As we know, small details can make a huge difference in the way a space looks and feels. As spring tentatively approaches and we look ahead to change the seasons, let’s discuss some easy and inexpensive do-it-yourself projects that you can accomplish in just one afternoon.

For example, paint or paper the back of a bookcase or set of display shelves. Adding a pop of color or texture will highlight the items displayed in front, while adding depth and interest to the space. Choose a bolder color than you would normally put on the surrounding walls and have fun with this opportunity, as it comes with minimal commitment.

For an inexpensive sofa or chair update, drape the back and seat in a beautiful upholstery-weight fabric. Tuck a dowel or broomstick down where the seat and back meet to secure the fabric, and enjoy a fresh new look for that worn out seat.

Hang or rehang curtains high. Installing hardware as close to the ceiling as possible will create a feeling of more height and space, as well as more luxury. If additional length is needed, add a cuff of gorgeous coordinating fabric for a personal, custom look.

Large walls call for a large piece of art, but if none is available, a significant visual impact can be created by hanging a grouping of related pictures very close together, with the frames uniformly an inch apart. Frame family or historical photos or vintage posters in uniform fames and matting for a unique and personal display.

Introduce an impressive and seasonally appropriate arrangement by gathering bare, flowering or evergreen branches from the yard and arrange them in a tall vase. These clippings will stay fresh-looking for up to a month with minimal effort, investment or maintenance.

Containers, trays or baskets make any pile of clutter look more organized. Use a flat basket or tray for remotes, paperwork, bills or magazines. Deeper decorative crates and containers can corral throws and pillows, children’s toys, workout equipment, out-of-season clothing or a collection of magazines, binders or books.

Updating the fabric on your dining or occasional chairs can change the look of the entire space. Simply unscrew the pads on chairs from the bases, measure and buy enough new fabric to reupholster any available chairs, matching or not. This project is a quick and easy way to create cohesion, amplified when leftover fabric is used to create new throw pillows.

Speaking of fabric, consider shower curtains, tea towels, painters’ drop cloths or yards of burlap as inexpensive, durable sources for any sewing project.

Inexpensive wall hangings can be made from fabric pieces, either draped around a frame or matted behind glass. Other things to consider hanging include kids’ framed art, old mirrors and some of grandma’s china plates.

A popular way to cover windows is with woven (wood or bamboo) blinds. Readily available, they come in a variety of qualities, sizes and prices, and can be easily installed inside or outside window frames. Use them alone or accented with silky, sheer or textured panels on metal rods.

Imagine it, plan it and make it happen.

Linda Lawrence is the owner of HouseCalls for Redesign. Contact her at or 728-2732, or visit