Here in Hong Kong (where I’m based) we’re on week 10 of homeschooling and self-quarantining. And since most of us are spending the majority of our time inside, I thought I’d share a few projects that I’ve been putting into practice around my own home. They have been helping me to cope – while improving my interiors at the same time.
GIVE YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS A FACELIFT
One DIY project that I did for myself that really changed the entire look of the room was to repaint my kitchen cabinets doors and give them new handles. This project took only two days once I had all the materials, and boy what a difference it made! I went from a drab, brown room that I didn’t want to spend any time in, to a bright, white space with elegant touches of matte gold. The kitchen finally became somewhere I was happy to spend hours in (which is a miracle considering how little I used to cook). Pro Tip: When you repaint a space, just make sure you choose the right paint to hold up to the wear and tear. And for handles, there are a plethora of choices online. I am partial to searching on Etsy, since this also gives small businesses a much-needed boost.
CHOOSE A NEW COLOR SCHEME
Another great DIY project while you’re stuck at home is to change the color scheme of a room. Start with deciding which room, and what color(s) you really like and want to incorporate. Then pick your biggest item first-the floor rug. Again, this can be purchased online from shops such as Serena & Lily or Overstock.com (I’m not affiliated with them in any way, just have found them to be fast and reliable). Once you’ve chosen the rug, all the other item colors should be pulled from here, so that the room is coordinated but not matchy-matchy. Order a bunch of new throw pillows for the sofa if you’re doing the living room or bedroom. Find a throw that compliments the pillows. Voila! A room makeover with impact, done from the comfort of your own home.
ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSETS
I’ve taken some time while at home to go through my closets and pull out those clothes that I no longer wear, like, or need. They are all set to donate the first chance I get. Going through this process has helped not only with dealing with clutter, but also with handling anxiety. It has given me a feeling of control and order-when so many things are currently out of our control. Once I pared down, the next step was to make my closet look good. Pro Tip: A really simple, inexpensive, but effective way to do this is to use the same hanger for everything in your closet. Get rid of that metal, plastic, multicolored mess, and choose one style of hanger online and order them. Then when they arrive, hang your clothing by type (shirts, pants, skirts, sweaters, etc.) and by color. You’ll be able to find things easily, and the storage will be uniform and orderly. An easy transformation that does wonders for your mood!
DO AN ACCENT WALL
If you’ve followed my blog for a while then you’ll know that I’m crazy for an accent wall. It is one of the fastest and most effective ways to change the feel of a room without breaking the bank. For all of you with some trepidation about repainting or wallpapering an entire room, it’s also the perfect way to get your feet wet without stress. When choosing a paint color or wallpaper, order lots of samples online (Here’s a shop I use a lot for clients) and tape them (in the case of wallpaper) to the wall you’re thinking of doing. For paint samples, again, try as many as you like in squares on the wall. Observe them throughout the day-how do they look in morning light? How about at night? The great thing about having to be at home right now is that you’ll actually see what the potential choices look like at different times and be able to make a truly informed decision.
GET A SHOE CABINET
Growing up in the US, my family always took off our shoes before we came into the house. I didn’t think anything of it; it just was what we did. Fast forward to living in Asia for the past 14 years, and I was prepared for visiting people’s homes: Everyone here removes their shoes before entering as well. It’s actually a really effective way to prevent the dirt you’ve accumulated from getting inside. Most people here have some sort of shoe cabinet at the front entry for outside shoes.
Obviously at the moment, we aren’t roaming around outside, but I highly recommend that you implement this sort of system for your home. Have a look online: you can use storage benches, wardrobes, or traditional shoe cabinets; here are some examples. Think of it as planning for a positive future when you will be able to leave the house at any time and not think twice about it-I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!