Smart Design With Suzette Fox: DIY Projects For The Weekend

Coffered ceiling. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Labor Day weekend has come and gone, but at my house, every weekend is “labor day.” After helping clients all week, I’m excited to work on projects around the house that will make a big impact. I’m back again, with more DIY projects for the weekend.

If you are thinking of staying home this weekend to tackle a DIY project or two, take a look at some of my favorite projects that might inspire you. These are easy for both homeowners and renters.

Add Storage to Your Entry
If a traditional entry closet or a beautiful built-in shelving system is not an option in your home, refashioned furniture can achieve a look that’s equally stylish and storage-savvy. This small-scale table is a perfect size for beside the front door. Though compact, the table’s drawers and shelf make the piece super functional for busy drop-zone items.

Recharge & Reorder
Get creative with drawer space. Outfitted with divided storage (typically used in kitchen drawers) and a power strip, this drawer serves as a charging dock and daily organizer for cell phones, music players, and other electronics. Drill a hole through the back of the dresser and drawer to accommodate electrical cords.

Hang a Medicine Cabinet
With just a stud finder and a drill, you can install the cabinet in less than an hour. For quick installation, choose a cabinet that can mount directly to the wall above your bathroom sink, rather than cutting away drywall and recessing the cabinet between studs.

Look Up
Give your ceiling a little eye candy. Beautifully highlight a coffered ceiling with colorful paint, and keep the trim white for a bold visual effect. If this is too much to do, then just paint the ceiling a beautiful accent color if the walls are white.

Patch Holes in Walls
Whether an art-arranging project went awry or you’re tired of looking at dings around the house, concealing wall blemishes is a weekend-worthy project. With a putty knife and surfacing compound, you can easily repair nail holes and other minor wall imperfections. For larger holes, place an adhesive patch over the area and spread an all-purpose drywall compound over it with a trowel. Depending on the size of the wall hole, the compound may need to dry overnight.  Paint over the patch when it is dry.

Put Dimmers on the Lights
Dimmer switches quickly give your dining room the atmosphere of a swank restaurant. You can use standard incandescent bulbs, but if you prefer fluorescent light, look for special dimmable bulbs.

Replace Your Showerhead
Choose a low-flow unit and you’ll get virtually the same sensation of water flow while saving money on your water bill. If your showerhead flow is already low (and shouldn’t be), check to see if hard-water deposits are clogging the holes.

Replace an Appliance
If you bought your refrigerator before 1993 or your dishwasher before 1994, when the federal energy-efficiency guidelines for each went into effect, consider replacing them with more efficient models. Some newer models use at least 15 percent less energy than required by current federal standards and 40 percent less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001.

Light Up a Corner
With attic space above a dark corner, it’s relatively easy to add a new light fixture. Just cut the hole for the fixture and run the wires through the ceiling joists to a new circuit. However, if you’re anything like me (scared of being electricity), ask a friend to help or hire electrician.

Add Grab Bars
Grab bars are one of the simplest ways to make an existing bathroom more accessible, and stylish designs can be found at your local home improvement center. The most important thing to remember when installing grab bars is to find the studs and mount the bars directly to them. Miss the studs and you’ll be pulling out more than the bars when you put your weight on them.

Mimic A Wall Of Built-ins
Want the look of a built-in? Easy! Take gorgeous, long, horizontal wood shelving and install from wall to wall. Adding a wall header and electrical lighting might take longer than just one weekend, but it would be worth it.

Add A Reclaimed Wood Wall
This project is for homeowners unless you’ve got a very understanding landlord, but you can’t deny that it’s a creative way of adding architectural interest to a room. What a difference a little time and material can do.

Paint The Window Trim
You could get wild and go for a bold color. But even just putting a nice new paint job on your architectural details like trim will have a huge impact on your whole room feeling clean and fresh.

Reinvent A Desk
Have a tired desk that can use some freshening up? With a few style tricks, give an old, scuffed, and tarnished desk a colorful reboot. Paint is a wonderful tool to renovate an old piece of furniture and save it from the landfill.

With any of these DIY projects, you will feel like you’ve done a lot with very little time and investment. Have a wonderful DIY weekend!

Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at and on her website