Written by contributor Jordan Arnold
Decorating an apartment can be weird. You never know how much to invest in a place that wont be yours forever. My husband Greg and I have lived in 3 different apartments over the last 5 years. In our first apartment, we wasted lots of time and money on stuff that just wasn’t worth it. We made tons of mistakes (painting every wall, buying ugly artwork, pouring bacon grease down the drain and breaking the sink…) Through all of it, we’ve learned a ton about our personal style as well as ways to make the most of our money while decorating our apartments. Oh… and also that pouring bacon grease down the drain will break a sink.
Neither of us really expected to get into DIY, but when we moved into our 2nd apartment, the strange layout caused us to have to sell mostly all of our furniture. We sold our couches, coffee table, end tables, tv console — everything! We had to start from scratch & that’s when we realized how fun (and cheap!) building can be.
By far, the MOST important thing we’ve learned is…
Wood is your best friend.
The smallest of projects can make a huge difference. I’m not talking about elaborate wood projects like our headboard or coffee table (which really weren’t that elaborate either). I’m talking about getting a $6 piece of wood, throwing some brackets on it & some pretty shit on top and calling it a day. Anywhere that our apartment had some empty wall space to fill, we basically just threw some wood on the wall and BAM! Fancy.
Here are 5 EASY projects that are under $100 total.
Replacing a light switch, much like replacing an outlet, is really quite simple. There are two common light switch types that you’ll typically come across. Single pole light switches control a single light fixture or power to an outlet. 3-way light switches typically consist of multiple light switches that control an outlet or light fixture. In other words, think of a light switch at the top and bottom of your stair case that control the same light.
In this tutorial, I will show you step by step how to replace an existing single pole (switch that controls one light fixture or outlet from just one location). I will also notate any additional steps needed for a 3-way light switch replacement as well. Get rid of those drab beige light switches once and for all!
For the inaugural post on Hickory + Hearth, I thought it prudent to start with a task that most people don’t know how to do properly. Outlets, and switches for that matter, are something that we totally take for granted going about our daily lives. My decision to replace every single outlet and light switch in my new house was for purely cosmetic reasons given that they were a drab almond color that wasn’t really jiving with my idea for a fresh, modern living space.
Replacing outlets in my house was the very first thing I did, and was directly responsible for my transition into a full blow DIY advocate! Like most projects i’ve taken on since, nothing was as hard or as complicated as I once believed. It’s just a matter of having the right tool for the job, as well as the know-how to get it done right.