Last week, I wrote about how a new year gives us an opportunity to evaluate our homes, see the good, and start working on fresh start for areas that need work. We chatted about how easy it is to get overwhelmed and some strategies to avoid that feeling, but I thought I'd make things even more practical this week with some tips on some small changes to make that can have a big impact. There are five categories: lighting, textiles, paint, plants and art. By starting with these quick changes, you'll start to feel empowered to take on larger tasks and projects!
Changing up lamps and light fixtures in a room is such an easy way to update the look and feel of a room. With the right mix of ambient, task and accent lighting (I talked about what those are in detail over on this post), you're able to control how bright the space is, which can impact everything from your mood to how well you can perform certain tasks. Also, table lamps and overhead fixtures can be beautiful features and focal points in a space - use them to your advantage when you're decorating!
"Textile" is just a fancy word for anything made out of a woven material. Things like rugs, pillows, blankets and curtains all fall under this category. Swapping one or more of these in a room can change it dramatically! Some are easier and cheaper to change than others, obviously, but a great one to start with is pillows since you can buy them inexpensively and work them into the style you already have going.
Here's a designer tip for you when it comes to purchasing pillows: use down feather (or down-alternative) inserts and look for pillow covers with zippers so you can remove them for washing or easy storage. Down inserts fluff back up really nicely, and can be used for years and years with different pillow covers. The alternative to down is polyester, which starts out nice and perky, but over time, it will flatten and the pillow will start to feel lumpy (no one wants that!). If you're in a store and aren't sure what's inside that pillow you've just fallen in love with, either look at the label, or see if it fluffs back up nicely after you flatten it. If you start punching pillows in public though, make sure you're alone in the aisle or else you might get some pretty interesting looks! :)
Ah, the power of paint. It's a guaranteed way to make a room or piece of furniture feel fresh and new. When we bought our house, it was a smorgasbord of unfortunate colors, including poop brown, a very sad yellow, burgundy and two shades of purple. (Both of those shades of purple were in our tiny bathroom - yikes! I'll have to share that before and after here sometime.) We gave the whole thing a once over with Benjamin Moore's Winter White on the walls and Behr's Ultra Pure White on the trim and it made all the difference. Painting a piece of furniture can also give it new life. If it has great lines, but has seen better days, try painting it before replacing it.
I wrote a whole post about plants last year - that's how awesome I think they are! I've got some great recommendations in there for easy indoor plants, so be sure to check that out before you head to your local nursery. Plants breathe so much life into a room, no matter how small. Pop a little succulent on a bookshelf or add a fern to your desk - I promise it'll make you happy!
Lastly, hang stuff on your walls, friends! Create focal points and conversation starters by adding art to your walls. It can be in the form of an eclectic gallery wall, a painting, a piece of typography...whatever speaks to you. It's a great way to inject some personality into your home.
When some people hear art, they think expensive. It doesn't have to be that way though - places like Etsy* and flea markets are great sources of unique art. You can also have photos printed affordably in large sizes and frame them.
You don't have to empty a room and start over in order for it to feel fresh and new. Start small, shop your house first to see if there are things you can use from other places, and use your money wisely to purchase a few items you love. If you need one-on-one help, you can always give me a shout!
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