January is time to tackle indoor jobs

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 8:58 p.m.

The post-holiday time often is accompanied by an equally gloomy and cold attitude toward home maintenance projects.

So I offer four simple projects sure to occupy some time and brighten the winter darkness.

• Paint a room — This project sounds mundane, but with a little creativity, painting a room can become a fun foray into decorating.

Choosing stylish or vibrant colors is the key to adding some spice.

As part of this project, don't be afraid to change window treatments or re-arrange furniture.

Customize your room, add decorative framed photos or paintings that represent your tastes.

• Replace the kitchen faucet — oh yeah, this is a boring one right?

Well, a couple of years ago, I installed a new “gooseneck” faucet in my kitchen.

All of a sudden, I could fill my coffee pot more easily, squeezing large pots and pans under the spigot for washing did not require an engineering degree, and the stylish look of that beauty provided a nice addition to the countertop.

In most homes, the kitchen is the epicenter of activity and the faucet is probably used more than any other fixture.

So jazzing things up with a stylish and functional faucet might be less boring than you think.

• Reorganize the basement — A more fitting winter project I cannot imagine. After all, who wants to go into the basement and work in June?

Start this task by eliminating the junk that has accumulated over the years.

The key to this project is to use your wall space wisely so in place of all those stacks of stuff, install new shelving.

Perfectly serviceable and inexpensive shelving is available in kits that resemble an erector set. But for a true custom job, pick up some two-by-fours and plywood, and you can design and build your own shelving.

• Carpet anyone? — Now that your crazy relatives are done spilling eggnog on your living room carpet, take a look at it.

Is it dirty, stained or just worn out? If so, consider replacing it.

While this is generally not a do-it-yourself endeavor, the very act of selecting carpet is a project in and of itself.

Most of us are comfortable with carpet that screams neutrality, while others are fond of a more dramatic style.

Whichever fits your personality is fine. Carpet manufacturers are very good at providing real qualities to meet both your style and your budget.

The key to all of these projects is the fun aspect. Make sure to involve others, ask opinions, and don't get too serious.

These projects should be approached as wonderful diversions during a season that offers little in the way of enjoyable diversions.

Ed Pfeifer is a freelance writer with Trib Total Media and the owner of Pfeifer Hardware Inc., 300 Marshall Way, Mars. If you have questions about hardware, call the store at 724-625-9090.

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