Elevate Your Homes Design with HVAC Vents


Elevate Your Homes Design with HVAC Vents

See how to Elevate Your Homes Design with HVAC Vents. Your HVAC vents may seem like a very little change, but they really can elevate the look of your home quickly, without a lot of hard work.

Elevate Your Homes Design with HVAC Vents was a little project I had planned to do last year while Ron was laid up with the whole shoulder debacle and out of commission for a the slated DIY projects. Needless to say it completely fell off the calendar, until I saw it come up again on Ron’s 1 Year Anniversary of his “Staircase Slide” and thought we really need to do this project, it is so easy!Welcome to JENRON DESIGNSOne thing that I have always said is, when you walk into a space, where ever your eye lands is an indicator of two things. The first thing, for me, is always that something is very wrong or just out place. If nothing appears to be wrong, my eyes always rest upon something that I love and would naturally gravitate towards. This is true when I go into other people’s homes and I have also noticed this very same behavior when I have guests in my own home. People’s gaze will always trail around a space, as it should, but where it lands is always your indicator of either a problem, question, or an impending compliment. So, naturally when a room is well designed, your guests’ eye will have a tenancy to brush pass most of the “flaws”, mainly ones that the homeowner may see, and they will concentrate on the things they covet or love. This is why good design is so important, when it looks good, and feels right you don’t even notice a change. This rule of design is so true for this minor little upgrade we did.Ugly Basic Floor Vent Upon entering my home, everything appears to be relatively tidy and organized, with a nice soothing color palette and a cohesive southern farmhouse design. As the home owner, I walk through my front door and immediately see two cheap HVAC vents that could totally be upgraded to match up with value of the home, ha ha ha. Okay maybe that was a little harsh, but I think  that only because I am so fixated on them and how I can make them look better. HVAC ugly vents JENRON DESIGNSSince this is our first home built on a basement, this our first time having floor vents. Also this is our first home that does not have a stitch of carpet anywhere, so our entire first floor is made up of all hardwood floors. When we were building, it did not occur to either of us about the floors vents…..oops. See even interior designers drop the ball every now and again. When the awkward tan colored grates were installed prior to our closing, I automatically knew that I hated them. However, they were the only options available from the builder other than white, which would have been absolutely atrocious on wood floors. Therefore, this was going to have to go on the list as an “after move in project” to upgrade later.HVAC Online order Upgrade JENRON DESIGNSClearly, things got busy and this project just got pushed and then dropped off my radar until recently. I decided, enough… I was doing it, we would be upgrading to something pretty that had a farmhouse feel, maybe cast iron………(insert crickets). Yeah, those do not really exist. {To all those fabricators out there, if they did exist I would have bought them. I really think there is a market for them, especially with the raise in farmhouse and industrial design applications.} We ended up going with an oil rubbed bronze and as you can see Ralphy our project foreman approves. Yep, that’s right even my cats voted in favor of the new vent covers, even they prefer the pretty.HVAC Upgrade Ralphy Approved JENRON DESIGNSSo, let me just tell you that this search took a while. We have two vent sizes a 10” x 4” and 14”x 4”, plus a large return grate and they all needed to match. While I was able to find matching vents in limited patterns and colors in the two basic sizes, the main challenge came with this large return grate that just happens to sit right in the middle of my floor. As you can see this one is truly one of the eye sores that I speak of.HVAC Ugly vent JENRON DESIGNSUnfortunately, you can not cover it up, since this is the main return for this floor it would tax my HVAC unit making it less efficient. Not to mention it would cut down the circulation of the air flow, that can cause the coil to freeze up in the summer or the furnace to overheat in the winter, and produce carbon monoxide which can silently kill you. Guess it is a good thing my husband worked for his father’s HVAC company during the hot Georgia summers as a teenager. HVAC Upgrade JENRON DESIGNSThe return grates in this special size also got very expensive, it was a weird size of 13” x 8” and it was running upwards to $150-$300, plus the shipping on that heavy iron. This one grate was going to cost as much as all of the other vents combined, I was literally blown away, (pun completely intended).HVAC Upgrade Pretty Vent JENRON DESIGNSAt this point, I seriously started to consider a custom, in town fabrication or a paintable option. We did end up finding one online from a completely different vendor with a very similar pattern and the color was going to be pretty darn close.
HVAC Upgrade step 1 JENRON DESIGNSSo, the actual installation and replacement process was so super easy, by comparison to the searching to order process. It literally took all of 30 minutes for the entire floor. You lift out the old vent, if you are OCD like me, and clean around the the opening then vacuum the inside while it’s off and pop the new one in. Boom! You’re done. Literally the easiest job on the planet.HVAC Upgrade step 2 JENRON DESIGNS

