How to Prioritize Your Home Improvement Projects

white bathroom with gold hardware and a hanging plant

As a homeowner, your list of maintenance projects is likely long and winding. Home improvement can be a daunting task, and it can be hard to know where to start. To kick things off, create a wish list of projects in no particular order. Next, go through our top tips below and learn how to prioritize your projects so that you can make the biggest difference as fast as possible.

Put function first.

As boring as it sounds, it’s smart to start with the house projects that impact safety or your daily function. Water heater on it’s last leg? Better upgrade before it blows. No functioning guest toilet? That’s where your list begins! Projects involving the roof, gutters, door locks and electrical work should take top priority. 

installing mirror in a bathroom

Consider the season.

Timing does make a difference for many projects. Practically speaking, some tasks are simply easier to accomplish when the days are longer and warmer, while others may not be compatible with sticky, humid weather. Think realistically about how long each task will take, and determine if you have the weather to work on it or if it should wait until next season.

Think about first impressions.

A whole-home renovation may be your end goal, but most people can’t tackle it all at once. Think through what guests (or prospective homebuyers) will notice first, and start there. For example, a fresh coat of paint can instantly transform a room. An outdated kitchen can vastly decrease your home value, so that may be the room to start in. Adding a tastefully styled entryway table can add a wow-factor right when people walk in, and the right window treatments can make a home look more pulled together. You don’t have to do it all at once, but begin with the projects people will first absorb as they spend time in your home. Leave the boring-but-nice projects that nobody will admire slightly lower on your priority list (besides the safety-related and necessary functional to-dos mentioned above!). Being able to see your progress really does make a difference!

woman hanging gold decorative mirror in bathroom

Start with low-budget, high-impact projects.

At the end of the day, the goal is to pack the biggest punch possible without breaking the bank — right? Arrange your home improvement to-do list in order from least expensive to most, and then compare that to a project list sorted by what will make the biggest difference in your space. If you opt to start with the most expensive project first (especially one that nobody really notices), it’s easy to get overwhelmed and burned out before you get where you want to be. By starting with bite-sized projects, so to speak, you’ll gain momentum that keeps you moving forward toward your end goals.

One easy way to transform your home without blowing your budget is to add or refresh your mirror! Mirrors have a way of opening up a space by bouncing light around the room, and framed mirrors can make a room appear more polished. Best of all, it’s a cost-effective way to make a big impact in your space. Browse our entire collection of framed mirrors here.

4 Fast and Easy Ways to Spruce Up a Dull Bathroom

Want to improve your bathroom, but don’t have the budget for a total renovation? You’re not alone. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to spruce up your space without the need for a total overhaul. These four simple — but effective — tips can help transform your bathroom from dull to dazzling. 

 

  1. Swap out your lighting

Want to see yourself in the best light possible? Time to toss that stock overhead vanity light that came with the place. Find something sleek and distinctly you — you’d be surprised how much unsightly lighting can drag a space down. If you’re up to going beyond the vanity light above the sink, sconces or wall lights can add that ever-elusive “good lighting” that comes in so handy while you’re applying makeup or shaving (or taking a selfie!). Lighting on either side of the vanity mirror offers illumination and shadowless light for your face, while only having one above the mirror tends to create dark shadows under your eyes, nose and chin. Do yourself a favor here!

 

  1. Refresh your towels.

This upgrade is as easy as selecting and swapping out! Compared to, say, installing an all-new bathroom vanity, towels are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. Plus, this is a great solution if you’re renting or if you simply don’t want to commit to a certain scheme that may soon be out of fashion. Although a fluffy white towel will never go out of style, towels are a great place to try out the trendy colors or bold patterns you love at the moment. If you want to really go wild, get all new bath mats in a coordinating color, too!

 

  1. Create a feature wall.

Giving your bathroom a strong focal point (that’s not the toilet) can elevate a space that’s typically only utilitarian in its purpose. One great solution? A wallpapered feature wall! It’s a great solution if you don’t want to commit to the time and money required for a full room of wallpaper. Pro tip: Opt for a wall that won’t stay moist from constant showering or splashing. For example, the water closet or powder room behind the toilet is a great spot to show off a fun print. And if you’re worried that a bold wallpaper will overpower your small space, choose an abstract painting in a similar colorway to the wallpaper you love — you’ll get the pop of fun without the need for wallpaper paste! 

 

  1. Add or frame mirrors. 

Mirrors add light and can make a small space seem much bigger by bouncing the light around. As it’s mentioned above, good lighting is key — and especially in a smaller bathroom. Adding decorative mirrors is one of the quickest, easiest ways to pack a big punch in your space. Better yet, frame a big mirror you already have! If you have a sheet mirror behind your bathroom vanity — or even a funky-shaped one elsewhere in your bathroom — adding a frame to the existing mirror is an affordable way to get a professionally designed look.

From decorative mirrors to fast, customizable Add a Frame mirrors, we have what you need to give your bathroom the boost it needs. Best of all, you can choose from a wide range of frame finishes and styles so that your bathroom wows you every time you walk in. Shop the range now!

Style Inspo: Mirrors Over Double Sinks

Double the sinks, double the functionality, right?! His ’n hers bathroom vanities are a practical (and popular) choice that offer more storage and elbow room than single sinks. But when you’re working with a double-sink vanity, should you go with two separate mirrors, or one giant one? Answer: There is no right or wrong! Ahead, we’re rounding up some of our favorite styles for mirrors over double sinks. 

Look #1: Two Mirrors

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Putting an individual mirror over each sink offers a nice divide, making each spot feel distinct. This can give each person a feeling of having their own space — and that’s perfect for kids who share a bathroom, as it provides one less thing to bicker about!

