New Start: 21 Ways to Refresh Your Home for 2016

Even as you embark on a new year, the past might still lurk in your home in the form of outdated fixtures, unsightly clutter, and ill-arranged furniture. Leave your design woes in the past, and usher in a new era with these 21 fast and fun home improvement ideas!

  1. Curtain Recall

    Swap Your Shower Curtains

    To combat scum buildup in the bath, don’t just ring in the New Year with upgraded shower curtain rings, but a fresh shower curtain, too! Even if they’re not visibly torn or faded, swapping an old curtain for a new one ensures that past mold and mildew don’t creep into future baths.

    Related: 9 Ways to Make Your Old Bathroom New Again

  2. Closet Cure

    Clean Your Closet

    If you faked a clean house last year by stashing loose garments, shoes, and toys in the closet, your family may stumble on your not-so-closeted secret of clutter this year. Return abandoned items to a DIY closet organizer and attractive storage bins, or give them the final farewell and donate them to a good cause.

    Related: Organize Closets with 11 Things You Already Own

  3. Pantry Purge

    Organize Your Pantry

    Even though the remains of holiday meals are long gone from the fridge (we hope!), last year’s leftovers are still likely lingering and growing stale in the pantry. Toss out expired canned and boxed goods, pack and donate any unused comestibles, and then wipe food stains and crumbs from the shelves to give your pantry a fresh start!

    Related: 14 Instant Fixes for a Total Pantry Makeover

    Flickr via tofuttibreak

  4. Furnish with Function

    Rearrange Your Furniture

    Rearranging home accents is a simple way to remedy furniture faux pas of the past, whether that be not cleaning underneath armchairs or side tables, or leaving your sofa near the window to fade from sun exposure. Additionally, rearranging furniture to suit the way you actually live can cure clutter and make any room look bigger.

    Related: The 7 Room Layout Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

    Kelsey Ann Rose via 

  5. Fixate on Style

    Replace a Light Fixture

    Whether it’s a drab, industrial fan or glaring lights, unwanted ceiling fixtures don’t have to be permanent fixtures in your home. There are plenty of easy DIY electrical projects to help you revamp or replace outdated lights or fans—without a shocking price tag!

    Related: 9 Clever Ways to Counteract Low Ceilings

  6. Calm the Dis-Cord

    Control Cord Clutter

    If cord chaos is putting a chokehold on your digital life, camouflage the mess using cord wraps, cable boxes, and multi-device power strips. Once properly corralled, keep track of cords for all of your electronics using bargain, color-coded labels!

    Related: Under $50 - 10 Must-Haves for an Organized Desk

  7. Made in the Shade

    Update an Old Lampshade

    When it’s lights out on your old, worn-out lampshade, swap it for a DIY shade that exudes warmth and style. If you'd rather not craft one from scratch, embellish an existing lampshade by spray painting it, wrapping it with yarn or twine, or covering it in beautiful, rustic paper.

    Related: 15 Lazy Ways to Make a Big Change in Your Home

  8. Window of Opportunity

    Clean Your Windows

    Beat the clock on spring cleaning by wiping down your windows and window sills this winter. Use a commercial or homemade cleaner to get rid of gunk and grime, so that even with winter's shorter days and less sunlight, your home will still remain bright.

    Related: 10 Cleaning Habits to Blame for Your Messy Home

  9. Mat Finish

    Replace Your Welcome Mat

    Doormats are walked all over year-round, but especially in wet and cold weather. However even the best can't stand up to boot scuffs, moisture, and abuses forever. Replace weathered rugs with eye-catching new welcome mats that are truly welcoming.

    Related: 12 Ways to Check Slush and Snow at the Door

    Etsy via KarensRopeWork

  10. Another Door Opens

    Repaint Your Front Door

    Keep your spirits bright by repainting your front door in a reinvigorating new shade. Before brushing it in style, clean the door and apply a coat of primer if you’re transitioning from a darker to a lighter shade.