HVAC Upgrade step 3 JENRON DESIGNSWe did this during the hot summer months, so a job right in front of the air conditioning was quite pleasurable to say the least. I got to say my husband really liked this project, it gave a lot of instant gratification and was a nice little break from some of the heavier jobs we have been doing lately.Kitchen HVAC Before I really feel like it made a big difference in areas that the grates standout in the middle of the floor. Areas like my kitchen, where there is not any kind of furniture coverage, those ugly vent really stuck out and now they have a very nice cohesive feeling that goes with the rest of my home. HVAC Upgrade after JENRON DESIGNSIt just adds a little extra element that says, I am a homeowner that loves my home and I do these little things for me to make myself happy.HVAC After rustic Upgrade JENRON DESIGNSAs you can see, some of the other areas are not as noticeable because of the furniture, rugs and accessories but I still think it evokes that old farmhouse feeling of pure southern living at its best. Like one of those older homes in Savannah but without all the ghosts, lol. Now, as you look through the pictures see if you can spot the floor vents.HVAC easy Upgrade JENRON DESIGNSI feel like the floor vent, now, really add to the DIY Cedar Beams that we added to this living room last year. Ironically, that was the last DIY we completed prior to the infamous “Staircase Slide” I spoke of earlier. Which he is now 100% healed, thank goodness, but if you want to take a look at how we actually made these faux cedar beams and installed them ourselves click the link above and get all the details.
HVAC Before Upgrade JENRON DESIGNSNow when you walk into to my home I am sure most of my guests will not even notice the floor vents, but that is fine. That just means I am doing my job as a designer. I want you to notice the focal pieces placed in the home as focal design elements, everything else is just a supporting design role that you may or may not even notice as you visit.
HVAC Upgrade Charm JENRON DESIGNSThis entire room has also been upgraded since this project to the Book and Bourbon Library (REVEAL), if you are interested in see the latest transformation be sure to click the link above! I promise the new room is amazing you will not be disappointed!
HVAC Upgrade Adds charater JENRON DESIGNS

PIN ME for later and be sure to follow us on Pinterest at Jen @ JENRON DESIGNSElavate Your Home with Vintage HVAC Vents JENRON DESIGNS


Okay, since the hardest part of this project or as a interior designer is really is the sourcing of the products and finding the correct sizes, I have made an easy to follow guide of al my favorites below. This will make the process for you much simpler, all you have to do is measure your vents and returns, then count up your numbers and order what your need.

*Please note that this post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. These involve no extra cost to you, but may result in me receiving a small commission – for which I am very grateful! You can view my full advertising disclosure here.



While none of these sizes actually worked for me, this was a great find if you are looking for the real cast iron farmhouse style grates:


  1. Amy Kennedy

    This is a great idea and I really like how they improve the value of our home. They really do make a noticeable difference, I am sure that you are very happy with the upgrade.

  2. Thank You for such a inspiring idea. I must tell you I have never thought to change these out, but not that I am looking at mine, I am really considering it.

