How to Increase Natural Light in Your House

By Tara Hickock

Bringing natural light into your home is a bright idea, both emotionally and economically. It can elevate your mood and help your house feel happier and more welcoming. Using the sun’s power can save you money by cutting down on your electricity bill. Use these home decorating tips to learn how to increase natural light in your house and make your home a bit brighter.

Lighter Colors

From ceilings to floors and everything between, bring in the light by choosing light colors. You’ll brighten up any room with a lighter paint color. Shades of white, gray, or beige are good choices. You’ll also want to go with gloss: Higher gloss paint will reflect more light than matte paint. Ceilings are usually white for several reasons. First, a white ceiling makes a room appear taller and bigger. White also reflects light, making your room brighter. Choose blond, gray, or natural hardwoods and tiles for the floors rather than darker varieties. Lighter rugs can also brighten up a darker floor.

Neutral Furniture

Lighter-colored furniture will help a room look lighter and brighter. Similarly to the room color, light and neutral furniture will help reflect light to add even more brightness. Choose neutral upholstery and add pops of color with pillows, rugs, and accessories. Switch dark lamp shades for lighter ones to brighten the room, both when the light is on and off. For larger furniture especially, lighter fabrics can help keep the room feeling open and bright.

Home with Natural Light Decorated with Mirror

Reflective Surfaces

On top of light-colored walls and furniture, shiny surfaces also reflect light, so use this to your advantage throughout your home. Utilizing your wall space is a great way to maximize your interior design and increase natural light in your house. Put some mirrors on your walls to make the space look bigger and brighter. Use glass or shiny ceramic backsplash tiles in the kitchen for a reflective effect.

Trim Trees and Bushes

Keep your landscape neat and tidy so that surrounding light can come inside. There’s only one thing worse than having a large, unkempt tree in front of your picture window: having a neighbor’s tree or shrubs blocking the light. If that’s the case, offer to help them trim their overgrown trees and bushes. Point out that pruning trees and shrubs keeps them healthy.

Wash Windows

The first reason to wash your windows is simple: Clean windows are more attractive than dirty ones. A bit less obvious? Dirt on your windows can filter sunlight and allow less of it into your home. Not only does that affect brightness, but it can also affect warmth as well. With clean windows, your house will feel warmer in cold weather and brighter throughout the year.  

Home with Natural Light From Windows and Decor

Skip Heavy Window Treatments

Consider skipping the curtains and keep your windows uncovered. This is especially true in a darker room or a room with a dazzling view. Can’t stand bare windows? Try light and airy curtains instead of heavy, overbearing ones. Some windows will need coverings for privacy, insulation, or sun blockage so you can sleep. Choose blinds or shades you can adjust depending on the time of day.

Add Windows

It’s expensive, but adding windows is an excellent way to bring in more light if you’re looking to do some home renovation. If that’s not in your budget, add storm doors or choose a door with windows. Consider an on-trend minimalist design if you’re in the market for a patio door. You can get what amounts to a glass wall, allowing for lots of natural light and lovely views. Another option: skylights or solar tubes.

Learning how to brighten a room comes down to a few things: neutral colors, open spaces, and windows. Natural light in the home can be a practical and attractive design element in your living space. It can also save money by cutting your heating bill and lowering the need for artificial light. So let the sunshine in and enjoy being in the natural light with these home decorating tips.


Tara Hickock is an interior designer who also designs and decorates outdoor living spaces. Her designs focus on bringing the outdoors inside to give homes a natural touch. She recently remodeled her own home and created a screened-in sunroom for her guests to enjoy the outdoors, even in winter.

The home is a place where people can make positive changes with some simple home renovation ideas. Making positive changes to your home can add appeal and value, whether you’re planning to sell soon or are simply boosting the appeal and value for living there yourself. In order to do this, you’ll need to know which home projects are easy to DIY and which will require professional help for the best results. Read on for more information about making positive changes in your own space through home renovation!

A Guide to DIY or Hire Out

There are a number of home issues that can be fixed easily with a DIY approach. If you’re uncertain about tackling renovations on your own, research each project online or ask a contractor for advice. You can also learn a ton by watching YouTube videos. For many projects, you’ll need to work safely and make sure that any tools or equipment is clean and in good condition. Also, consider whether each project would need permits to be completed properly.

Always assess if a home project will be a DIY task or if a professional will provide proper-quality work. For example, doing some light yard work like gardening and planting flowers could be a fun DIY day. But if your property is in need of a fence, you’re best off connecting with a fence company in your area. Before meeting with a contractor to get a quote and discuss your needs, you can evaluate companies by reading reviews online. Websites like Angi make it easy to find reputable contractors and also find cost estimates.


Good DIY Home Projects

Painting: It’s simple to paint your own home interior and exterior, but make sure that you choose the right kind of paint for your project. Different types of paints are made with different materials, so it’s important to know what each one is best for. Ask your local paint store pro which paints to use on walls, ceilings, trim and different rooms. You’ll also want to consider versatile colors that will enhance the flow, lighting, and furniture of your home.

