The best home projects for winter

Modern living room with wood-panel accent wallThat new firepit patio might be the most exciting project on your list of ideas, but it’s going to have to wait. It’s just too cold, and the last thing you want is snow destroying what progress you’ve made. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other wonderful projects for our home. Winter is the best time for these indoor house projects. From redecorating to remodeling, here are some excellent home projects.

Around the house

New paint

Are you tired of the current color pallet? Well, why not give them a little update this winter? If you just want to see the end results quickly, you can hire a professional. They can finish a paint job in a matter of hours. However, painting also makes for a great DIY project. Each room will take several days, but if you and your family need an activity to do together, painting can be a fun one.

Crown molding

Since you’re already making the walls look nicer, how about the top border too? Crown molding is a beautiful addition to any room. However, they can be a little tricky to install, so hiring a professional might be the best option here, but you can do it on your own too. Even better, crown molding adds a lot more value to your home than the cost of the product and installation itself. So if you plan to sell your home eventually, this will pay off later.

paintbrush against a wall

Seal off ppenings and air leaks

Did you forget to do this before winter set in? Are you shivering in certain areas of your home despite cranking the heat up? Well, it’s never too late to catch up. Whether you use caulk, weatherproof sealant, or weatherstrips, this will not only make your house more comfortable, but it will also help you save money on energy.

Refurbish your doors

We refurbish kitchens and bathrooms (more on that later), living rooms, and bedrooms, but one part of the house we don’t always think of are the doors. But they can also be refurbished too! A new coat of paint, or a change in color entirely, and some new door handles will go a long way for a fresh-looking home. Even better, it’s one of the least costly projects out there.

Insulate the attic

Is this another task you never got the chance to complete before the winter set in? If so, this project is one of the most important. You will save on energy, yes, but you’re doing something important for the outside of your home by insulating the attic. A poorly-insulated attic is a poorly-insulated roof. After a winter storm, the snow will melt unevenly, creating ice dams. And the cost of repairing a roof because of ice and water damage is far greater than the cost of insulating the attic, to begin with.

childs room with a tree painted on the wall

Update playrooms or kid’s bedrooms

The years go by quickly, don’t they? Suddenly, that life-size Minions wall decal just doesn’t vibe with your child. They’ve moved on to Wonder Woman. Or maybe they’re teens now, and instead of a chestful of toys, you need a stereo, TV, and video game console. Or perhaps they don’t need a separate room at all, and you can turn the area into a home office or gym. Winter is the best time to assess if you need to make changes to the playroom, or even their bedrooms.

We've got a quick article all about playrooms!

The bathroom

Update your shower door

If you have a walk-in shower, chances are you have a glass door with a metal frame and lip on the floor. Those frames get gunky fast, especially the lip. But what if you didn’t even need a frame? Frameless shower doors aren’t just easier to clean; they look much nicer, adding a touch of modernity to your bathroom. Plus, it is better for aging or disabled people, as there is no lip to step over.

modern spa bathroom with a soaking tub

Beautify your walls

Sure, you can always repaint your bathroom, but it might be nicer--and less expensive, to go with an eco-friendly wallpaper. Bathroom wallpaper has come a long way since your grandma’s yellow backdrop with a pattern of pink carnations. You can use a lighter color to warm the area with a simple design--or go for a darker, bold pattern to add depth. But since we spend a lot of time in the bathroom, you might as well make it something fun.

Accent tiles

Regardless of wallpaper or paint, another way to make your bathroom more lively is to add accent tiles on the walls. This can be anything from a backsplash for your vanity, a stripe around the middle, or even an entire wall. And it’s not too costly either.

Install a ventilation fan

Most people think that the bathroom fan is there just to get rid of embarrassing odors, but ventilation fans serve a much more critical function--they reduce moisture. Bathrooms are wet. When we shower, steam builds on the mirrors and tiles, and when we’re done, it all just sits there. This is how we get mildew or mold. A ventilation fan will make your bathroom cleaner, healthier, and, yes, less smelly too.

Bathroom counter with toiletries

Add an entertainment center

Whether you need to put on makeup or shave, or both, sitting in the bathroom staring at yourself in the mirror gets boring. So, why not add a small television to the wall? A television can be quite helpful if you have to commute to work, you can have the news on for traffic and weather. And wouldn’t it be better to find out if in-person classes are canceled before your kids start knocking on your bathroom door?