  3. One of the features in our new house that I’m most excited about barely raises an eyebrow with some of our visitors: the ventilation system. I believe we have the highest-efficiency heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) on the market—or at least it’s right up there near the top.

    But first, a lot of people may be wondering, should a “green” home require mechanical ventilation? A lot of people might think that this is just the kind of energy-consuming system that homes should be getting away from—while cracking windows for fresh air.

  4. Thanks for sharing this and providing so many different options! I recently bought a bit of a fixer upper and will keep this in mind! I also had no idea you could buy these on Amazon!

  5. Madison

    Thanks for sharing this! Super helpful.

  6. Hey Alina this is really cool, thank you so much fo sharing this information with me, and my readers. Do you happen to have more information about it? I am always interested in “green” home designs. In fact I would totally consider doing a post about this type of technology as I find it fascinating!!!

  7. CiCi

    This is so cool!! What an easy way to add some character to your home!

  8. Hey Athena,thanks for stopping by the blog. Yes Amazon had a great selection for floor vents, and don’t forget that July 16th is Amazon Prime Day!!! Extra savings for prime members so save your purchases for then 🙂

  9. Hey CiCi as a DIY project in Hot-lanta right now it was the COOLEST project we could think of…..LOL. I really enjoyed sitting infant of the air conditioning vents in the middle of July, during a heatwave, it was well scheduled…..LOL 😛

  10. wow..never thought of these. But they do look pretty

  11. Josie Ryder

    Girl you never cease to amaze me! You are always coming up with the best ideas, that I am sure are out there, but no one is really looking at them yet. You really like the focus us in, and show us how to make our homes shine and looks like a million bucks. These are tips the will last for the life time of our home not just a season, or until the next design trend comes around, bravo and thank you!

  12. Joi

    These look great! I don’t have any floor vents in my home but if I did this is definitely something I would consider.

  13. Skye

    This is a perfect post for the work we are doing on our little farmhouse reno, I agree cast iron would be great, or grate, lol. The shipping my be a little crazy because of how heave they are, so local fabrication might be a better option, but I do like where you mind is at on the design idea. I have to thank you again for the great inspiration, I feel like you have helped us design this place, just by way of your DIY’s and blog post. I will send you pictures soon!

  14. Great choice for the vent cover updates Jen! I did notice the ones in our new home right away because I am a little OCD about things matching, I am happy to report that the builder chose perfectly!

  15. Farmhouse Fixer Upper

    Let me just say how much I love this idea. I am so doing this! What a easy way to make a newer home have a more rustic farmhouse feel.

  16. sunshine and daisies

    Oh my gosh Jen, you always amaze me! This is such a good idea, and I never would have thought about it until I read your post. Here you go again turning the design world on it’s ear ha ha ha.

  17. Land of Nod

    Wow this really does make a big difference, now that I see it. When I read the title I thought well, I guess, but after see those pretty vents I agree it really does elevate your homes appearance another level.

  18. Addison Wheeler

    This is a really good idea I have really got to do this in my home too. I hate those ugly floor vents. I thought about just spray painting them but not that I see the pretty options I think I might invest a couple $100 and really go all out.

  19. Teresa Best

    I like to get my inspiration from you since you have some of the BEST ideas I have seen. Ha ha ha, see I like a pun too! I really do like this idea a lot and even though it may be a invest on the corn t end, it is not something that you would ever really have to replace again, so it is pennies on the dollar after years in your home.

  20. Urban Farmgirl

    Yep you did it again, you completely blew me away when I saw this post. You come with things that never cross my mind. Such a great idea and those vents really do dress up your home nicely. Excellent post and inspirational idea girl!

  21. Debbie Does DIY

    Oh no I really like this idea a lot, I think I need to do this in my little house too! I am totally stealing this idea from you and I am calling it inspiration, lol. 🙂 Love ya!