Update Your Furniture: While not attached to your home, the furniture you choose can change your home’s appeal almost instantly. Whether you’re replacing old, worn-out furniture or going for a whole new style, you’ll feel refreshed with your new pieces like sofas and accent chairs that will freshen up your space! Your furniture can also play a huge part in staging your home if you are considering selling down the road.

Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring: Sometimes, all it takes is some new flooring to spruce up a space. For a no-fuss, modern look, vinyl plank flooring is an excellent choice. It comes in tiles and planks that are typically easy to install yourself. They’re also very cost-effective in the $1-2/sq. ft. range and are very durable, meaning you’ll get to enjoy your home renovation for years to come.

Sprucing Up Your Home Office: If you work from home, you want to create a home office space that promotes focus and productivity. Clean your office window to allow for more natural light to enter, and pick up a comfortable chair with lower back support. This is also a great place to do some of that DIY painting mentioned above – choose a color that feels fresh and invigorating.

Kitchen-ReKitchen Renovation with New Countertopsnovation-with-New-Countertops

Hire These Home Renovations Out

Countertops: While you can save a lot of money by purchasing materials and doing the work yourself, hiring an installer is always the safest route when it comes to countertops. With precise measurements and heavy materials, a contractor will ensure your countertops are installed without any damage.

Electrical Work: While you can consider doing small jobs like light fixtures, it’s always best to hire a pro for more serious projects. Electrical can get very confusing and be a costly fix if you complete the rest of your renovation to find out later your electrical isn’t working properly.

Roofing: Fixing the roofing of your house can be a tricky task, and installing it incorrectly can cause big issues, so don’t put yourself at risk without the proper tools. Instead, hire a proper roofer to fix any issues for a safe and proper home renovation.

Considerations: Selling Your Home

When you’re making improvements to your home, look for things that can help boost your property’s overall value. If you know you plan to sell sometime soon, pay attention to what buyers want. You can use online tools to check comparable sales in your area to see which features are getting the best offers. This is also a great opportunity to see how other houses on the market are styling their interiors and exteriors while on the market. Use these examples to help inspire your upcoming home renovation ideas. Also, take before and after photos and keep receipts for the changes you’ve made for tax benefits. 

In Summary

Home renovations can make a world of difference in your home, but when you’re planning them out, consider how they’ll impact the value of your property. You’ll also want to prioritize the health of your home by paying close attention to issues such as mold, pests, and leaks. It’s also important to consider the ROI of each renovation. Be sure to consider whether your job will be negatively affected if a professional doesn’t do the work. While DIY home projects can be fun, you can end up costing yourself a lot of money when you try to sell your house if the work isn’t up to snuff!

Whether you’re moving to a new city nearby or traveling across the country, relocation requires a lot of time and energy. By the time you unpack all of your belongings, you’re going to want to settle into your new home as soon as possible. From cool home improvement ideas to getting to learn your new town, prepare yourself for the big move with these helpful tips!

Cover the Essentials

After you move to a new city, you want to make sure you have all of the necessities in order before you start getting too comfortable. Follow this to-do list to ensure you avoid inconveniences as you acclimate to your new neighborhood. 

The DMV 

The last thing you want when you first move to a new town is to deal with expensive fines or penalties. As soon as you get a spare hour or two, find the nearest DMV so that you can update your driver’s license, registration, and license plates. 

Basic Utilities 

Shortly after you arrive in your new town, take time to research the local resources in your area. Connect with utility companies to get your electricity, water, gas, and internet up and running. 

State-Specific Costs 

Consider yourself lucky if you move to a new city within the same state! If you relocate out of state, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the state-specific costs you’ll need to pay. Get a plan together for how you will pay state taxes, including sales, property, and income tax. 

Change of address form

Address Updates

Settling into a new home also means you have to go through the tedious process of changing your address for just about everything. Consult with your banks, creditors, post office, subscription companies, and any other relevant institutions that need your most current address. 

Start Making Improvements

Once you get all of the fundamentals taken care of like getting your new driver’s license and changing your address, it’s time to focus on home sweet home! Consider these cool home improvement ideas that are simple, yet go a long way.

Lawn Care 

What better way to amplify your home’s curb appeal than with a fresh, green lawn? Hire a lawn care service to spruce up and maintain your landscaping. 


Set the tone of your home right at the front door! Give your front door a fresh coat of paint, put up new house numbers, and think of any other ways you can make your property’s exterior more appealing. A welcome sign and evergreen wreath will add that warm touch of charm too!

Interior Updates

Does your space have a couple outdated elements like old wallpaper or popcorn ceilings? Whether you tackle the work yourself or hire professionals, try to renovate these areas at a pace that works for you.

As you walk through your space and make a list of projects, consider cool home improvement ideas such as restoring old paint jobs, refinishing hardwood floors, and replacing toilet seats.

