4 Inexpensive, Done-In-A-Day Home Upgrades (Part 1)

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child hanging wall paper

Upgrading your home doesn’t have to be a costly, dusty, headache-inducing endeavor. With these easy, inexpensive home upgrades, you’ll be done in a day.


This is real life, not Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. You don’t have to gut your entire home overnight. (Baby steps, people.)

When it comes to décor, small improvements make a big impact. With a little elbow grease and imagination, it’s easy to upgrade your home in a day, or even an afternoon. So you can focus on more important things: like a second helping of brunch, catching up on House, sleeping in…. (Or all of the above.)

Without further ado, here are a few easy home upgrades to try:

1. Dress up your mantel

festive mantel

(image: ProFlowers)

Does your mantel look a little dusty and barren these days? For a fast, festive fix, sweep off the soot and add a splash of yuletide pride. Arrange a few votive candle holders and some fresh pine cuttings for a festive focal point. (Just don’t let your neighbor catch you clipping their pine tree.) Drape some decorative art and a few stocking hooks for good measure. Now pour yourself another rum ‘n eggnog. (You’ve earned it.)

2. Fashion a feature wall

Painting your place is a great way to add value and instantly refresh your home’s aesthetic. But painting takes a surprising amount of effort—finding clothes to ruin, putting those clothes on, moving furniture, prepping walls, throwing down drop cloths, moving furniture—and you don’t wanna.

Because painting the town red is more fun than hanging out in paint-splattered clothes for days on end. Unless there’s wine. (In that case: let’s hope no one notices those crooked lines.)

accent wall stylish living room

(image: Maureen Didde)

Instead of painting your entire place, create a feature wall instead. Find an all-white room, and paint one wall in a bold color, like royal blue or mustard yellow. Add a decorative shelf to house some newfangled art or décor, and voila! Instant home upgrade.

3. Paint your fence

Is your fence looking a little rickety and lackluster these days? Wrangle up your family for a day of yard work and (obligatory) bonding time. Painting your fence is a great way to boost your home’s curb appeal and while away a lazy (ish) Sunday afternoon.

couple painting fence

Start by placing a drop cloth down to protect your grass and shrubs. Then prep your fence by sweeping away dirt and debris, and sanding everything down. If you have a pressure washer, give your fence a hose down before you paint.

Now load up your brush or sprayer, and paint ‘till your heart’s content. Just make sure all non-painted surfaces, kids, and pets are protected from overspray. (Leave your neighbors speechless in the right way.)

4. Stick it to a wall

Wall decal decor

(image: lifestyle-decor.de)

If those bare walls feel more blasé and boring than elegant, turn up the style with a few decorative wall stickers. With a range of designs and colors to choose from, wall stickers are a clever and easy way to add some personality to an otherwise ordinary space—without turning your wallet inside out. (Cue butterflies.)

What about you? Share your ideas

I think I’ll try a feature wall and a festive-friendly mantle. Which of these done-in-a-day home upgrades will you try? Be sure to weigh in below!

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Tanya Roberts

Tanya Roberts is a writer and marketer who loves to spin stories about interior design and home decor. She is principle strategist at Bluefinch.ca