As we spend more time at home, the itch for a fresh, new space becomes hard to avoid. But if this doesn’t seem like the right moment to hire a professional interior designer for a full decor reboot, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with looking at an unattractive space.
In fact, you can give your home a total makeover—without buying a darned thing.
“A fresh, new look can be achieved by just moving existing pieces to other rooms—whether it’s small furniture, artwork, photos, or art objects,” says Joal Derse, expert home organizer with Luxe Home Consulting.
Ready to get started on your completely free home refresh? Read on for next steps—and then order yourself a good dinner with all the money you’ll save!
Instead of adding anything new, sometimes the best remedy is to pare down what you already have. (If you’re anything like us, you’ve likely accumulated even more stuff during quarantine.) So before you attempt to decorate your home, you need to get rid of clutter first.
Don’t forget your closets and other storage areas. Chances are good you’ll find some hidden treasures to use for restyling your home. However, if it’s something that you haven’t touched in ages, it’s time to release your inner Marie Kondo and let it go. This may be all you need to do for your space to feel fresh and free up storage space.
Now that you got rid of your extra stuff, you may notice your carpet looks a little dingy and your shelves are dusty. Give your hard surfaces a good wipe down, and don’t forget the light fixtures.
If you have area rugs, take them outdoors and shake out the dust and dirt. Give the carpet a thorough vacuum. With a nice clean, palette, you can see the potential your space has to offer.
3. Touch up paint
Everyone has leftover paint from a previous paint project sitting in a closet or garage. Use it to touch up any scuffed areas or to repaint a room. If you do not have enough paint to do an entire room, use what you have to paint an accent wall in another room.
4. Rearrange furniture
“Rethink your house and the furniture placement,” suggests home industries expert Ellen Gefen of The Home. “If you have always felt that the room feels tight, take pieces out and move them.”
You can even repurpose the pieces in another room.
“A fresh, new look happens when furniture is moved,” Derse says.
Don’t be afraid to move things around, and see what it does to your space—you can always put ’em back if it doesn’t work out. Rearranging furniture is an easy, inexpensive way to experiment.
5. Hide the cords
Hiding unsightly cables and wires that may be sticking out of your TV or internet router is another great way to neaten up your space. Try hiding them behind your furniture or tucking them into a drawer.
6. Swap accessories
It’s time to go shopping—in your home! Remember those cute throw pillows you got on sale but never used? Use what you already have on hand, and don’t hesitate to move accessories to another room.
“Go through your home, and analyze pictures that are on your walls and objects on your table,” Derse says.
Rearrange items like the books and small objects in your bookcase, or switch up the art and photos on your walls.
“Look at laying books down, not lining them up in a row,” Gefen suggests. “Or put something between a row of books so the shelf has some space and air and doesn’t feel so full.”
This goes for rugs, too. Swap out rugs from one room to another to change the look.
7. Display everyday Items
If you lack accessories or are tired of the ones you have, think outside the box. Put jewelry on display in your bedroom or mugs on display in the kitchen. Remove dust jackets from your hardcover books to give them a new look. Create vignettes with photos of a collection of colorful barware.
Everyday items make fun and decorative accessories that you can swap out anytime.
8. Let the light in
Light opens up a space; if you tend to keep your blinds drawn, opening them up will give your home an immediate makeover.
If you already keep them open, look to your other lighting sources for ways to switch things up.
“Move your floor fixtures and lamps around to give the rooms a fresh feel,” Gefen suggests. Swap out table and floor lamps to add different levels of brightness in different areas.
And then: Wipe down your windows! Cleaning your windows and screens does wonders for letting in natural light. Don’t forget to clean the outside of the window, too.
9. Add some green
Plants give your space color and style.
“Bring in flowers from your garden,” suggests Gefen.
If you are a professed “brown thumb” and do not have a garden or houseplants, no worries. Take a walk in your yard and gather some seasonal greenery like ferns or ornamental grasses. Pop them in a vase for a temporary display. It’s an inexpensive and easy way to bring in a little green to your home.
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