  22. The Busy Bee

    I must say this is a nice way to upgrade a older home too. I know a lot of homes built during the 50’s and 60’s did not have the best options either nor did the ones going forward, some how homes lost there flair after the 20’s.

  23. Gwendolyn

    What a great idea! I would have never thought to do this, you are so smart.

  24. Terri Beavers

    I would have never thought to do this to upgrade the look of a home, but after reviewing this post I agree it certainly adds a undeniable elevation to your home that says pure quality.

  25. Terry Haide

    Great way to upgrade the look of something every home has, that is not particularly attractive. I can see where it elevates the over all design of your home. Nice work.

  26. Ashley Meaurs

    These vent covers really are very pretty and do make a impact on the design look in your home. I guess I have never really looked at mine before, but now I can not stop looking at them.

  27. the cheap jordan’s

    I would have never in million years thought to do this with my air vents, but it really does look nice. I am sure I would need a smaller grate since my kids drop everything down ours, but I see you provided options for that, thanks.

  28. Rudy Martha

    I just saw your site on Mix and this post caught my eye. Just wanted to say I think this is a really nice way to add some character to a home, a lot of these details are lost in new home construction these days. Keep up the good work, I really like your site, so I will be adding you to my reader.

  29. Khatri

    You have some really great home decor ideas. I am always learning something cool from you, thank you.

  30. The Delightful Farmhouse

    These are so pretty and I really do love how they give your home a antique farmhouse feel. It really does add a authenticity to sell that kind of look, so much better than those standard vented grates, and I am sorry but that color was hideous. What on earth?

  31. The Blue Arrow

    These are so cool and I really love the way they look. I may have to consider doing this in my home too.

  32. Helen

    Back in the day they used to put lovely grates like these in all the houses, now they cheap out and cut corners.

  33. Home at Mimi’s

    These are very lovely and your really did upgrade your home. I would love to see everyone make this kind of interest into their homes again. Really show their homes the love that they deserve.

  34. Taylor & Mamo

    Oooooo I really like this idea a lot. I can see how this make a difference in the value of home, because it really does adda lot of charm and class.

  35. Gloria Flacks

    Another great post about how to add designer elements and make your home stand out from the pack. People really need to listen to you, you know what you are talking about and giving them wonder advice that I would charge them a lot of money to have, LOL.

  36. Nicole Walker

    I imagine if you have a lot of these they could get expensive, but for 3-4 it is not to bad.

  37. Jewel Carter

    These are so charming and really do add character to a home. They remind me of my grandmothers house, she had those old iron Victorian grates on the baseboard heaters which as a kid I thought were creepy, now I think they are charming.

  38. Kit Tidewater

    I bet the iron versions would hold up better in the costal weather and salt air better too. These cheap metal ones always rust, I am so over it!

  39. Mikeala Cortez

    This is great idea for make a new homes feel a little bit more farmhouse. I love this idea so much thanks!

  40. MightyPam

    You really have some great design ideas and I really love your site so much. Thank you!

  41. Love this ideas so much that I will be doing this myself very soon!

  42. Libby Talks

    Very cool idea, get cool idea, it is you AC vents! Ha ha ha

  43. Amanda Perry

    What a cool idea, I never though about this, but your are right it make a difference, details always do.

  44. Beverly Womack

    Great way to dress up your home with a decorative item that is a one time investment and will last you a lifetime.

  45. The Wooly Farmhouse

    These are beautiful and they really do dress up your already beautiful home. I think it adds a very antique look to the hardware now, that goes it more of a farmhouse feeling than before.

  46. Katie Moore

    I would have never thought about doing this as a design upgrade to my home but I do like how it looks a whole lot.

  47. I like to get my inspiration from really meaningful blogger such as yourself. This idea is frickin’ amazing! I love it.

  48. This is a great idea, and you really don’t see it down every day, keep up all your great design work. You really are a rising star.

  49. Natasha Domingo

    Just checking out a few of your other posts, I really like your site! I need to add you to my reader to get regular updates.

