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8 DIY Projects to Elevate Your Family Room This Winter

    For most families, winter is when you spend more time indoors than out. Make the time in your home enjoyable by crafting a welcoming, calming, and fun family room. There are many projects you can tackle with the help of tools from your local rental store. We’ll help get your wheels turning with eight examples of the best winter home improvement projects.

    1. Hang the TV
      Move your TV from a console to a wall. Aside from creating a sleeker look, hanging your TV can give you a better viewing angle, especially if you use a swivel mounting bracket.

    How to: Find the bracket you want to use, hang it according to directions (you’ll need a power drill), then attach the TV.

    1. Create a statement wall
      Use paint, wallpaper, fabric or wood to give your home a new focal point. This winter home project can be completed no matter the DIY skill level, as you can tailor it to your ability.

    How to: The execution depends on the specific material you’re using. We recommend searching for a thorough YouTube video to help guide you through the process.

    1. Upgrade flooring
      Many homeowners are switching from carpet to hardwood and supplementing with rugs for added comfort. Carpet harbors dirt, dust and allergens — and is more difficult to clean than hard flooring. You can choose hardwood, laminate or vinyl flooring. All three will last much longer than carpet, providing a better return on your investment. When searching for the perfect option, keep the wear layer in mind. Wear layers make the flooring waterproof and scratch resistant and the thicker they are, the more protected the flooring will be. The range spans from 4 to 40 millimeters.

    How to: Laminate and vinyl flooring planks are often made to interlock, simplifying the installation process and making it accessible to DIYers. You will need a saw to cut planks to the right dimensions to fit your space, and a mallet to ensure they fit tightly together. If you don’t have the right saw for the job, rent one for a fraction of what it costs to buy one new.

    1. Update light fixtures
      Swapping outdated light fixtures for modern alternatives is a quick update that makes a major impact. You could also try updating your current fixtures by refinishing the metal portions or opting for new shades. Both options will create a new look without blowing the budget.

    How to: As you prepare to wire a new light fixture, keep the following in mind. Instead of simply flipping the switch off, locate your electrical panel and turn off the power to the fixture. If the new fixture is about the same weight as the previous one, you can use the existing electrical box. If it’s heavier, install a box designed to hold more weight. If possible, enlist someone to assist you with holding the fixture while you wire it. Refer to the manufacturer’s guide for step-by-step installation instructions.

    1. Remove popcorn ceiling
      The ’90s have been making a comeback, but the popcorn ceiling trend is not along for the ride. The textured ceiling covering was used to soften noise and cover imperfections. Fortunately, removing popcorn ceilings is one of the easier weekend winter DIY home projects. Hire a professional to test for asbestos before removal, though, as it may be present if installed before 1995. If the remediator does find harmful asbestos fibers, use the same company to remove the popcorn ceiling. They have the tools to do it safely and prevent your family from developing serious health conditions.

    How to: You can safely remove the textured popcorn ceiling if it’s free of asbestos. Know that it will be messy and prepare for that beforehand by covering floors and walls with plastic drop cloths. Remove electrical fixtures and cover the boxes with painter’s tape or stuff newspaper into recessed lights to keep them dry. Turn the power off to those fixtures, as well. Use a paint scraper to start the process and test various removal methods — dry scraping, wet scraping and a combination of the two. Once removal is complete, the job is not finished. Plan to fix small dings, sand the ceiling and paint once the texture is removed.

    1. Build a media center
      A media center quickly adds a focal point to a room. It can also be a way to hide the TV when not in use. It does require some woodworking skills to build, but the difficulty depends on the size and intricacy of the design.

    How to: Start with a plan, the correct amount of wood and screws, a saw and an electric drill. To finish, grab some caulk, wood filler, sandpaper, the desired paint color and painting tools. A rented paint sprayer would also come in handy for this step.

    1. Makeover the fireplace
      Just like light fixtures, fireplaces can be updated in many ways — with cosmetic changes, small upgrades, or a complete renovation. You can paint the brick, wood or brass surround, or update with new stone, tiles or peel-and-stick options. If you don’t have a mantel, you can add one in no time using a couple of screws.

    How to: Locate the materials you need and get started! The instructions for updating your fireplace will vary according to the type of project you decide on.

    1. Add molding
      Molding is a great way to elevate a room — and the options are plentiful. Add crown molding, base molding, picture molding, beadboard or a chair rail to your family room. It dresses it up in a way that’s still comfortable and inviting, making you want to spend more time in the space.

    How to: Visit your local hardwood store to gather the type and amount of trim you need. To cut it to the correct lengths, use a rented circular saw. Then, level the boards and screw them into place.

    These eight winter home improvement projects are perfect to tackle while you’re hiding from the cold and in some locations, snowy weather. By springtime, your family room will be transformed into a relaxing, upgraded retreat. To rent any tools or equipment needed for these winter home projects, contact your local rental store. For those new to renting, use the store locator above to find one near you.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are good winter projects?
    Oftentimes, good winter home improvement projects include anything that can be done indoors. It could involve home improvement, design changes or deep cleaning. Walk through your home and look for items that could use an upgrade, fixes you’ve been putting off, and corners to polish up. Make a list, prioritize the work, and make it a reality!

    How do I redesign my family room?
    Start by looking at the paint color, flooring, and light fixtures — they can make the greatest impact. You could change the look of your room by mixing dark and light paint colors, installing hardwood flooring, or choosing vintage light fixtures. To redesign using items you already own, consider painting furniture, stenciling curtains, putting family heirlooms on display or bringing in plants from the outdoors.

    How can I make my living room more interesting?
    Create interest in a room by layering textures, such as a rug on top of hardwood flooring or pillows in varying fabrics on the sofa. A focal point, metallic or colorful accents, and original art are even more ways to add interest to your living room.