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5 Easy Home Upgrades for Winter Break

Want to spruce up your space over vacation? Here are 5 low-stress, big-impact ideas.

5 Easy Home Upgrades for Winter Break

As the weather turns cold and we take some time off from work or school, winter break can be the perfect time to tackle some of the projects on your list. But make it fun! Here are some quick and easy DIY home upgrades and projects you can handle in a short amount of time. You'll feel accomplished and renewed for the new year.

Transform your bathroom

Your bathroom should be an oasis, offering peace and respite from the outside world. Fortunately, you don’t need to get into major remodeling to perk it up.

  • Paint the walls. Most bathrooms are fairly small, so you won’t need a ton of paint. Choose soft colors that evoke nature, such as blues, greens, or even sandy beige.
  • Upgrade the towels. Textiles are an easy way to breathe new life into a space. Bathrooms need towels anyway! Mix soft, fluffy bath towels with interestingly patterned decorative pieces.
  • Add shelving. Almost every bathroom has space for shelves, whether along an open wall or above the toilet. Place cozy, calming pieces on your new shelves, such as candles or flowers.
  • Make it artistic. Hang a painting or an interesting mirror. Add a vintage medicine cabinet. Just be sure to choose pieces that can handle the humidity.

Create an accent wall

A single accent wall is an easier project than repainting the whole room, and it can add massive visual interest to virtually any space.

  • Use bold paint. Choose a bold, bright paint color that either melds or sharply contrasts with the rest of the room. An accent wall should be dramatic.
  • Choose wallpaper. Wallpaper has come a long way since our grandparents’ generation. Peel and stick removable pieces are available in virtually every pattern and color combination you can imagine, including full-wall murals. It’s easy to put up and just as easy to remove when you want a change.
  • Add a decorative element. Whether you choose paint or wallpaper, take your accent wall to the next level by adding something decorative. Add a complimentary painting, mirror, or even a wall tapestry.

Separate your space

Do you have an open floor plan? While there are a lot of advantages, it takes a little extra creativity to create warm and homey nooks. Make your home a bit cozier by finding ways to break up the space.

  • Rugs. Use area rugs to define each space. Unusual shapes, such as round or even hexagonal rugs, can add visual interest while anchoring and defining the area.
  • Curtains. If you have archways or other architectural details, consider using curtains to highlight them while creating visual separation between spaces. Get some pretty tiebacks so you can keep the curtains open when desired.
  • Furniture placement. Many people automatically put their furniture against the walls. But rooms can actually feel larger when you pull it into the room. Use furniture to break up large open areas. For example, a couch backed by a sofa table can easily separate a living and dining room combination. Or choose interesting accent pieces like low benches or open bookcases to create distinct areas.

Change the fixtures

For a quick and easy update throughout your home, look no further than the light fixtures. As long as you use the existing wiring, swapping out fixtures is fast and easy.

  • Add vintage flair. If you’re into retro, consider swapping out your contemporary fixtures for mid-century pendant lights, Victorian chandeliers, or even a rustic custom piece made from reclaimed lumber.
  • Go chic. Focus on chrome and glass if you’re more into a modern minimalist look. Or embrace the industrial trend with black and copper highlighting Edison bulbs.
  • Soften the look. Regardless of the fixture style you prefer, swap out harsh bright white bulbs for softer lighting with a bit of yellow. Simply toning down the lighting can give any space a refreshed, more modern appeal.

Upgrade the entryway

Entryways are traditionally among the most overlooked spaces in a home. Yet it’s the first space you see when you arrive home and your first chance to make guests feel welcome. Fortunately, it’s also an easy space to upgrade. If you’re looking for one-day home improvements, consider moving the entryway to the top of your list.

  • Add a rug. Depending on the typical weather conditions in your area, you might want a tough doormat to scrape off snow or a lightweight oval made of natural fibers. Or set an elegant vibe right off the bat with a thick, luxurious, patterned rug. The goal is to mix form with function and set the stage for the rest of your home.
  • Create space for coats. Whether you choose an old-fashioned coat rack or hang a few hooks on the wall, the entryway is typically the best place to shed outer layers that might be wet or dirty. You might also consider adding an umbrella stand for the same reason.
  • Make room for keys. Are you always losing your keychain? Add a small table with a  decorative bowl or install a few wall hooks to hold everyone’s keys.

Whatever you choose, embrace the change! Making small, easy changes that have a high visual (and comfort) impact will help you feel accomplished and reinvigorated for the new year.