5 affordable home improvement ideas for summer 2021

As we all prepare to spend most of our summer outdoors and in our backyards, it might come as no surprise that we’re starting to notice all of the things that could use some fixing up: a chair that could use some repainting, some bushes that need to be trimmed or a garden that could use some more signs of life.

For this week’s Tune It Up Tuesday, award-winning interior designer Kristy Kay stopped by the 3rd Hour of TODAY to share some easy and affordable ways to give your outdoor living space a much-needed refresh without needing to splurge. From easy maintenance tips for outdoor furniture to ways to keep your home dust-free, Kay has every tried-and-true method you’ll want to know about ahead of the season.

Read on for some inexpensive products Kay recommends, plus must-know tips and tricks on how to pull off the ultimate home glow up.

Easy home upgrades for summer

Olympic Waterguard Clear Wood Sealer

Kay recommends applying sealer on a cool, cloudy day while the sun is tucked away. After cleaning the area you’re going to apply the sealer to, you’ll want to paint in the direction of the natural grain — this will ensure that it will actually soak into the wood. Before you replace your cushions on your wooden chair or place items on top of your wooden table, the sealer should dry for at least two hours, Kay said.

Razor-Back Steel Garden Edger

Fixing up the garden doesn’t have to be a feat you do alone! In fact, Kay says it’s easy to get the kids involved with this next hack. Edging the garden will make it look more defined and is also a convenient way to get some weeding done. Removing weeds also makes it more difficult for them to grow back in the future, ensuring that your lawn remains mulch- and weed-free.

If you really want to keep pests and weeds at bay, another DIY hack Kay recommends is pouring vegetable oil and mild soap in a mason jar, then combining the mixture with a quart of water when you’re ready to start spraying your lawn. The oil will help coat the leaves and keep pests away, while the scent of the soap can also help repel insects.

Hampton Bay Solar LED Landscape Spotlight

Whether you place them in the front yard along the driveway or in the backyard along a pathway, Kay says these spotlights can add a bit of “drama.” They only need a few good hours of sunlight a day to recharge and keep all of the areas in your front yard and backyard well-lit. If you want to keep them hidden, Kay has a helpful tip: Plant herbs to disguise them — and then you can use the herbs for summer cooking!

Trion Air Bear Pleated Air Filter

As the temperatures rise, we’ll be clinging to our AC units. While they keep us cool, they can also contribute to the accumulation of dust in our homes during the summer months, which is why it’s important to stay on top of AC maintenance during the season. To keep dust down, Kay recommends vacuuming your AC registers and changing out your system’s vents — it isn’t a time-consuming swap and will be a big help in the long-run. She also recommends changing up your decor by opting for propylene rugs instead of ones made from natural fibers and using natural branches and vase fillers instead of rocks and shells, which will only attract dust.

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