is the perfect resource when teaching at home as it provides a blank canvas for the kids for ‘art class’ and is a great teaching tool for parents.
Start this project on a Friday afternoon for best results, as it takes up to three days to dry and you’ll need at least 2 coats of paint. The more coats you apply the smoother it will appear, so make sure you order enough. When it’s ready rub chalk all over the wall and erase it thoroughly with a dry towel. Once that’s done, you’re ready to get teaching!
Marie Kondo your wardrobe
Even the most organised among us can have a messy closet, and now is the time to make it right. When Netflix launched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo last year the world was captivated by the organisational guru who taught us how to dispose of items that didn’t ‘spark joy’. Now is the perfect time to work through your wardrobe again and organise the items you wear and those which have seen better days.
Give yourself a few hours, and begin by taking everything out of your wardrobe, purging items you no longer wear and giving the interior of your wardrobe a good clean. Once you’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff sort your clothes by category, hanging the delicate items and stacking thicker items like denim. Put your most-used items at the front and store seasonal items at the back.
Repaint your front door
A perfect Sunday project, painting your front door only takes a few hours and can totally change the appearance of your home, upping curb appeal and bringing a necessary pop of colour. You can also use this opportunity to embellish the door in other ways – purchasing a new door knocker or door numbers can really freshen up the appearance of your home.
Depending on your door you may need to remove it to paint it, so make sure you have all tools to hand and check the weather – this is not a project for a rainy day!
Deep clean the kitchen
We are all spending much more time than usual in our kitchens and are likely contending with plates piling up and cupboards becoming quickly disorganised. What better moment to give your kitchen a really good deep clean?
Small appliances are often neglected so why not use this time to hand wash your smaller items like coffee makers and blenders. Empty out your toaster trap door and then shake the appliance over the sink to remove loose crumbs, and give your instant pot or slow cooker a wipe down with a damp dishcloth.
Change your hardware
This simple upgrade can have a huge impact. Your doorknobs, taps and cabinet knobs can really age a home, but switching them out is a simple job and takes very little time. Choose items from the same range for a streamlined look, or if your home has more of a vintage style try experimenting with different knobs on your chest of drawers for a unique, eclectic look.
This is one of the most inexpensive things you can do to spruce up your home, with knobs starting at a few pounds in most DIY stores.
Build a Bar Cart
With all pubs across the country closed, now is the time to bring the bar to you! This is a great weekend project (and treating yourself at the end with your favourite tipple is the perfect reward for your hard work.) You can find lots of tutorials online for building a bar cart from scratch, but if you’re not the DIY type then simply refashion a side table or storage trolley.
Many off-licenses are providing home delivery at the moment, so you can stock up your bar with your favourite spirits. Don’t feel the urge to get every fancy spirit and bottles of bitters that will just collect dust – select a few key spirits so you can make the classics.
Organisation is key to having the perfect bar – use trays to divide items into zones for various elements, be it glassware, citrus fruits or spirit bottles. If you have smaller cocktail making items like stirrers, straws, and bottle openers display them in beautiful bowls if you don’t have tools you can substitute – try using a wooden spoon as a muddler and an espresso cup as a jigger. Add in details to complement the bar with the theme of your home – plants, a small lamp, artwork, trays, coffee table books or a vase of flowers will really bring it to life.
Add a kitchen backsplash
It’s easier than it sounds to add a backsplash – and it can really refresh your kitchen. Backsplashes add colour and provide a helpful function, and installing one will only take a day or two.
There are so many options, such as mosaics on mesh backing or peel-and-stick tile, and all are really easy to install. You can also repurpose other supplies to create a unique backsplash – believe it or not decorative metal roofing tiles are a great option for an economical and unusual backsplash.
Make a bath caddy
We could all do with some pampering this weekend, but with trips to the spa off the table why not make your bathroom into your own special sanctuary? A luxurious looking bathtub caddy can hold your creams, bubble baths and books, and you can even build in a book nook and a holder for your glass of wine.
If you don’t have the tools required to build your own, check out tutorials for transforming a tray to create your very own, then just sit back, close your eyes and relax.
Tackle those kitchen cupboards
Now is the time to sort out your kitchen cupboards. Check all your items use-by dates and get rid of anything that’s expired. Don’t forget to check your spice rack – spices shouldn’t be kept for longer than a year so bin any that have been knocking about for longer than that.
Follow the same principles you did for your wardrobe here – frequently used items should be easily accessible at the front of your cupboards, with lesser-used items such as serving platters at the back.
Good luck with your projects, we’ll be back with more tips soon!