DIY Interior Design Projects for $50 (or Less!)
These DIY home projects are easy enough for most homeowners to do themselves, lending low-cost, big-impact changes to the spaces you love. Some ideas are as simple as adding shelves; others are creative recycling projects that will help you make the most of what you already have. All will help you sell your house—without draining your budget.
Static walls can get boring—fast. For a fresh look that offers flexibility, install floating shelves. They can be staggered or aligned, various lengths may be combined and the objects on the shelves can be rotated as seasons or tastes change. Shelves should be attached securely to a wall stud or using a wall anchor; measure both height and width to ensure you have room for the shelves as well as the items you want to display.
A fresh doorknob can give new life to a door, and it’s an easy project. Simply remove the old plate and hardware and install the new, following the manufacturer’s directions. Or you can paint the old hardware using a metal-appropriate spray paint. Tip: You may need to touch up paint or stain on the door around the new plate if the old hardware is a different size.
Plenty of simpler-than-you-think headboard options offer the structure of a behind-the-bed piece without the expense. A piece of thick plywood or a hollow-core door, for example, can be painted or covered in fabric (add batting for an upholstered look) and attached to the wall. In a pinch, a headboard simply can lean against a wall, with the mattress serving as a support.
To breathe new life into your kitchen, try removing doors on a few cabinets here and there to make your dishes the focal point. Paint the insides of the cabinets the same or a contrasting color.
Front doors are often painted for accent or for location assistance. When it comes to interior doors, homeowners are more hesitant to add color. But a bright hue can revive a room and highlight a point of interest—here, the entry to a butler’s pantry.
An option for interior or exterior floors, simple floor stencils can add a focal-point pattern or accent color to a space. For inspiration, pick up a color or a motif in existing furniture or fabrics. A stencil should be applied, starting from the floor’s center, in small areas at a time. Once finished, apply a protective finish and allow to dry the recommended amount of time.
Who says the risers on interior stairs have to be bland and boring? Use paint—either a solid color or a pattern—for a more exuberant display of your style personality. Be sure to tape off the treads to protect the existing finish, or include them in your pattern as shown here.
Wood trim takes more DIY time and a few tools, but it gives presence and architectural heft to a room. Use crown molding where wall meets ceiling, or lower it a few inches in very tall spaces to make the room feel more intimate. Trim and molding may also be used to accent other elements in a room, such as shelving. Crown molding can be painted or stained ahead of time or installed unfinished.
If you can’t afford a high-end countertop update, tile is a budget-friendly project that can give a kitchen or bath a reinvigorated decorating aesthetic. For a clean, contemporary look, choose a single style of tile; for a more personalized touch, consider adding decorative tile inserts or creating a pattern out of contrast-color tiles.
Peel-and-stick wall decals are no-fuss, no-mess DIY projects that can transform a room with very little investment of time and money. For a kid’s room, consider a decal that creates a scene—a tree adorned with birds, for example—while a living room may be appropriate for a patterned piece. Bonus: In a few years when your style changes, the decal is super-easy to switch out.
In just minutes (and using tools you likely have on hand), you can refresh your home’s curb appeal with a new set of house numbers. Go for a style or color that picks up on a detail on your home’s exterior, and place them in an easy-to-see spot. For even more punch, consider placing an accent uplight or downlight that draws attention to the numbers during nighttime hours.
Looking for a DIY project that also adds quick and clever organization? Go for a pegboard organizer: it can be adapted to a range of rooms (home office, kitchen or garage, to name just a few), is easy to install and can be painted to match existing decor. Before hanging, lay the pegboard piece flat and place to-be-stored items on it to ensure you have enough space. Attach it to wall studs or using wall an