    Related: 9 Bright and Bold Colors for Your Front Door

    Zillow Digs home in Nampa, ID

  11. Cushy Job

    Add New Throw Pillows

    Few things betray a sofa's old age like weathered throw pillows. Give your sofas an instant facelift and keep guests guessing at their age by replacing crumpled cushions with perked-up pillows.

    Related: Living Room Paint Colors - 9 Top Picks from the Pros

    Tessa Neustadt via

  12. Sharp-Looking Coat

    Paint Your Trim

    Re-painting the trim is an easy way to revitalize a lackluster living space, but one that some DIYers neglect for fear of paint splatters on the walls and ceiling. By applying paint first to the trim, then the ceiling, and lastly, the walls, you’re sure to make a (tidy) splash in any room!

    Related: 10 Top Tips to Make Any Paint Job Go Faster

  13. Counter Clutter

    Keep Kitchen Counters Clear

    Durable yet elegant, clear canisters and jars are the perfect vessel for storing kitchen essentials. Fill food-safe containers with everything from pantry staples to special-occasion delicacies, and then stack them to minimize clutter and maximize counter space!

    Related: 9 Home Organization Secret Weapons

  14. Shelf Life

    Add Floor to Ceiling Shelves

    If barren walls have left a gaping hole in your home decor, install floor-to-ceiling shelves to add style and utility to any room. The possibilities are as endless as the shelves, from vertical units to display dishes in the kitchen to a bookcase in the living room for well-read DIYers.

    Related: 10 Space-Saving Ideas to Steal from Houseboats

  15. Key to Organization

    Make a Key Rack

    Building a DIY key holder takes only a few minutes and can save hours of time that might otherwise be spent fumbling for lost keys in the morning. Repurposed from an old cork board and fabric scraps, this organizer minimizes the need to rush and ushers you out the door with peace of mind.

    Related: 14 Ultrafunctional Ideas to Steal for Your Entryway

    YouTube via Cathy Diep

  16. Grand Entrance

    Add Storage to Your Entryway

    From simple wicker baskets for stashing umbrellas or hats, to ultra-modern entryway credenzas, adding storage to the foyer is a space-smart way to utilize an empty area. If your entryway is low on floor space, install floating shelves to boost style and storage.

    Related: Start Fresh: 10 Essentials for an Organized Entryway

  17. Number One Neighbor

    Update Your House Number

    A lack of decor on the outside of your home doesn't bode well for its curb appeal. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a pro designer to add character to your address. A DIY house number plate—plus a touch of inspiration—is the perfect choice when it comes to dressing up your facade!

    Related: Before and After - DIY Facelifts for 8 Home Exteriors

  18. Surprise Mail

    Install a New Mailbox

    Before you send your mail carrier packing at the sight of your dingy mailbox, upgrade it post-haste! Consider building a DIY mailbox from salvaged auto parts, a bike frame, or a wooden crate for a retro-yet revitalized look that doesn’t break the budget.

    Related: You've Got Mail - 11 Inventive DIY Mailboxes

    Etsy via ModernistMailbox

  19. Rule of Green Thumb

    Cultivate a Container Garden

    In the dead of winter, even a touch of greenery can revitalize the home while energizing you. Invite the outdoors inside by customizing a planter or constructing a terrarium from items as large as a fish tank or as small as a glass pendant, and filled with vibrant, seasonal plants.

    Related: 9 Bright and Colorful Houseplants You Can't Kill

  20. Well-Seasoned Decor

    Cozy Home Decor

    You've probably taken down the Christmas decor, but the magic and charm of the holidays can remain through seasonally appropriate decor. Carefully consider your artwork, lighting, and foliage to create a warm ambiance in winter, or cool appeal in scorching temperatures!

    Related: 7 Ways to Transform String Lights from Holiday to Every Day

  21. Beauty Sleep

    Replace Your Old Sheets

    This year, take time to pamper yourself and your bedroom with luxurious new sheets, bedspreads, and blankets fit for a queen or king (sized) bed. Refreshed bedding is a simple way to begin 2016 well-rested and prepared for what the year brings.

    Related: 10 Things Your Bedroom Might Be Missing

  22. Don't Miss!


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