 Southern Motion living room furniture


A house isn’t a home without comfortable, stylish furniture! Along with any pieces you brought during your move, invest in a few quality furnishings that complement your new space. 

Southern Motion offers a wide variety of reclining sofas, sectionals, and chairs that come in hundreds of fabrics and colors. From the heat therapy and massage features of the SoCozi™ collection to the innovative technology of Zero Gravity, you’re guaranteed to find motion furniture fit for your lifestyle.

Learn Your Town

After gaining some traction on cool home improvement ideas and projects, set aside some free time to see what your new city has to offer! Here are some helpful ways to settle into your new hometown.

Get Social

One of the best ways to settle into a new home and city is by getting to know your neighbors and fellow residents. Not only can neighbors be a great resource for learning about your town, they can also turn into meaningful friends! 

Go big and throw a housewarming party, take a walk around the neighborhood, or talk to residents to get a feel for local events, historic sites, and other attractions your new city offers. Find ways to be social and you won’t regret it!

Explore the Area

Hop in the car and take a drive through your new city to explore all of the restaurants, coffee shops, and shopping malls at your disposal. If you don’t have a car, you can always do some research beforehand and use public transportation options like trolleys and subways.

In addition to exploring your town to find recreational shops and restaurants, you’ll also want to research fitness centers, medical facilities, pharmacies, and other essential establishments.

Moving to a new city is rarely easy, but if you prepare beforehand and take steps to settle in after you arrive, you can make the process go more smoothly. As you get ready to relocate, learn about packing tips for moving.

While it’s tempting to purchase the prettiest sofa you see online, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be satisfied with that product long term. From style and material to functionality, there are many key factors to consider when it comes to buying a new sofa. Avoid common buyer mistakes and learn how to choose the right sofa by following these tips! 

1. Take Your Measurements

There’s no point in falling in love with gorgeous furniture that won’t fit in your living room! Before you begin your search, take measurements of your space and be sure to write them down for future reference. 

Along with measuring the spot where your sofa will sit, it’s crucial to measure entryways, walkways, door frames, and other clearances. This will ensure that you don’t have any problems transporting the furniture throughout your home.

2. Factor in Your Lifestyle

One of the most common mistakes you can make when buying a new sofa is not considering your lifestyle. A couple that has no pets or children, for example, will have much different needs than a family with two toddlers and a dog.

Think about how your sofa or sectional will be used on a daily basis and ask yourself questions like these:

  • How much wear-and-tear will my sofa be exposed to?
  • How many people will it need to seat day-to-day?
  • Is my primary concern comfort and functionality or style and design?

Living room sectional

3. Think About Sofa Orientation

If you’re wondering what to consider when buying a new sofa, be sure to add “sofa orientation” to your list. Furniture arrangement is just as crucial as measuring your space, particularly in smaller homes with less room for experimentation. 

Think about appearance (from every angle), available space, and how those two work in conjunction with your sofa. For a little more guidance, here are a few questions that will help you narrow down your search:

  • What parts of the sofa or sectional will be on display?
  • Does your sectional need to be right arm facing or left arm facing?
  • Will a symmetrical sectional fit in your space?
  • Will your furniture be tucked against a wall, in a corner, or out in the center of the room?

4. Be Strategic with Your Material Choice

Most often, retailers will offer a wide variety of material options for each of their sofas or sectionals. Use this to your advantage by choosing a fabric that is right for your needs. Do your research beforehand and think about your lifestyle as you come to a decision. 

If you have children and pets, you may want to lean more towards performance fabrics like leather and other materials made from synthetic fibers. These are great options if you’re focused on durability and stain resistance.

Linen, wool blends, damask, and velvet are a few other popular fabrics to research.

Southern Motion sofa set

5. Test for Comfortability

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. As you shop around, take the time to test the comfortability of each product to make sure they’re as cozy as they are beautiful. From the cushions to the reclining features, don’t be embarrassed to try out every function as if you’re at home!

Sofas like Southern Motion’s Wonderwall and Colton are fantastic examples of the balance between innovative functionality and comfort. Our collections infuse luxurious, plush cushions with top-of-the-line features like wireless charging, heated massage, and motion.

6. Stick to Your Color Palette

Your living room furniture should incorporate your home’s overall color palette to ensure cohesion within your space. When buying a new sofa, have in mind complementary shades that work well in your home. If you currently have a more neutral or monochromatic color scheme, this might be an opportunity to tie in an accent color.

7. Complement Your Design Style

Design style is a major factor when thinking about how to choose the right sofa. Each interior design theme—farmhouse, contemporary, traditional—is marked by specific furniture features. Traditional sofas tend to be distinguished by their ornamentation, dark wood, and luxe upholstery. Contemporary furniture is marked by its geometric shapes and simplicity.

Know your home’s interior design style and complement it with seating that infuses key design elements. This will elevate your space and prevent your sofa from looking out of place.

