After more than a decade of rehabbing houses, revamping interiors and building custom furniture, “Bargain Mansions” host Tamara Day has curated a vast catalog of do-it-yourself projects that increase home values.

And as more real estate investors look to quickly boost returns, more sellers are turning to old-fashioned elbow grease to finish home improvement projects themselves. To get more ideas on some valuable 48-hour projects, Think Realty recently sat down with Day to discuss her top weekend projects that can help investors increase their profits.


Photo courtesy of Nate Sheets

Wallpaper isn’t what it used to be

Long viewed as outdated and onerous, Day said that wallpaper has significantly changed in recent years.

“Wallpaper gets a bad rap from the 80s, but it is new and fresh and really can transform a space with color,” Day said. “It’s my go-to transform-a-space tool.”

In addition to new, stylish designs that add color and character, wallpaper has become easier to install and remove. DIYers also can use updated materials such as vinyl-coated fabrics, solid sheet vinyl, grasscloth, and more to distinguish the design.

Adding wallpaper to small spaces — such as laundry rooms, mud rooms and half bathrooms — is a fun, creative way to bring personality to your space, Day said.

“Make those small spaces that you pop in and out of during the day a fun space to be in,” Day said. “It’s inexpensive, it’s quick and easy to put up, and it really can make a huge impact.”


Photo courtesy of Nate Sheets

Light fixtures that add glam

Updating light fixtures can not only better illuminate a home’s transformation but also enhance its revamped design. With most installations taking less than an hour, trading out light fixtures is a fast way to add beauty and charm to a space, Day said.

“Changing out a light to be unique and awesome is a quick, easy swap,” Day said. “It can take a room from just a basic boring box and turn it into something glam and awesome.”

Add curb appeal with a color pop

Buyers often form their first impression of a home before they step inside it. In addition to creating an inviting impression, a home’s exterior is typically reflective of what to expect inside.

That’s why Day recommends sellers paint their doors a bright color as a quick, inexpensive method to add character and distinguish it from the neighbors.

“The exterior of the home and the curb appeal of your house is huge,” she said. “You can make such an impact with a bright and fun colorful front door. Mine is bright orange.”

Read Tamara Day’s feature in the July/August issue of Think Realty Magazine here.

  • Bobby Burch

    Bobby Burch is the Founder of Bobby Burch Creative, a small business storytelling studio. Learn more about and contact him at

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