A quick tip that I wish I’d realized earlier than my fourth year in our fixer-upper rowhouse: If you have central heat and air conditioning, especially if you have registers on the floor, it is DEAD SIMPLE to replace the floor vent covers with something that has more personality. As in, no tools required for floor vents.
I can be pretty lazy when it comes to even the easy things — like changing doorknobs, light switch plates, etc., but this is the decorating equivalent of Megan-simple recipes. Even if you have wall vents, it’s only a couple screws, which is even simpler than most IKEA furniture assembly. This is also a super renter-friendly DIY: just save the old vents to change back when you move, no wall repair required!
You just lift up the old one and drop in a shiny, pretty one in its place. Done: in less time than it took to remove the packaging from your new register. And suddenly that corner is a little more interesting and eye-catching.
I got ours on Amazon for $11, so this is not going to break the bank — especially if you just replace the covers in highly visible spots.
There aren’t tons of choices out there, but there are definitely a few different styles that are way beyond the boring (and in our case, grimy and old) builder grade registers. I saw some modern, Craftsman, Art Deco, and abstract styles, as well as a few different Victorian-esque curly-cued options similar to what I bought. They come in several different metal tones and in wood.
If you want something a bit more offbeat, you could paint them a wild color — or if you’re crafty and ambitious, you might be able to make something really interesting and unique to replace those old covers!
I did the two in our living room and one in our bedroom and they make me smile whenever I notice them. (Homeownership does crazy things — if you’d told me five years ago the joy I would take from floor vents, I’d have raised my eyebrow pretty high.)