You keep saying you’re going to retile the bathroom, or switch out the cabinets in the kitchen, or paint the living room once and for all. You magically need to add a closet where there isn’t one; the bedroom lacks light. But even smaller adjustment—new blinds, an upgraded showerhead, a rug—can make a home much more reflective of its inhabitants. Well, now's the time. Call it a New Year’s resolution or a pledge for self-care, but put down the phone (after you read this, of course), head to the hardware store, and hop to it. Wallpaper a room that badly needs personality or hack an affordable marble floor—your home deserves a little more this year. Here are 50 of our favorite ways to be clever in 2018.
1. Hard-wire for less. The simplest light socket is also one of the most attractive, especially if you put one of these bulbs in it.
2. Or just clamp a light wherever you need it. With this spotlight that’s not just for photo sets anymore.
3. Build out a minibar on a bookshelf, your side table, tucked in a cabinet, and more.
4. Or skip the bar cart entirely and make space on a shelf (even mount one) for your favorite bottles.
5. Install marble floors. They might sound like a luxury, but if you search around, you might find enough scraps to hack one on the cheap-ish.
6. Beadboard creatively. This classic material lends all kinds of cottage vibes to interiors, but panel it in a new way and it will look as novel as can be.
7. Swap in minimal baseboards. Here are six modern ways to modernize crown molding and baseboards, from the ultra low-key to the stylish statement.
8. Cork your floors. Cork…as flooring? Yes, you should consider it as an affordable alternative to hardwood that’s comfy to walk on, absorbs sound, and more good things.
9. Hack an IKEA kitchen. This couple’s IKEA kitchen, done on the cheap, will teach you all the tricks to customize your own.
10. Redo the bathroom—but don't move the pipes.
Here’s the biggest way to drastically reduce your bathroom renovation costs.
11. Don't forget a shampoo nook while you're at it. This is the add-on that you should make sure to incorporate in any bathroom renovation—be gone, shower caddies!
12. Forage for supplies if you're building a hearth. No, really! When you’re looking to redo that statement fireplace, see if you've got stones on your property that will work.
13. Really, don't overcomplicate fireplace design. Give your fireplace a makeover by simplifying the one you've got (no mantels here).
14. Or just strip it down to the bricks and be done. If you’re already giving a room that has a fireplace a makeover, consider striking down the mantle, or the paint, or anything else covering up its rustic beauty. There’s a trick to making it pop, too.
15. Upgrade your medicine cabinet. Two ways: framed and flush with the wall.
16. Add ceiling beams. Yes, add. Grab a few two-by-fours, a drill, and some three-inch-long screws, and transform a boring ceiling.
17. Fix up the laundry room. If you’re lucky enough to have an at-home laundry (and laundry room!), here’s how to make it a room you actually look forward to being in—on a budget.
18. Try a funky wallpaper. Ombré isn’t just a trend for your hair. Try it on your walls!
19. Think twice about ripping out those copper pipes. This Brooklyn loft proves you can incorporate more raw materials into your space, or use the ones that seem like they’re in the way.
20. Add a walk-in to any room. Turn a wall, even in a studio apartment, into a walk-in closet wide enough for drawers, racks, and a vanity.