Now that you know what to consider when buying a new sofa, you should feel confident and excited to start your search! If motion furniture is on your list of wants, browse through the various collections that Southern Motion has to offer.

It’s time to pack away your bright summer decor and prepare your home for the upcoming fall season. Transform your space from a beachy oasis to a cozy autumn retreat with these fall decor ideas for your living room!

Copper Blooms

Copper isn’t just meant for Moscow Mule mugs, it’s actually a popular fall home decor idea. Head to your local crafts store and pick up a few copper pails to create a gorgeous autumn arrangement. Sunflowers, Chrysanthemums, and Pansies are a few vibrant flowers that are sure to bring your copper bloom to life!

Plaid Patterns

Autumn and plaid go together like peanut butter and jelly. Embrace this rustic, farmhouse-style fabric by infusing it throughout your living room. From throw pillows and blankets to drapery and furniture upholstery, there are many ways you can add pops of plaid into your decor. 

One pro tip to keep in mind is color. Stay consistent with your home’s overall color scheme and try to find plaid decor that complement each other.

Festive Ottoman Tray

Not all fall home decor ideas need to be bold and dramatic. Turn your attention toward your ottoman tray for a subtle touch of autumn. You can simply infuse rustic colors with everyday decor items like books and candles, or take a more obvious approach with pumpkins and other fall motifs.

Fall decor idea for living room

Autumn Mantel

As with other holidays and special occasions, the fireplace mantel is a go-to spot to display fall decor ideas for your living room. There are lots of different ways to go about decorating your mantel, but there are a handful of classic items you won’t want to forget.

The most iconic motif of fall is what you want most of all—pumpkins. Gather a handful of faux or fresh pumpkins (different sizes are best) and arrange them along your mantel shelf. A rustic fall sign, seasonal candles, and autumnal plants will tie together the vignette perfectly.

Spooky Fireplace

As you brainstorm fall decor ideas for your living room, decide what kind of vibe you’re going for. Do you want to focus on the fall season, Halloween, or a mixture of both? For a Halloween-inspired living room, transform your fireplace into a spooky focal point. Faux cobwebs, spiders, skulls, and books with black covers are a few easy decor items that will make your fireplace hauntingly festive.

Pops of Pumpkin

Put your living room bookcase and shelving to good use with this fall home decor idea! Gather together some faux pumpkins of various sizes and tuck them among other accessories in your shelving. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even spray paint the pumpkins to look more chic or traditional. All-white pumpkins, for example, will make your collection look more modern versus the traditional orange pumpkin.

Fall home decor idea

Fall Letter Board

As the seasons change, so should your letter board quotes! From cute fall puns to funny Halloween sayings, there’s plenty of inspiration for your fall letter board. Here are some of the top letter board ideas you should try:

  • Pumpkin spice & everything nice
  • Leaves are falling & coffee is calling
  • Give ‘em pumpkin to talk about
  • Trick or treat yo’ self
  • Ghouls just want to have fun
  • If you got it, haunt it

Rich Fabrics

A simple way to transition your living room from summer to fall is by switching out your fabrics. Rather than using lightweight fabrics like linen and cotton, warm up your space with rich textiles. Velvet pillows, tartan throws, and flannel blankets will not only keep you cozy during the cold weather, they’ll also reflect the decor trends of the season. 

Seasonal Color Palettes

While cozy fall decorating ideas like scarecrows and pumpkins are cute as can be, don’t underestimate the power of a seasonal color palette. Everyday accessories like your area rug, wall art, throws, and pillows can be swapped out to include beautiful fall shades. You can even paint your living room walls if you feel like having a more long-term change. 

Whether you stick to a seasonal color palette alone or accessorize with festive decor, you’re going to love the finished product! Get inspiration for your color scheme with these popular shades:

  • Mustard
  • Burnt orange
  • Wheat
  • Olive
  • Emerald green
  • Caramel
  • Red

After you complete your living room makeover with these fall home decor ideas, have fun creating these 15 enchanting Halloween crafts for adults!

Besides the obvious family photo or two, it can be tricky to think of ways to decorate the empty wall space within your home. If you’re tired of looking at bare walls and aren’t having any luck filling them up, gather inspiration with these creative living room wall decor ideas.

1. Tapestry

Tapestries or fabric wall hangings are a unique way to add a splash of color and texture to your space. They’re large in size which makes it extremely easy to cover quite a bit of wall space. In addition to that, tapestries are much less cumbersome to hang than say a massive art piece or flat screen TV.

When you choose your tapestry, be aware of its design and how you go about hanging it. Some tapestries resemble more of a “college kid” look, which you most likely don’t want. Stay in line with your home’s interior design style and give your tapestry a more sophisticated finish by hanging it with a wooden quilt hanger. 

2. Oversized Mirror

Interior designers recommend that you include at least one mirror in every room, which is why this living room wall accent couldn’t be more perfect. Not only will an oversized mirror help to fill your wall space, it will also brighten up the room by reflecting sunlight that’s shining inside.