  50. Jenn

    Love this idea especially in a older home or a farmhouse. Great inspiration for lovely decoration.

  51. These are a pretty option for upgrade vents in a home, I would totally consider doing this. Great idea.

  52. Jolyeen Penski

    My grandmother used to have old black grates like this in her house in Savannah and I loved them, my brother however dropped everything he could find in them, I am sure there is a fortune of antiques down there to be had now if anyone knew to look.

  53. Karen Baro

    I wish I had floor vents so I could do this but mine are all in the wall, so I think the white ones actually look less obtrusive. I do really like them a bunch.

  54. Ashley Meaurs

    Theses are so pretty and they really do upgrade the floors nicely. The other really did stand out a little too much.

  55. KC Monte

    Love this idea so much, I can not believe you do not see more people doing this, it is actually pretty affordable in the garden scheme of things.

  56. Fantastic post, I love that you a teaching people to not feel as they are stuck with what they builders provide them, by all means change it up, you go girl!

  57. Fantastic idea I wish I had floor vents 🙁

  58. I must say this is a interesting idea to dress a space, I like how the new vents looks they are fancy and add a element of richness to your home.

  59. Diva? Oh Yeah

    Jen, I love this idea I have to do this with our ugly vents too! What so you think silver or gold you know that I am a fancy domestic goddess?

  60. Well that is a new one for me, I am pretty sure I have never seen this done before. You certainly are a creative soul.

  61. Hey girl- I think you door hardware is silver nickel, since that is what the builders are installing right now, so personally I would go with the silver or chrome just to keep it all in the family. 🙂

  62. Southern Sassyfrass

    I am totally enamored with this idea, it speaks to every bone in my southern body. I love this so much I you know that I will be upgrading soon!

  63. Amy @ Her Faith

    I do believe that I have ever seen this type of renovation done before, I have to say it looks very nice and does improve the value of your home.

  64. Great idea I love the way the new AC vents look on the floors so much cleaner and very decorative.

  65. Corrine Black

    This is a interesting idea for a design upgrades to a home, not one you see all the time and way outside the norm. I like it.

  66. You really did come up with a ingenious way to add more character to your home, I really do like this idea a lot.

  67. Carol@BlueskyatHome

    This is a nice way to elevate feel of you home and absolute give it more of a custom built feel. I agree removing those cheap vents makes all the difference in the world.

  68. This project is so simple and yet it is really very impactful in the entire look of your home, nice job.

  69. What a great idea to add new hvac vents to your home and upgrade the design value. You always have great ideas that inspire me.

  70. 3+4 Chest of Drawers

    I am surprised that the vents are so inexpensive to replace. I would think something that pretty would cost a whole lot more. because it really does make a huge difference in the ambience of the room.

  71. Pracreation

    I like to get my inspiration from really meaningful posts like this one, you really inspired me a lot. Thanks!

  72. Kimmy Leonard

    Fantastic idea, I love the way the vent make your home look so fancy.

  73. The Marines Wife

    I remember my grandparents house had floor vents like these. They are so pretty, I am sure my kids would drop crayons down them, which would be very unfortunate.

  74. Rustic Charms

    This is a unexpected design idea but I really like how it looks. I am adding you to my blogLovin feed, I feel as if I need to see you post regularly. You have great advice that really holds up and I surprise you can still find topic to post on twice a week, you have so much content which is readers dream.

  75. This is such a great idea, you are so right about the difference it makes in your space. I truly elevates the overall design of your home.

  76. Ashley N. Rice

    What a neat idea, I love the way these old fashion vents and returns look in a home, it really adds some nice character to a new build.

  77. Yanitza

    This is a beautiful way to add some character to the newer homes. I love this idea so much it reminds me of the historic homes of Savannah or Charleston.

  78. The DIY girl

    Such a great way to upgrade those ugly vents in everyday homes.

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