Spruce up your home with these simple changes, most of which can be accomplished with minimal time, effort and money. For those “deer-in-the-headlight-decorators,” don’t worry, the level of long-term commitment is also very low. The key: consider your décor a work in progress - visualize, experiment, keep what you like, and change what you don’t.
The first step to relaxing in an aesthetically (and emotionally) appealing room is organization and order. Those who have grown accustomed to clutter will be gratified by its absence, and will then find it easier to maintain the tidy new look.
- Use trays and/or baskets to reorganize. Whether it’s magazines you haven’t had a chance to read, or table ornaments you like to display, either tuck them away for a tidier look, or reorganize for a fresh look.
- Consider buying a new multipurpose piece furniture, like an ottoman or a bench, that doubles as storage
- Change the look of a room simply by moving your furniture around
Light sources make a huge difference in any room. We all require precision, bright lighting in the kitchen, but dimming or changing that light in the evening can alter the atmosphere of your entire main floor from functional to cozy, or even dramatic.
- Consider installing dimmer switches in all rooms to control the amount of light.
- Add floor or table lamps to living and dining rooms, and use these in the evening rather than a ceiling light.
- Use flame-less candles on timers.
- During the day, let in as much natural light as possible.
- Strategically hang mirrors, which not only open up spaces and help distribute light, they can be used to reflect an area that you want to see more, like the outdoors.
TEXTILES and COLOUR
Adding or changing colour and texture can have a huge and satisfying impact in any room.
- Add throw mats or runners at the door, in front of sink areas, and anywhere else you think would warm up the appearance of the room.
- Add or change your throw pillows.
- Go to a fabric store and choose a fabric you love (that wouldn’t typically be found on a pillow), and make your own, or cover existing pillows.
- Create and add flower arrangements.
Once a blank canvas, your walls can be considered the actual foundation of much of the decorating throughout your home.
- Dramatically alter the room by painting, papering (even just one wall) stencilling or applying decals.
- Change or update family photos.
- Rearrange or add wall hangings and pictures. Try something new, like clusters of favourite family photos, landscape shots, a memorable photo from a vacation, or a great piece of artwork produced by your kids.
- “House and hang” significant items, like awards or ribbons in a shadow box.
TABLES AND COUNTERS
Add some life with new plants, which enhance any room. Not only are plants and flowers visually pleasing, they also help clean your air.
- Add candles and interesting holders.
- Create a personalized table arrangement, based on the season or holiday.
- Completely clear your counters, and find hidden homes for toasters, coffee makers, etc. Or only leave the items that you use every single day.
- Hang your favourite set of mugs above the counters as “décor” rather than hiding them in a cupboard.
- Refinished your tables and desks, by painting them a fun new colour.
By Paula McKee