Grab a floor mirror if you want the luxury of doing an outfit check throughout the day, or stick to a traditional wall mirror. An alternative option to a single, oversized mirror is an arrangement of small mirrors. A mirror gallery wall is a bold choice that will definitely give your home the “wow factor” you’re looking for!

Woven baskets for living room wall accent

3. Woven Basket Collection

Woven baskets are currently a hot trend in the interior design world and they aren’t just used as table accents. Woven baskets also make for a creative living room wall decor idea. Their round shape is a breath of fresh air amidst all the framed photographs and art pieces that tend to have squared edges.

Curate a collection of smaller baskets or consider hanging a couple of statement baskets that are large in size.

4. Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are a go-to living room wall accent if you want a modern touch that isn’t too daring or complex. Floating shelves are especially ideal if you like to change up your decor often. Hang your shelves and style them with different decor items throughout the seasons and holidays.

5. Gallery Wall

Gallery walls may seem a bit intimidating at first, but they really are a fun and unique way to dress up your wall space. Take the opportunity to express your personality by displaying a collection that is centered around your interests or hobbies. 

Like the outdoors? Ground your gallery wall with nature-inspired pieces like photographs of your adventures and scenic paintings. 

Surfboard in living room

6. Sporting Equipment

Why store away your sporting equipment when you can make it double as a creative living room wall decor idea? Displaying your equipment is an innovative way to incorporate your personality into your living space, and it makes for a great conversation piece too! 

If you love cycling, think about hanging your bicycles on contemporary wood mounts for an urban look. You can also wall mount your surf boards or casually lean them against one side of your living room wall.

7. Accent Wall

For this particular wall decor tip, you don’t need any home decor items like baskets or photographs. An accent wall is another route you can take to spice up your living room with just some wallpaper or paint. Opt for a bold wallpaper with a striking pattern or take on the challenge of painting a beautiful mural. If your artistic skills aren’t up to par or you need something more temporary, you can always use removable wall art as well.

Depending on how busy your base is, you can take your accent wall to another level by hanging wall decor that brings a contrast of texture.

Bookcase as living room wall decor

8. Bookcase

It’s reading time! Whether you pick built-in or free-standing bookcases, this wall decor tip can transform your living room into a polished and refined space. Give yourself the creative freedom to fill the bookcase with a wide range of decor items other than books. Framed photos, plants, folded throws, vases, and small sculptures are just a handful of ideas to try.

9. Statement Art

It’s important to remember that your wall doesn’t need to be busy with decor to look complete. Keep your living room wall simple and distinct with a statement art piece or two. The combination of bare space and a single art piece creates a striking visual element. 

10. Greenery

House plants are all the rage right now and their use goes far beyond a windowsill accent. Embrace greenery in your living room by hanging or mounting a few potted plants along your wall. Explore bohemian-style greenery with macrame plant hangers or keep it modern with geometric shapes.

Follow these wall decor tips and your living room will transform from bare and boring to balanced and bold in no time! For an extra bit of guidance along the way, check out these 7 decorating faux pas to avoid.

As the weather warms up, it’s time to take the DIY home improvement projects outside into the backyard. There are so many simple and inexpensive backyard ideas to make it the perfect place to spend spring and summer. You can spruce up your patio, plant a garden, invest in some backyard furniture, and much more. These outdoor decorating ideas on a budget will make sure you spend every beautiful day outside this summer.

Build DIY Planters

A great way to save money while beautifying your backyard is to build your own planters. They are relatively easy to put together and then you get to decide what you plant inside them! Choose flowers for some color in your backyard or fruits and vegetables for delicious summer produce. No matter what you opt for, you can’t go wrong with this fun yet simple DIY backyard idea.

Cozy Up Your Patio

Whether you have a simple bench, basic lawn chair, or outdoor sofas, adding some pillows to your patio furniture can make your backyard feel like an extension of your home. You can also experiment with colors and patterns in your backyard space. To cushion up your patio, purchase some pillow inserts and covers. Make sure to use outdoor fabric, which is usually water resistant and sun resistant. That means the colors won’t fade and you won’t ever have to sit down on a sopping wet pillow! 

Build a Fire Pit

A fire pit is an impressive centerpiece in any backyard, not just on summer evenings but also on crisp winter days. It’s also one of the best outdoor decorating ideas on a budget.  With some cinder blocks and stones, you’re good to go. Of course, you might want to grab some s’mores ingredients while you’re at it. 

Garden Vertically

Got a green thumb but less backyard space? A great way to incorporate more plants into your backyard is to garden vertically! You only need a few simple gardening supplies, lots of dirt, and vine-type plants and you’re ready to grow! Choose a wall or space in your backyard that needs extra love and you’ll be amazed at the impact of your vertical garden within a few months. 

 Southern Motion recliner in well covered patio

Install Patio Furniture

Patio furniture is a fantastic way to make your backyard look and feel like an outdoor living room. If your patio is covered, you can get even more adventurous with the furniture you put outside. Consider adding a comfortable recliner or accent chair to your covered patio area. It will become everyone’s favorite spot! 

