While sometimes you have the time and budget to do an entire overhaul of your home, what do you do when you’d like a quick change? We asked three members of our Trade program for interior designers to each share three tips of some of their favorite ways to change things up when you’re tired of staring at the same old things.
Sometimes a fresh look at furniture positioning and accessories can really change up a space. Try a new furniture layout. Worst case scenario you move it back the way you had it before. Clear out all of your items from shelves, table tops, etc., and then go back and restyle things.
Try to not put things back in the same spot they were in before (a lot of times it is just force of habit). Another great way to achieve a new look with your old accessories is to invite a friend over for a fresh perspective. You can return the favor and you’d be amazed at how a fresh perspective on the same old things can totally transform a room.
I frequently restyle clients’ shelves with items they already own and it is hardly recognizable as the same space even though we didn’t add anything new.
You don’t have to have a huge budget to make your dollar stretch and to make a big impact. Not only can a gallon or two of paint and an afternoon’s work give your space a whole new feel with a different color, sometimes walls just needs a refresh from scuffs and dings. Fresh paint can do wonders to refresh a room.
A couple of yards of fabric (or a quick trip to the store for some retail therapy) can get you some new pillows. Just a couple of yards of fabric can also be made into a new Roman shade for a window needing some personality. A yard of two of fabric or wallpaper can also update plain lampshades into something really special! And a roll or two of wallpaper or grasscloth behind shelves can warm up a space and help highlight your treasures.
First, if you’ve got it, hang it! Having art on the walls warms up spaces and helps them to feel complete. I go into so many client’s homes and they have all this great art but they haven’t hung it because they are unsure of where to put it and are afraid of putting holes in the wall. It is just a hole and if you end up needing to move it, some putty and paint can cover it up (or so can another piece of art!).
Second, art is so personal and subjective and really can help tell the story of your life. It’s things like art that really make a house a home and adds that personal touch.
Lastly, art adds color, texture and evokes memories or happy thoughts. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune although you’ll never regret investing in art. On a budget? Consider purchasing a print of art that you love and scaling it up to the size you need.
It’s an easy way to add visual interest where there is none. Subtle paper can make a room feel warm and cozy. Using Danika Herrick’s Large Heatwave Cream on Quiet Blue adds subtle texture to this kids sleeping room. While something bolder can energize an otherwise boring space as seen in the hallway photo above using Danika Herrick’s Large Putty on White Charlie Stripe wallpaper.
If you want to make a change but aren’t ready to commit to wallpapering a large space, think a little smaller. You can still create a big impact! Consider papering the back of some built-ins or one of my favorite tricks—the ceiling.
Changing pillows, bedding or window treatments is one of the easiest ways to refresh your space. Whether you make them yourself, have a workroom sew them or order them made directly from Spoonflower, changing your soft goods can instantly transform your space from drab to fab.
The fastest, easiest, most cost-effective way to refresh any room is to paint it! One trend right now in more cozy spaces is to paint the crown moulding and ceiling the same color as the walls and built-ins. Living areas, home offices and dining rooms are tending toward a little more color and these are places where calming tones can really bring out that comforting feeling of home.
Whether you add wainscoting first or create a custom accent wall, paint is always the best way to begin a room refresh. Make sure to take into account the natural light coming into a room before you choose your color scheme and sheen of paint to ensure the best possible results!
Wallpaper is another fantastic way to add personality and charm to any room. Be it the ceiling of a dining room, the upper walls of a full bedroom above a cute painted beadboard and chair rail or a splash of pattern and color as an accent wall in a bathroom or office, wallpaper is one of the first design options that I consider as I go in to refresh a space.
It’s very easy to float out a textured wall with drywall mud and create a place for wallpaper, so don’t let textured walls be a deterrent to this most beautiful of design options!
My favorite places to add wallpaper are bedrooms and bathrooms, where individual tastes can really be highlighted and celebrated. If you want a truly unique feel in your room refresh, take a look at wallpaper as a possibility!
New pillows, draperies, potted plants, accent rugs, artwork and new lamps/lighting go a long way to refreshing a space, especially if you’re on a budget! Here’s a place where you can add texture, color, pattern and functionality to create a whole new environment without replacing all your furniture… and the best thing is, these can all be added over time.
If it seems overwhelming, I suggest starting a Pinterest board where you can pin looks you like, then create subfolders to use as mood boards to see how the rug you’re interested in looks with the pillows and lamps you’re thinking of purchasing.
Layering throw blankets, setting out poufs for seating, finding a coffee table that fits your space and setting out some of your favorite books and vases—these are all simple refreshes that can be done all at once, or over time as items are collected.
Good lighting is such a huge important part of a refresh—so be sure all your hard work will be shown off by plenty of light! With natural light in mind, try and place plenty of textured accents where the natural light coming into the space will play off the shadows and cause the beautiful movement every eye loves to see when they enter a room!
Betsy is a writer and stitcher who joined the Brand Marketing team in July 2021. In her spare time, she talks to people about their choice to make things by hand and related lessons learned for her project Dear Textiles. She also aims to befriend all the dogs she meets and is forever looking for the perfect dress pattern with pockets.