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Perk yourself — and your house — up with these 5 easy home improvements

domenicogelermo100400211It’s “insanely easy,” says DIY home improvement guru Bob Vila, whose website offers a couple dozen ideas for perking up your house while waiting for summer.

It can be as easy a fresh coat of paint or a splash of color in a hallway or stairway, and you can change the whole feel of your home and brighten up your own outlook at the same time. Here are just five easy and inexpensive ideas for home and personal improvement.

1. Start with a splash of paint. You may not want to repaint the entire living room. But how about that windowseat? Adding a bright accent to small spaces like alcoves or a closet door can completely change a room. How about some dusty rose or a little seafoam green? Pick up the color of the couch or a throw rug.

2. Replace a drippy or out-of-date faucet. With a couple of wrenches and some rubber washers, most homeowners can swap out that leaky chrome number for a new model that works better, looks great, uses less water and suits your style. Not to mention, those sleepless nights listening to the drip-drip-drip of your old faucet will be over.

3. Clean your dryer hose. Vila says there are good reasons to do this at least twice a year: a scary number of home fires start in your sock and towel lint. Beyond that, clogged vents cost you money — as much as $20 a month because your dryer can’t work efficiently. The hardest part, aside from pulling the machine out from the wall, is just doing it. Unscrew the clamps, vacuum out the ducts, and sleep better tonight.

4. Buy new hardware for your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Have you always disliked those knobs in your kitchen? Why not replace them, and give your kitchen a whole new look? Knobs or handles? Brass or iron or chrome? Or glass! Hit your local home improvement store and you’ll be boggled by the variety of cabinet hardware. Not ready for the whole kitchen? Start on a dresser.

5. Switch your switchcovers. Those little plastic covers on outlets and light switches don’t have to be beige, you know. You can buy hand-painted switch covers at home stores. Or — even better! — enlist the kids and let their creativity loose with enamel paints, spray paint or wallpaper to turn beige and boring into bright and brilliant.

Perk up! Summer will be here before you know it!

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