Backyard Lighting

There are so many ways to incorporate lighting into your simple DIY backyard ideas. From string lights to rope lights, they can really add some sparkle to your yard. Buy some outdoor string lights to hang over a seating area and string rope lighting to illuminate your walkways. Lights will make the backyard enjoyable even into the later hours of the night. 

Build a DIY Outdoor Bar

With some concrete blocks, wood planks, and simple chairs or stools, you can have an outdoor bar! This bar will elevate any outdoor barbeque area so you can easily enjoy a drink and a snack in your backyard.

 Backyard concrete paving patio

Install Paving

Breaking up your backyard into different sections can help you make better use of the space and create more visual intrigues. One way to do this is to install paving on the ground. Add some concrete pavers or gravel and tiles to create a patio in the backyard. This can help you build out a lounging area, barbeque space, or even walkways. Pavers and gravel can be very cost effective, making this a fantastic outdoor decorating idea for budgets

Buy Bird Feeders

Hanging bird feeders can help you bring some extra life to your backyard. Hang the feeders by flower bushes or from your favorite tree. You’ll be able to watch the visitors all day long. 

Hang a Tree Swing

Hanging a tree swing is a fun addition to your backyard that your little ones will love. Once you’re sure it’s safe to swing from, it will be a backyard favorite all summer long. The best part? A tree swing is a budget friendly and simple DIY backyard idea.

Use an Outdoor Rug

An outdoor rug can be an effective way to spruce up any patio space. You can experiment with colors, patterns, and textures and make the rug a focal point on your patio. The feeling of a rug outside will make your outdoor space even more comfortable, although this idea works best on covered spaces. 

Outdoor herb garden

Plant an Herb Garden

Plant an herb garden in one of your DIY planters for a summer-long supply of fresh herbs for your meals and cocktails! Classics like basil, mint, and oregano make for an excellent starting point. Grab some potting soil and some herb seeds for this simple DIY backyard idea that you will enjoy all summer long. 

Hang a Hammock

To enjoy the open air and summer breeze, hang a hammock in your backyard. Hammocks are ideal for lounging and resting in your backyard, and create another outdoor seating option. Don’t have any trees in your backyard? No problem. There are plenty of hammock solutions that don’t need a trunk to hang but use stands instead. 

Build a Garden Path

To break up the space in your backyard, create a garden path. You can do this by adding concrete pavers or tiles to lay out the walkway, then add rope lighting to illuminate the path. This is a simple outdoor decorating idea on a budget that will have a huge impact on the look of your backyard. 

Thanks to these outdoor decorating ideas for budgets, you’re well on your way to having the backyard of your dreams  without breaking the bank. For more ideas on how to update your home, both inside and outside, read our blog post on DIY home updates.

Choosing the perfect piece of furniture is about much more than what you like. If you want to find the best furniture for your home, it’s important to consider pieces that complement your interior design style, fit your space, and seamlessly blend into your lifestyle. No matter how messy life gets and how many stains you have to clean, your furniture needs to have the durability to withstand the test of time. 

Along with those factors, you should also consider the different types of furniture fabrics and decide which is the best fabric for your sofa or chair. From stain resistant furniture fabric like leather to soft and cozy options like microfiber, there are plenty of fabrics that combine style, comfort, and functionality.  

How to Choose Upholstery Fabrics for Furniture

So how do you know which recliner fabric is right for you? Follow our simple flowchart below to find out how to choose your upholstery fabric!

best fabric for your furniture infographic flowchart

Now you know the best fabric for your sofa, learn more about the best recliners for your lifestyle

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Since many of us are spending more time than ever in our homes and working on projects around the house, home improvement gifts for Mother’s Day are perfect for showing Mom just how much you care. These gifts can range from large-scale projects to easy DIY Mother’s Day gifts. Whichever you choose for Mother’s Day 2021, your Mom is sure to appreciate the extra effort and thoughtfulness behind these unique ideas. 

Large Home Improvement Gifts for Mom

There’s always work to be done around the house from laundry and dishes to vacuuming, which means we don’t get around to the bigger home improvement projects. These tasks take more time and money, but if you’re willing to put in the hours and hard work, you can offer something to your Mom that she may have been dreaming of getting fixed. 

Install a Backsplash 

Backsplash tiling can make a surprisingly large impact on the look and feel of your kitchen and with so many different styles of backsplash tile to choose from, you can make sure that it suits Mom and her kitchen perfectly. 

If you don’t have any tiling experience but you still want to do the work yourself, don’t worry. You can try peel-and-stick glass tiling for a cost-effective and time-efficient solution. Set aside a few hours one afternoon while your Mom is out and make her kitchen look like new with a simple yet professional-looking backsplash.

