You can transform a room with these simple DIY projects
Aug 17, 2023, 3:00 PM
One of our favorite home show demonstrations is how to transform a plain room into a special space. The transformation is quick (how fast can you paint a room?), inexpensive, and creates dramatic results. The adage, “The simplest things are often the best,” holds true. With simple tips and tricks, you can make an ordinary room into one you love.
The easiest transformation is to update the color of your room. Most of us have a home with the ol’ Navajo White paint on the walls and ceiling. By changing the wall color, you can set the mood for your space. Sherwin-Williams has over 1,000 colors to choose from to suit any mood!
- To brighten a room – think Sunflower Yellow
- To create a place that soothes — think Robin Egg Blue
- To find some tranquility — think Mist Green
- Check out our recent podcast regarding color selections.
You do not have to paint the room all one color. Consider making one wall a highlight or accent wall. An accent wall might feature artwork or special furniture, depending on your taste and the room configuration. Consider how natural lighting can help augment the wall if you are using a darker color. While walls are the typical go-to for paint color, you can also paint the ceiling. If you have 8-foot or 9-foot-tall ceilings, you might want to keep the color in a lighter shade, as darker shades can make the ceiling feel too low. If you have tall ceilings with lots of windows, y’all can go for the darker shades.
Color is a simple tool for transforming a room!
If your home is older than 15 to 20 years, you probably have streamline baseboards and door casing. The windows probably do not have a casing. They have wrapped window jambs, sills, and heads. Wrapped refers to the drywall (most likely painted) that surrounds the window opening.
While standard in many homes, these features can be a bit ho-hum and offer ripe opportunities to embellish them with new style moldings.
Let’s look at base moldings for starters. For a dramatic effect, try using two different molding profiles together. If you don’t like shopping online, you can travel to your local lumberyard to check out the profiles that are available. Most moldings you see today are polymer-based material that does not need priming before paint is applied.
Add interest and paint the baseboard a different color than the wall. Try applying subtle color changes from the wall to the baseboard. Bolder color variations can provide a whole different effect. The choice is yours!
Casing (molded trim pieces) around doors can also be changed from the streamlined style most homes have, to something more ornate. Fluted jamb molding with a rosette block at the top corners make for an elegant frame around the door. You can consider several options here. The door color can be different from the trim and the wall color. Use your creativity to mix and match.
You can think of window frames in a similar way to door frames: at least the sides or jambs and the head across the top. The bottom of the window opening is called the sill. The depth of the sill can match the wrapped sill. More commonly, the depth is deeper, so you can place other items on its surface. The trim piece under the sill is called the apron and adds to the window’s overall look. Colors can be varied to accent the window and its new dressing.
Again, trim pieces come in a variety of lengths, widths, and configurations. There are a host of support pieces as well that you may need. If you have bullnose corners in your home, preformed pieces will fit these outside corners, making installation much easier.
More Simple Additions
Chair rail molding is another simple addition that can set off a room. This molding is hung between 30″ to 42″ above and parallel to the floor. This molding type also has various profiles to choose from. Once placed at the selected height, you can play with color above and below the railing to accent the room.
Often, this type of molding is accompanied by a wainscot. This decorative panel below the chair rail is designed to give texture and relief to an otherwise flat wall surface. A wainscot can be quite elaborate or simple. We recommend using the premanufactured bead board wainscot for ease of installation. Now, if y’all want a real math workout, then you could start from scratch with panels and frames that need to be measured and cut.
Thinking outside the box can turn a plain room into a room with character with some of the simple projects mentioned here.
Share your room transformations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out our blog if you do the painting yourself. Some helpful hints there, plus in these articles:
- Project Center – Paint
- What are some ideas for ceiling treatments?
- Drywall damage, patch repairs
- How do I prepare my walls for painting?
- Can you save by painting your home’s interior yourself?
Join Rosie on the House every Saturday from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email email@example.com. Follow us on X and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.