4 Chic Summer Home-Renovation Projects That Are Actually Doable

Updated 06/18/19
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As warmer weather rolls around, the urge to do a thorough deep-clean is often accompanied by the urge to destroy it all and do major home renovations. But a home reno is no small undertaking—hidden fees are a real (and therefore practical) fear. Of course, that doesn't mean you should abandon turning your Pinterest dreams into reality—you just need to know where to start.

Portland-based interior designer Max Humphrey says you can get the biggest bang for your buck by upgrading small rooms like your kitchen and bath—both common spaces that you spend plenty of time in every day. We asked Humphrey to share the top two trends for each room that you can update in just a weekend, as well as where we should go to get all of our mini-renovation supplies. His answer? Home Depot. The retailer has pretty much anything you could possibly need, says Humphrey, from stylish vanities to tiles to cabinet hardware.

Feeling handy yet? Humphrey's offering the top kitchen and bath trends of the season, along with everything you need to get the look for yourself.

Kitchen: Mixed Metals and Neutral Cabinetry

Illustration by Leah Goren

When it comes to your kitchen, the latest trend isn't to match every piece to a T, but rather to mix metals in the same space. "You want to give the impression that the room has evolved over time," Humphrey advises. "If you do something like contrast a brushed-nickel faucet with oil-rubbed bronze hardware, it looks like a design decision you made on purpose."

To keep things from looking too crazy, he suggests limiting the types of metals in the room to just two. In terms of cabinetry, it helps to tie the hardware together with a consistent neutral paint that complements both finishes, like this beautiful gray finish, a Pantone favorite for 2017.

American Woodmark Cabinet Door $50
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KOHLER Clairette Single-Handle Pull-Down Sprayer Kitchen Faucet $504
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Liberty Mandara Brushed Nickel Cabinet Knob $3
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Liberty Brushed Satin Nickel Dual Mount Cup Pull $5
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Bath: Floor Tiles and Multitasking Hardware

Illustration by Leah Goren

For the first bathroom trend, focus on making one statement—this will keep things from looking cluttered. One of Humphrey's favorite ways to draw attention is installing a patterned floor tile. "It's an easy way to have some fun," he says.

Quick Tip

Contrast a tiled floor with a colorful wall, or if your floor tile has color in it, carry one of the hues into your wall paint.

Another easy way to reduce clutter is by searching for multitasking accessories, like towel bars that have shelves for holding other products. While the tiling will take a bit of a lift, you can handle adding in a towel bar in just a weekend.

Merola Tile Palace White Porcelain Mosaic Tile $15
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Delta Double Towel Bar $60
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Kitchen: Open Shelves and Tiles

Illustration by Leah Goren

While traditional cabinets conceal dishware, Humphrey says on-trend open shelving allows you to proudly display your beloved rose gold dishes or antique Moroccan teacups. It also brightens up the space while allowing you to simultaneously experiment with your tile choice, since more wall will be exposed.

Pro tip: To cut costs, Humphrey recommends tiling from the counter up to the bottom shelf and finishing the top of the wall with paint.

Merola Tile Antic Craquelle White Ceramic Wall Tile $21
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Martha Stewart Living Landover Cabinet Door $50
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Bath: Sconce Lighting and Vanities

Illustration by Leah Goren

Natural light is always the best option for bathrooms (especially if you're applying makeup), but if there are no windows in your bathroom, focus on ambient lighting. To combat naturally darker spaces, Humphrey likes sconces around the mirror rather than relying on recessed lighting that could be unflattering.

If it's a more ancillary bathroom like a powder room, it's easier to get away with moody coloring like dark walls. In these cases, light wainscoting halfway up the wall contrasted by a darker paint color allows you to play with moodier colors.

The finishing touch to any bathroom makeover is the perfect vanity, which creates a focal point in the room and allows for storage space. They're also surprisingly quick to install and come complete with sinks, countertops, and hardware, so you can make a major update in just one go.

Seaport Light Satin Nickel Sconce $198
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Virtu USA Caroline Parkway D Double Vanity $1749
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Looking to shop more materials for your next big project? Head to HomeDepot.com to get started.

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