Remodel the Cabinets

If a backsplash isn’t your speed or it just doesn’t need replacing right now, another way to refresh your Mom’s kitchen is to remodel the cabinets. Since this is a larger project, chat with her about the colors and styles she likes before getting started. The results should make every day feel like Mother’s Day (at least, in the kitchen for a little while).

Painting home improvement gift for Mom

Repaint and Restore

A fresh coat of paint can have a huge impact on your home. If your Mom has been talking about wanting to repaint the kitchen with a new shade or refresh the living room with a new color, now is the perfect time to do it for her. Just make sure she likes the color first! You can take a look at our guide to choosing the right color palette for a living room to help you make some suggestions. Once you’re ready to start painting, be sure to check out these handy tips!

Invest in New Furniture 

Pitch in with your siblings and treat Mom to a new piece of furniture. A high-quality piece will last for years, making it a fantastic gift for Mother’s Day 2021 and beyond. No matter whether your Mom would enjoy a pretty accent chair to go with her interior design style or a recliner with massage and heat technology, you can find the perfect piece for her needs and preferences at Southern Motion. Since furniture demand is currently very high and special orders are taking longer than normal, use our retailer locator to find Southern Motion furniture near you.

Medium-Sized Home Improvement Gifts for Mom

Sometimes big projects can be daunting, but there are many other ways to do something nice for Mom! You can treat her to one of these more accessible home improvement gifts on Mother’s Day 2021.

Create a Coffee or Tea Cart 

If your Mom is a coffee or tea drinker, consider creating an at-home coffee cart for an easier DIY Mother’s Day gift. Simply put up some shelves or free up some counter and cabinet space for a new coffee maker and a mug. Stock up on Mom’s favorite coffee or tea and arrange everything so it’s cute and functional. Your Mom will be able to think of you every time she makes herself a delicious hot drink! 

Reorganize Closets

Ah the closets, a constant project. And a project that no one really wants to do, which makes doing it all that much more meaningful. Put aside a few hours to reorganize your Mom’s closets with helpful storage solutions that will make it easier for her to enjoy her clothes and accessories each and every day. Shelves, shoe racks, hangers, and in-closet dressers can make storing and finding clothes a breeze. 

Do a Deep Clean of the House

A deep cleaning can make a big difference to how a home feels, but getting in all the nooks and crannies of the house isn’t something we all have time to do each week. Powerwashing, dusting in the forgotten places, cleaning the oven and the stove, and going the extra mile with a deep clean will be a great gift for Mom that she will be grateful for. Take a look at our spring cleaning tips here!

Herb garden for Mother’s Day 2021

Plant a Garden 

Mother’s Day 2021 falls on May 9th, which is the perfect time to plant a garden for summer. With warmer weather and longer days, plants and flowers are something Mom can enjoy for months to come. Plant some of her favorite flowers outside in the backyard or in planting boxes on the patio. If backyard space is tight, a kitchen garden with cooking herbs offers a fun and useful form of plant decor

Easy DIY Mother’s Day Gifts

Even if you don’t have the time to invest in some serious home improvement, you can always try these easy DIY Mother’s Day gifts to show your Mom how much you care. 

Self-Care Package

There are so many ways to practice self care at home. Make Mom a self-care package with all the items she needs to truly pamper herself this Mother’s Day. You can fill a basket with face masks, bath salts, wine, chocolate, and anything else she likes to show her just how well you know her. 

Fingerprint Mugs 

If you’re coordinating a gift for Mom with your little ones, fingerprint mugs are an adorable way to decorate a white mug with a lasting memory. Using dishwasher-safe, permanent paint that you can wash off little hands, let your children’s creative side run wild. These mugs are a sweet and easy DIY Mother’s Day gift that would make a great addition to a homemade coffee cart!

 Jewelry organizer for Mother’s Day 2021

Jewelry Organizer

If your Mom is a jewelry fan, consider making a homemade jewelry organizer. A DIY jewelry organizer will declutter her dresser space, create a beautiful decor piece, and make for a thoughtful gift. There are many different ways to display jewelry, depending on the types of accessories your Mom wears. You can add small hooks to a space in the wall or in a closet for beads, create a hanging display for necklaces, or personalize a jewelry box for rings and earrings. 

No matter how you choose to celebrate Mom on Mother’s Day 2021, any of these gifts are sure to make this year’s celebration a special one. For more ideas for home improvements that you can work on as a family, take a look at these DIY home updates for making an older house look like new.

National Cleaning Week is almost here! Starting on March 28th, this is a great opportunity to do a spring cleaning of the house. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, a clean home will feel even better. Here are some spring cleaning tips and tricks that are sure to refresh your home and make sure you have the ultimate spring cleaning experience. 

Restock on Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning can be a hassle, especially if you want to do a deep cleaning. So first things first, make yourself a spring cleaning supply list. Hopefully you’ve already got a stockpile of some essential cleaning products lying around, but if not, make sure you have these essentials: 

  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Toilet brush 
  • Towels
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Duster
  • All-purpose surface cleaner
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Wood and/or tile cleaner
  • Mirror and window spray

For eco-friendly cleaning supplies, castile soap, vinegar, and baking soda will be your best friends during your spring cleaning of the house. You can also take advantage of reusable spray bottles and washable towels instead of paper towels. Some other essentials are toilet bowl cleaner, an all-purpose cleaner, mirror and window spray, wood cleaner, and anything specially made for the surfaces in your home. 