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Two mirrors, plus a window — we call that a win! Of course, this option would only work for you if your bathroom was designed accordingly, but look at how that natural light shines into the space!

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Here again, the mirrors give a sense of division and distinct personal space, while still tying the two sinks together seamlessly. Plus, the style of the mirror frames complement the overall style, with the rustic woods nicely balancing the white marble.

Look #2: One Large Mirror

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With a slimmer vanity, one large mirror may be your best bet. The single mirror over the double sink looks cohesive and polished, and even manages to make this bathroom look more spacious. 

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With a single mirror over a double vanity, you can perfectly line up the edges for a clean look. Although two mirrors can add symmetry to a space, one long mirror can lighten things up and offer an airy feel.

Look #3: Three Mirrors

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Why stop at two?! Obviously, this option will only work if your specific vanity allows for it — say you have a makeup vanity in between the two sinks, for example. If the vanity is long enough, three mirrors can offer a nice balance. 

Ready to customize your bathroom and give your mirrors a makeover? Whether you opt for two or three mirrors over your double vanity, or choose to frame one long mirror over both, we have exactly what you need. Shop all decorative mirrors here, peruse our LED mirrors here (perfect for adding a little extra lighting to your bathroom!), and learn how to easily frame your mirror here!

4 Top Trending Home Projects in 2021

Spending more time isolated at home in the last year has certainly brought about new and different relationships to our spaces. Many people suddenly found that they could finagle a home office out of an underused closet or annex after all, while others took the opportunity to organize everything from their desk drawers to their games cupboard. Big and small, home improvement projects of all sizes have been gracing honey-do lists across the globe. Ahead, we’re discussing the top four most popular projects of the year.

Upgrading outdoors spaces

From planting hedges and starting vegetable gardens to totally outfitting the patio with new furniture, people across the world are giving their outdoor spaces a second glance. If you’re lucky enough to have a balconette, yard, or porch, there’s no better place to have your morning cup of coffee or enjoy an after-work glass of wine — and especially if the space is inviting and comfortable! Even apartment dwellers are giving natural surroundings more attention by giving more attention to their house plants and windowsill herbs. 

Organizing the closets

With shows like “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” and “Get Organized with The Home Edit” surging to prominence in the last year or two, it’s no surprise that people used their downtime during lockdown to tackle overflowing closets. The trend has continued well into 2021 — people want the clutter GONE. 

Even though this home project doesn’t usually get a chance to shine when friends come over, it’s certainly one of the most satisfying! In the bedroom, in the hall, or in the bathroom, reorganizing closet spaces leads to piles of trash and donation bags, more functionality and visually appealing shelves.   

Painting a room

The fastest way to give a room a total makeover is to give it a fresh coat of paint! Plenty of people are wielding paint brushes this year. The most popular interior paint choices for 2021 include jewel tones (think deep blues and striking greens), rich browns, leafy greens, and blush pinks. Plus, the great thing about paint is that it’s not forever. If you change your mind in a few years, just bust the paint brushes back out!

Updating decor

Giving space a refresh doesn’t have to require hammers and nails, or even a gallon of paint. Simply updating decor has been top of mind for many people. Whether it’s switching coffee table books for something new, giving an old chair a needed slipcover, or splurging on new bedding, there are tons of ways to pack a big punch with a small budget. 

Our favorite home decor upgrade is — you guessed it — adding or framing mirrors. Mirrors catch light and can make a room feel bigger than it is, and a framed one can add a stylistic touch. No matter if you’re framing a big sheet mirror you already have or looking for a decorative mirror, we have you covered. Choose from tons of frame styles and finishes on our website now!

4 Inexpensive, Landlord-Approved Updates You Can Make While Renting

Creativity can be limited when you live in a rented apartment, house, or condo. Stock colors and standard tile selections tend to be quite blah (for lack of a better term), but that “no damage” clause in the contract can be incredibly restrictive. If you want to add a bit of personality to your space without causing trouble, keep reading!

Ahead, we’re rounding up a few (relatively) easy and inexpensive ways to give your rental a facelift. Best of all, none require construction or demolition, so you probably don’t even need to ask your landlord for permission. Score!

#1 Give your backsplash a blast of color. 

Use temporary wallpaper, faux tiles, or contact paper to give your kitchen a little style without sacrificing the beloved security deposit. The options are endless these days! For areas prone to splashes or messes (like behind the stove), go for a durable selection that can be wiped down regularly. Pro tip: If any sticking or glue remains after you try to peel off your temporary fix, a bit of Goo Gone will become your best friend!

#2 Light up your life. 

Did you know that light switch plates are actually super easy to swap out? It’s true! Find ones that add a little character or modernity to your space (or, at least aren’t an aged, crusty yellow), and just save the originals to pop back on when it’s time to move out. 

#3 Give a nod to your cabinet knobs. 

The key to rental upgrades is reversibility. Luckily, one such switch is on full display in your kitchen at all times: the cabinet knobs and drawer pulls. Find ones you love in the correct, already-existing size, and go cabinet crazy! Just like the light switch plates, you’ll simply swap them back before you say farewell. (Unless they are a huge improvement — in that case, your landlord may want to keep them!)

#4 Give your mirrors an instant makeover. 

A plain sheet mirror is often the standard in apartments and condos — and unfortunately, boring is also the standard. Luckily, it’s super easy to add instant wow-factor to your mirrors with Add A Frame! Get a totally custom mirror frame shipped right to your door, no matter the length or height you’re working with. It’s an affordable option that can really make a rental bathroom look polished and personalized. 

Add A Frame options include tons of styles and finishes — shop the range now to find your perfect fit.