Our best time-saving decorating tips and so much more!
Don't rush to call in the pros! A homeowner can successfully do many projects, from painting walls to installing a backsplash, with a bit of research and the right tools. Plus, you get to enjoy the compliments when others see the results of your hard work. (But there are some jobs best left to the experts, such as plumbing and electrical—not only can they be dangerous but they can also affect your property coverage if anything goes wrong.)
The quality of your tools has a huge impact on the outcome of your paint job. Look for brushes with "flagged" bristles (the ends are fuzzy, as if the brush has split ends); they hold paint better than square-cut bristles and give a smoother finish. For furniture or picture frames, use artist's brushes and high-density foam rollers. And hold on to leftover paint for touch-ups; while you can buy more in the same colour, often it isn't an exact match.
Next time you fold laundry, try this time-saving idea: Fold towels in half vertically, then twice horizontally. That way, when you want to hang one on the towel bar, it's ready to go.
If your kitchen is tight on cupboard space, stack items you use occasionally (like small appliances) in their original boxes in the basement.
When personalizing your space, do you want the flexibility to switch up your art? Use 3M picture-hanging strips to display favourite pieces without damaging your walls. They're simple to use (just pay attention to the weight restrictions on the packaging), easy to remove and prevent the need to repair nail holes.
Tools of the trade
Three must-have items for a well-stocked toolbox.
1. Glue gun: This versatile gadget will come in handy for everything from wrapping gifts to craft projects. Hot glue holds longer and is stronger than most liquid glues.
2. Tape measure: Whether you're shopping for a new couch or cutting wood for a DIY project, a sturdy tape measure can help you avoid a costly mistake.
3. Level: If you're hanging a gallery wall, painting with a stencil or installing kitchen cabinets, a level will keep things straight and can be used as a spacer between art pieces.