Set Yourself Up for Cleaning Success

Once you’ve gathered everything on your spring cleaning supply list, you’re ready to start cleaning! For a smooth spring cleaning of the house, there are a few things you can do to make the rest of your cleaning even easier. 


From dangerous particles of chemicals to pesky allergens, dust isn’t just a bad look — it can also affect your health. Dusting is one of the quickest and healthiest ways to refresh your home, so grab a duster and go over your house. Make sure you’re reaching up into shelves, on top of books, and lamps as dust will accumulate more than you realize. The difference will feel great and create an ideal foundation for additional cleaning.

Vacuuming carpet


For a clean home and even cleaner floors, plug in your vacuum and do a once over of your entire house. Vacuuming will make the rest of your cleaning even easier (especially the mopping) by getting rid of dust, crumbs, and everything else that accumulates on the floor. You can even take it a step further and deep clean your carpet and rugs.

Clean Your Windows Inside and Out

Using a window cleaner, wipe down every window in your home from inside and outside. Clean windows will let in all of the beautiful spring light and make your home feel fresh and bright. 

Clean kitchen space

Take a Close Look at the Kitchen

Your kitchen is probably in need of a deep cleaning — especially if you started cooking as a quarantine hobby. Follow these spring cleaning tips and tricks for a kitchen that feels brand new.

Stove Top

When cooking on your stove top, grease, food, and grime can build up, which makes your cooking space less hygienic. For safe food preparation and to prevent contamination, it’s important to clean your stove top regularly and to do a seriously deep clean from time to time. Depending on what type of stove top your kitchen has, you might have to clean it a little bit differently. Read the directions on your cleaning products and get scrubbing! 


Chances are, your oven could use a deep cleaning as well. Tackle this job when you’re spring cleaning the house. Take out the oven racks and wipe those down, then scrub away any grease or drippings from cooking that accumulates at the bottom of your oven. 


After cleaning your kitchen and deep cleaning your stove top and oven, be sure to mop the floor. With all the action your kitchen sees, there are sure to have been some spills that wiping and vacuuming alone won’t fix. Use a cleaning solution made for your floors so they really sparkle.

Bathroom sink area

Brighten Up the Bathroom

Your bathroom, like the kitchen, is another space that needs regular cleaning. But every once in a while, a deep cleaning can really refresh the space and make it feel like new. Here are the best spring cleaning tips and tricks for your bathroom.

Sink Area 

Wipe down your sink, the basin and any counter space you might have. Lots of bacteria can accumulate here, so use a heavy-duty cleaner from your spring cleaning supplies list. Polish any faucet and knobs for a clean shine and wipe down the mirror. Water spots accumulate very easily in the bathroom, but you can use a soft towel and a surface spray to get rid of all of those marks. 

Shower and Tub 

Using a gentle (but sturdy enough) brush, scrub the floors and walls of your bath and shower space. If you have tiles in your shower, make sure you’re getting into the grout to clean even the little spaces. Rinse off cleaning products with water or a wet towel to avoid residue. If you have a shower curtain, check the cleaning instructions to see if you can throw it in the washing machine. If not, you may want to replace it as you’re spring cleaning the house.


Using a toilet brush and toilet bowl cleaner, scrub your toilet bowl. The toilet should see regular cleaning, but a good scrub can really do a world of difference. Make sure you also wipe down the seat, lid, and the rest of the toilet for a deep clean.

Clean, fresh bedroom

Freshen Up Your Bedroom

Don’t forget your bedroom when you’re spring cleaning your house! Waking up in a fresh, clean space is the perfect way to welcome spring.


The rest of your bedding needs cleaning too, not just your sheets. Tackle the bulkier items we all like to avoid: the pillows, comforter, and duvet. A good clean will do wonders for your health and wellness. Just make sure to check the tags on your bedding before throwing them in the washer. 


Your closet can always use some good organizing. Go through what you’ve got hanging and folded in drawers, and reorganize if need be. If you have clothes you no longer wear or need, consider donating them or recycling them. Decluttering is a great practice for your entire home, not just your closet, so be sure to read our tips on decluttering your living room space, too!

Curtains and Drapes

Many window treatments, like curtains and drapes, are machine washable. If they are, toss them in the wash. The fresh laundry smell will fill up any room where they hang. As with the spring cleaning tips and tricks for bedding, take some time to check the label on your curtains before throwing them in the washer as they may need to be professionally cleaned.

A spring cleaning of your house will be sure to make spring feel even warmer and brighter. Don’t forget to keep your furniture clean too! Check out our guide to removing stains from every type of furniture for more spring cleaning tips and tricks.