Summer is the most popular time of year for home renovations, with the great weather making indoor and outdoor fixes a breeze. From simple remodel ideas to budget-friendly outdoor updates, these are the top projects to tackle this summer, according to a DIY expert.
Shake It Up: If you’re craving a modern aesthetic, but don’t want to take on an expensive and time-consuming renovation, updating cabinets, doors and lighting can make all the difference.
“During a recent bathroom remodel, I made shaker doors because they are easy to assemble yet give a nice style and modern look to cabinets,” says Mark Robertson, the DIYer behind Mark the Builder, who specializes in accent walls and bathroom and kitchen remodels. “To give plain cabinets the shaker look, we basically take a door frame and add raised panels to it.”
For this project, all you need is a cabinet door, wood panels found at your home improvement store, glue and paint or stain. Once you have all the materials, measure and cut the horizontal pieces to the length of the door and make the vertical rails two inches thick. Glue the panels together and then secure the molding to the cabinet door. For renters, Robertson recommends applying a peel and stick wallpaper over cabinets or doors for a quick refresh.
Under-the-cabinet lighting will help highlight your handiwork and offer extra illumination at night. To easily install lighting without the hassle of hardware, Robertson suggests cutting small pieces of T-Rex Super Glue Tape and attaching them to LED light strips. The high-tack, double-sided tape offers super-glue-like adhesive strength for quick mounting and leaves no mess behind.
Combine Storage With Style: The best home updates not only look good, but function beautifully, too. New shelves are an impactful way to add storage and enhance a room’s style.
It’s easy to find inexpensive shelving on resale websites—many just need a quick coat of stain or paint to look brand new. For those who want to build it themselves, Robertson recommends making an industrial pipe shelf using reclaimed wood—typically one to two inches thick—and a three-quarter inch industrial black pipe. Lay the piece of wood flat, trace the circular part of the pipe onto the wood and then drill two holes. Slide the wood over the pipe to assemble the shelf.
Dress Your Walls: From indoors to out, options for accent walls are endless. However, Robertson follows these two design rules: stick with simplistic patterns in formal areas, such as a dining room or living room; and use abstract shapes in bedrooms, game rooms and offices. To achieve a perfect accent wall every time, Robertson uses templates instead of a tape measure.
“If you are making a wall with panels four inches apart, cut a piece of scrap to four inches and use it for all of the design,” he says. “You will get the same spacing for the entire project and everything will be symmetrical.”
Create an Outdoor Oasis: Summer is the optimal time to fix up the backyard. From staining the deck to building a new fire pit, there are several projects that will make the area pop.
After tackling these DIY projects, you’ll enjoy interiors and exteriors that look and feel as bright and fresh as the summer weather.