6 DIY (and Inexpensive) Home Decor Hacks
Be inspired with these easy ideas, from light fixtures and window treatments to shelving units and accent walls. Photo: Nikola Ilic/Getty Images
Spruce up your space with these high impact — but ultra low-cost — DIY decor projects.
1. Black, Paned Windows
Supplies: Paint + Electrical Tape
Black window moldings with paned glass are a very elegant look. Getting the effect only requires painting the interior trim. If you have double glazed windows with white panes, mask those crossbars with electrical tape. No panes? Invent them with electrical tape.
2. Hidden Spacers For Curtains
Supplies: Toilet Paper Rolls
Grommet curtains look a lot sharper with the pleats uniformly spaced. Instead of adjusting them all the time, can add permanent spacers made from toilet paper rolls. If you have lots of room for voluminous curtains, leave the rolls full size. Less space around the windows, cut off a third or half for slimmer pleating.
3. Jazz Up a Jute Rug
Supplies: Spray Paint + Tape
The striking upgrade here is simple. Tape out a border, or stripes, and spray paint it. You can get more intricate with the design as demonstrated here and here. It you don’t own a jute area rug, Ikea has them for as little as $40. You could also just give a doormat a boost.
4. Farmhouse Shelving
Supplies: Pine Planks, Wood Stain, Black Brackets + Power Drill — or Friend With a Power Drill.
You’ll find ‘reclaimed’ wood farmhouse shelving for sale all over Etsy, but this is simple and far less costly to do yourself. Especially if you’re looking to install something more expansive than a trio of bathroom shelves, like a library wall. Home Depot sells wood planks and cuts them to size for free. Choose a medium stain that highlights (not hides) the woodgrain and black brackets that reflect your decor — rustic, industrial, or modern. If you go for simple L brackets, choose the largest size for your shelves to get the bold look — and a braced model if you’re planning to display heavier items.
5. Pendant Basket Lamp
Supplies: Basket, Cord Set, Hook + Lightbulb
Buy — or upcycle — a basket you love. Leave it natural, paint it, or dip it. Cut a hole in the top, thread the cord through and glue the lightbulb fixture in place. How to: here and here. Voila! A lovely new pendant lamp. Visible cords are part of the look with this easy plug-in install. Or buy one that matches your wall colour for less contrast. Or bead the cord. You’ll find unfinished wood beads to paint, stain, or leave plain at craft shops. Group a few cords together. Be sure to comparison shop. Wayfair’s “on sale” price is FOUR times what Home Depot charges for the same elegant cord set. Add a decorative Edison bulb for warm glow and glam.
6. Wood Panel Accent Wall
Supplies: Plywood Panels, Nail Gun, Nails, Level, Paint or Stain.
Joanna Gains popularized the cosy joys of shiplap and it’s an easy, high-impact DIY upgrade if you select a plain wall to clad — one without windows, doors, or electrical to cut around. Purchase slim, inexpensive plywood at Home Depot where they cut it to size (free). Apply the planks to the wall, using spacers, then paint. This five-minute video takes you through each step of the process. Or this one. Paint it a contrast tone. Upcycle wood pallets for a rustic vibe (if you don’t mind sawing the wood to size). Run the wood vertically.
A version of this story was published on Jan. 24, 2022
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