Bonus! Install a bidet!

Update to an open vanity

Is your vanity just a large, clunky cabinet? Or do you not even have a vanity yet? Either way, let’s make it new. You don’t need a closed vanity either. Many wonderfully designed open vanities have a large shelf underneath. The exposed pip can easily be incorporated into the look too. This also makes cleaning a lot easier since you don’t need to crawl into the cabinet to get what you need or clean underneath. Not to mention, it makes repairs much easier too.

Install a skylight

How’s the light in your bathroom? Is it a little dark, or are there just too many harsh fluorescent bulbs? If that’s the case, consider a skylight to bring in more natural light. You’ll love the look in the mirror and the feel of the sun--and you can save on energy too.

modern bathroom with tile wall tub and shower

Update faucets, showerheads, and toilets

This is another excellent way to save on utilities. Installing a low-flow showerhead or adding an aerator to the sink faucet can save a lot on water over time. You can also use this as an opportunity to pick a more modern design, adding to your bathroom’s overall look.

Bonus! Have a heated towel warmer installed!

The kitchen

Refinish or paint cabinets

If your cabinets are starting to look more rutty than rustic, you might be tempted to replace them altogether. But before spending thousands of dollars on new cabinets, take a look at the doors and fronts instead. Chances are, they just need some sprucing up if the interiors are fine. Refinishing them is often the easiest option, especially when it comes to reselling your home. But if you want to have a little more fun, consider new colors entirely.

Change the lighting

This is the fastest, and probably cheapest way to give your kitchen a new look, depending on what you have so far. If you already have pendant lighting, consider other styles and finsesh. If you have a kitchen island or peninsula and don’t yet have these lights, now is a grea time to add them. There are many other options too, such as a gooseneck sconce over the sink, or puck lighting underneath cabinets. You can even go as far a kitchen chandelier! Lights have vesitily and can add a lot of personality, so choose whatwill make you happy in your kitchen.

large kitchen with center island and chandelier

Pull-out an drop-down shelves

Tired of getting on the floor to look in the back of a cabinet to see if you might have that jar of creamed cornyou need to finish making dinner/ Well, there’s no reason to do that when you have pull-out shelves. These simply roll out of the cabinet on a track, allowing esy access to the things you need. For higher shelves, there are drop-down shelves that can also help. And this kind of storage is especially great for young, elderly, or disabled household members. It makes life easier all around.

Install a plate rack

Want to increase storage space and have somethin cool looking in your kitchen? Wall-mounted plate racks are the way to go. There are plenty of varieties, from three-tiered, multifunction racks that can hold 16 plates, 20 bowl, and 12 mugs, to smaller onces that hold just enough for easy access and cleanup. Using this, however, frees up a lot of cabinet space too.

kitchen with hardwood floors and sliding glass door

Install a Murphy Bar cabinet

Want to really impress your friends and neighbors next time they visit? Instead of crowing a table with drinks and appetizers, drop down the cabinet of a Marphey Bar. While they certainly add more storage and have very practical uses--such as giving you more counterspace when you’re cooking, we have to admit it’s mostly for the cool factor.

Look like a pro with a butcher block countertop

You don’t need to replace all your counters to give them a new look. Instead, take one counter (a medium or small one) and convert it into a butcher block. The burst of wood adds warmth to your kitchen, and offers a lace where you can prep meals. As the name suggests, you can actually cut on this countertop. Just make sure you clean up!

Put in a cork floor

Cork is the new hardwood. It’s durable, great-looking, and cheaper and easier to install. In fact, you could do it in a single afternoon. But the best part is how it feels on your feet. No more cold feet! If people knew how comfortable a cork floor was years ago, Barefoot Contessa would need a new nickname, because everyone would cook barefoot.

These are some of the easier projects you can have completed while inside this winter. One thing winter isn’t good for is major renovations. The dust and fumes can get trapped inside, or you have to keep some windows open and crank up the heat. And many of these tasks can turn into fun family activities. When they're done and everyone feels the same sense of accomplishment, your family will share a new love for your home.