As we find ourselves unexpectedly hunkered down at home, now is the time to tackle household hopes and dreams—or, at least, to find some inside amusement. Transform your living room by repositioning the sofa, clean overlooked workhorses (such as your washing machine), and get to those repairs and creative projects on your rainy day To Do list.
Here are some favorite projects:
1. Finally Do It Yourself Above: Our own Justine Hand used a tree stencil to pattern the white walls of her son’s bedroom: see The DIY Boreal Forest. (She also roller-painted a pattern onto a wall in her daughter’s room: see that project and more in Editors’ Favorites: Our Top 10 Weekend Projects.) Above: “When I couldn’t stand looking at my bedroom’s bare walls another minute, I dug out some art supplies I already had and set out to create something to hang above the bed,” says Dalilah Arja of her DIY Block Prints. In lieu of frames, she used nails and binder clips.
Looking to upgrade your rental apartment? See
Expert Advice: 23 Genius, Reversible, Budget-Friendly Hacks to Transform a Rental Apartment. For many more ideas, such as the hugely popular Easy Burlap Shades (for Less Than $20 Each), peruse our DIY Projects archive. Photograph by Justine Hand.
2. Rearrange the Furniture Above: Use what you’ve got but shift it around—and see how uplifting it can be to enter what feels like a new room. Get ideas from 11 Ways to Make a Room Look Bigger. Nothing fancy required: low-slung pieces create an open feel, as designer Corinne Gilbert demonstrates in her low-key chic apartment shown here (as featured in and Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home How to Decorate Like a Frenchwoman). Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista. Above: Deletions can also be the answer: this small-space design by Workstead feels much roomier thanks to the absence of a rug and curtains. Find more pointers in Tips for Creating the Illusion of Space. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista. 3. Create Artful Order Above: Our all-time favorite approach to organization? Put up a Shaker-style peg rail and gain instant order. Shown here, a rail made by Michigan workshop Peg and Rail from our book . Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista. The Organized Home Above: Our companion site, The Organized Home, is filled with inspired ideas for every room. These Fabric-Wrapped Hangers are a Depression-era trick that brightens closets—and enables the clothes to stay in place. Photograph by Pez Madrid. 4. Deep Clean Above: In Expert Advice: Editors’ Top 23 Cleaning Tips, we detail solutions that make use of on-hand ingredients, such as vinegar, salt, even toothpaste (it’s great for polishing jewelry). Photograph by Justine Hand. Above: Now that surface cleaning has become a daily ritual, take the scouring to the next step: Clean Your Washing Machine and Your Dishwasher: over time, grime takes its toll and they both deserve a scouring. On a roll? Clean your mattress and pillows, too. Photograph by Justine Hand.
Go to our
Domestic Science archive for more ideas, including a DIY All-Purpose Cleaner Made from Essential Oils and a DIY Cleansing Calming Yoga Mat Cleaner. 5. Love Your Bed Above: Even maximalists find it easier to sleep in a room stripped of excess stuff. This storage bed on Cape Cod doubles as a dresser. For space-enlarging approaches, see Justine’s 12 Tips for Making a Small Bedroom Look Bigger. And get inspiration from 27 of Our Favorite All-White Bedrooms. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.
Trouble sleeping? See our
10 Secrets for a Better Night’s Sleep. Also consider The Scandinavian Sleep Secret—Mine and Yours Duvets. Above: Another soothing approach: The Monochrome Bedroom. This all-pink design—see Blush in the Boudoir—is in architect Jess Thomas’s Brooklyn townhouse. For many more design ideas, scroll through our Steal This Look column. Photograph by Kate Sears.
Stay home, everyone, and stay well. And if you’ve tackled any household projects while sheltering in place, we’d love to hear about them—please fill us in in the Comments section below.