Remodeling Projects to Do Before the Holidays

Haley Johnston
Written by Haley Johnston
Updated November 24, 2015
living room stone fireplace
Consider changing out your fireplace hearth or creating a stone facade as a focal point. (Photo courtesy of Moss Building & Design)

Complete these home improvement projects before houseguests arrive.

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With the holidays soon upon us, it’s easy to look at our houses and want more out of them. Family gatherings and the yearn for warmer weather expose all of the functional and design updates we wish for our homes.

Lucky for you, you don’t have to wait until next year to starting thinking about remodeling your home. These short-term projects are the perfect way to spruce up your house for the holidays.

kitchen backsplash tile
Amplify your kitchen style with a new tile backsplash. (Photo courtesy of Moss Building & Design)

Update your kitchen backsplash

This simple change will make all the difference in your kitchen design. As a main focal point, a new backsplash can give an outdated kitchen a refreshed look. Without having to replace kitchen cabinets and appliances, installing a new backsplash will quickly give you that "wow" factor.

Right now "elegant and understated" backsplashes are in, according to Moss Building & Design expert Lisa Ladson. “Letting your backsplash take a backseat and play more of a supporting role is the trend right now,” she says.

Focus on the beauty of the material itself to give your kitchen backsplash a timeless look, like we did in this McLean, Virginia, kitchen remodel.

If you’re looking for a more economical approach to your backsplash, play with the patterns of your focal point. “By using cheaper tile, like Subway tile, in classic patterns, you can elevate your backsplash look without breaking the bank,” Ladson says.

Fireplace updates to try

What better place to make changes? Upgrading your fireplace hearth for the holidays will be sure to get your guests’ attention, and could even serve a functional use. Maybe you want to transition to an electric fireplace or gas, or convert to a wood burning fireplace. Or, perhaps you just want to give your fireplace a facelift.

The nice thing about this project is you can choose the scope of work you want done to fit into the amount of time you have before houseguests arrive. From in-depth changes — like creating a stone facade all the way to the ceiling — to simple DIY changes, like refinishing the hardware or painting over that outdated brick. Anything is possible for this holiday upgrade and your guests are sure to notice. 

It's important to keep in mind that this kind of work can be dangerous. While some DIY projects around your fireplace are easy to tackle, there are many building safety codes homes must meet, especially when a fire hazard is involved.

Any changes to the hearth or wood trim surrounding the fireplace could violate codes, depending on many factors. Hire a qualified contractor for more in-depth fireplace work.

kids reading nook
Turn a closet into a reading nook where kid visitors can sleep. (Photo courtesy of Moss Building & Design)

Convert existing living spaces

One of the greatest concerns when you are the holiday host is, of course, space. If you cringe every time one of your relatives sleeps on an air mattress, then maybe it’s time to think about finishing off that unfinished room in your basement.

If you don’t have enough time to remodel your spare room, consider getting creative with the living spaces already inside your home. For instance, a back wall in a home office could house a Murphy bed for the extra company.

Or, maybe consider converting an unused nook into a sleeping space for kids. This extra closet in a child’s bedroom was converted into a comfy reading nook to hang out in, and could easily be a sleeping area for visiting cousins.

All of these projects are great ways to update your home for the holidays without being too constrained by time. Good luck getting your house ready for the festivities this holiday season!

Have you tried any of these home improvement projects? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

As of Nov. 23, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List. 

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