By Kathy Woodard
Now that moving  is over and you’re finally in your new home , it’s time to make it your own and add some of your style and personality. There are some simple home improvement  fixes to change your new home that anyone can do. With one weekend and a little elbow grease, you can have your place in tip top shape in no time!
Ok, I know this is an obvious one. The reason you hear painting  as the number one DIY project  for new homeowners  so often is because it’s effective. And cheap. And easy. What more could you want? Make sure you plan out your color scheme  for each room or the whole house before you ever visit a paint store. Many a new homeowner has ended up with what in the store appeared to be a bold, trendy color, only to discover that their new home was pink — really pink. Consider not just walls, but kitchen and bathroom  cabinets, trim and doors as well. Plan, prepare and try out sample paints before you take a whole project on, but do paint!
Yea, I know, back to the paint thing. But did you know you can paint more than walls? By using a good primer and some polyurethane for protection, just about anything can be painted. Some ideas?
• Ugly bathroom countertops? If you can’t afford replacement counters, no worries. Prime, paint with a faux stone finish, then seal with polyurethane. Instant style update, without the remodeling price!
• Does your new kitchen  come complete with avocado green appliances? You can spray paint them with auto spray paint to camouflage the 1970s look. If you paint a stove, make sure you use stove paint to protect the finish from the heat. Most home improvement stores carry a good brand.
• Yucky pink tile in the bathroom? Again, prime with a good primer, then paint. There are specialty paints for just this purpose, or you can use regular house paint and seal well with polyurethane.
• Even vinyl flooring can be painted. Keep in mind however, the higher the amount of traffic the floor receives, the more coats of polyurethane you will want to use for protection.
Add curb appeal:
You can increase the curb appeal of your new home in a day with some simple fixes. Replace your house numbers with something more in line with your personal style. Add a new mailbox, and update the light fixtures on your porch. Consider adding a window box or two. Use ornamental grasses in your box to give your home a contemporary feel different from the other houses on the block. Finally, paint the front door. Making these easy changes will brand your house as yours from all the way down the street!
Most homes never have enough storage , so think about making that one of your first home improvement projects . Closet and pantry systems are available at most home improvement centers and are easily installed by a beginning DIYer. Don’t forget the garage! Even adding simple shelves, hooks and hangars for tools and other items can double your storage space.
There are also some simple projects you can do in less than an hour. Change out the cabinet hardware in the kitchen and bath. Choose new glass shades for all your ceiling mount light fixtures. Replace mismatched window treatments with inexpensive blinds. Add curtain sheers. Clean your windows inside and out to add sparkle to every room!
There you have it, simple fixes to change your new home, without needing a class in engineering or the bank account of a celebrity !
Want free home and garden ideas? Kathy Woodard is an author, columnist and home decorating expert. Visit her websites: TheBudgetDecorator.com  and DecoratingYourSmallSpace.com .
More articles for your home improvement plans:
- Budgeting for Home Improvement Projects 
- Small-Space Design: Create More Storage Space 
- You’ve Moved: Five Quick Home Improvement Ideas