When you received your last round of stimulus money, you vowed that you would use it on some type of home improvement project. While you don’t have enough for a new roof or totally upgraded kitchen, that nice chunk of change that’s sitting in your savings account can definitely go a long way in making your home a more pleasant place to hang your hat.

For inspiration on how to spend that money and improve your home, try one of these ideas:

Redecorate with Masculine and Feminine Décor

Looking around your home, it seems like some rooms are more girly and others are figuratively dripping with testosterone. Masculine and feminine décor are definitely a thing, with the former including black, white and gray colors, leather everything and metals like gold and brass and the latter featuring brighter colors, soft materials and accessories. If you want your home to be a better blend of masculine and feminine design it is quite possible to combine the two; you can use the 80/20 rule and have a family room with white walls, a dark wood coffee table and a black leather couch that is covered with colorful silk pillows and includes pops of more color from fresh flowers and artwork. Go room by room and move furniture around as needed and then invest in some new pieces to create a more balanced masculine and feminine look.

Make Your Home as Smart as You Are

Last year you installed a video doorbell and you love it. Now, use some of your cash on hand to invest in some more smart home devices that save time and money. There is a variety of cool technology that will allow you to save time with rules, routines and scheduling: smart locks, smart lights, smart plugs, motion sensors and smart cameras are all great options for your home. For instance, when you are out running errands and you think “Did I close the garage door?” you can use your app to check and even close your garage door rather than having to run back home. Smart home technology can also turn on lights when the doorbell rings, raise and lower the A/C depending on the time of day and how many people are home, and automatically lock the doors and windows.

Smart Home

Create a Lovely Outdoor Space

If you love to barbecue, hang out with friends and family on the patio, play games like badminton and corn hole or garden, it might be time to upgrade your outdoor space. One great thing about this project is that it can be as big or small as your budget allows. You could add a deck or patio—or power wash and repaint/restain the one you already have, upgrade your patio furniture, invest in an amazing barbecue or outdoor kitchen, buy a fire pit, add some outdoor rugs or build a pergola. You can also buy outdoor games, spring for some new terracotta planters and fill them with beautiful blossoms, upgrade your outside lights and install string lights. Write down a wish list of what you’d like to do outside and then price out the different options and come up with the outdoor improvements that you can start working on right now.

Outdoor patio

Have Fun Sprucing Up Your Casa

It is a great feeling when you can make home improvements without running up a big credit card bill. By using your savings to upgrade your furniture and accessories, invest in smart home technology, and make your patio as inviting as the rest of your home, you will enjoy living and working at home more than ever.