First Person: 3 Home Decorating Fixes for Under $50

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First Person: 3 Home Decorating Fixes for Under $50

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New return air grille.

We moved into our home in a rush the weekend our son was due. I unpacked all the necessities, hung a few pictures on the wall, and had a baby. Fast forward eight months, and I have a crawling son, a newly crunched budget (thanks, daycare!), the least amount of personal time I have ever had, and a home that still needs some polish.

Pinterest remains one of my few personal-time activities, and I have gotten so many ideas from the fabulous folks on there. They have remained just that, ideas. Until I saw the pin about the return air grille. Oh, our old, malfitting return air grille had bothered me since the home inspection. Clicking on the link, though, offered me a fantastically indulgent craft project. Crafts? No. Replacing the vent? Yes. And so a project was born.

I made a short list of easy fixes and got busy in my spare moments during baby naps or when my husband bathes the baby. Here are the three things that I completed in less than fifty minutes and for under $50.

Return Air Grille: $25 - 10 minutes

Measure the opening of the return air space, not the grille itself, to get the right measurement. Home Depot did not offer our size in store, or online. I ended up ordering the grill from Amazon. We replaced the filter at the same time. All we needed was a flathead screw driver, and the vent. Ahhh, sweet relief now that the vent looks clean and fits properly.

Restore a Finish: $9 - 15 minutes (30 with dry time)

I have inherited a wealth of furniture from my parents and grandparents. Some of it I love, like the dresser that belonged to my dad as a child, but other pieces need some love before I can truly appreciate them. Not having the time to do a full refinish, I purchased Restor a Finish and took an old rag to rub in the refinisher. I am pleased with the result and feel a bit less self-conscious about my hand-me-down furniture.

Closet Organization: $12 - 10 minutes

The previous homeowners took off our closet doors and installed open shelving. Attractive? Yes. Organized? Nope. I attempted to stack my clothes neatly to no avail and finally gave in to a sale on fabric drawers at Target. I also relocated the shoes that once had a home on the open shelves, turning it into something much more fit for public consumption.

With these three simple fixes, I feel much more settled in my home.

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