Photo Credit: Instagram @william_mclure
Rearrange what you have. Sometimes merely rearranging the furniture can make a big difference with no cost at all! A sofa that used to flank a fireplace may now float in front of it. A pair of club chairs from an adjacent room may now take up residence opposite the sofa. Art and accessories can easily find new walls and surfaces for a fresh perspective. Once you rearrange the furniture, you can assess whether new pieces need to be purchased or existing pieces refurbished. In this photo, I like how the designer changed the face of an ottoman with a slipcover and a striped throw. The sofa didn’t have to be totally reupholstered, which can be quite expensive. Rather, they used an accent fabric to address the seat and back cushion, creating a fresh look. If reupholstering chairs or a sofa are not in your budget, throw pillows and perhaps an impactful textile–as new drapery panels or a single window valence–can give your space a lift.
Photo Credit: Instagram @aamir_khandwala
Find a balance of old and new furniture. While purchasing a timelessly constructed sofa that can stay with you for decades is a good foundational piece, not everything in the space has to be new. As a matter of fact, a room becomes stagnant if it looks like it was purchased instantaneously. Pieces should have stories, whether antiques in your family or a great flea market or estate sale find. So many times I’ve found a piece with good lines and painted it with a high gloss finish to enhance its silhouette, adding instant sophistication to a space. Perhaps a piece already has a great patina or aged finish, so simply changing the hardware makes a beautiful update.
Photo Credit: Instagram @neststudiohardware
A fresh coat of paint always makes a statement. Painting and wallpaper are one of the quickest and easiest ways to freshen up a space. Wallpapers have made great advancements with ease of application. Peel and stick options are also easy to remove leaving no damage to rental properties. However, if you lack the resources or time to take on all the walls, an accent or featured wall can make a dramatic impact. Perhaps your accent is a solid color or you decide to create your own art like the image of the dining space to the left.
If wallpaper on all four walls breaks your budget, consider placing paper on your ceiling only as a fifth wall, like this photo of the hallway below. Remember, technology has made great advancements with color matching. That expensive boutique paint color may now be matched in a less expensive paint by the gallon.
Photo Credit: Instagram @porterteleo
Never underestimate the power of lighting. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but a new light fixture or lamps can make all the difference. Light is critical for enlivening a space. If new lamps aren't in your budget, merely updating the lampshade can change the look of a dated fixture.
A small space can also instantly appear enlarged and brightened with mirrors. I love this entry below where aged mirrors have been affixed to the wall flanking the front door, adding instant character and interest. The glass front doors allow natural light to pour in to what I imagine was a fairly dark space previously.
Photo Credit: Instagram @thedesignatelier
Update bedding for a simple yet transformative change. For many, the bedroom is the most neglected space in the home because it doesn’t have the priority of a living space or kitchen. If the budget is slim, consider addressing the bedding. A monochromatic look is always sophisticated and sets a restful tone. I love how this designer chose a pale blue headboard and coordinating bedding, yet energized the space with a yellow accent wall. Bringing in plants and flowers immediately lifts spirits and brings in additional color.
Photo Credit: Instagram @johnrobshaw
Consider using nature for art in the home. Art is a dramatic way to set the mood of your room. Whether a large dramatic piece, or a collage of several pieces, art adds personality to any space. Art does not have to be expensive, as some of the most impactful pieces I’ve seen were either prints that had been framed and hung in a beautiful grouping or elements from nature. I can remember staying with a friend who hung an arthritic piece of driftwood at the end of a bedroom hall where it was dramatically lit with a spotlight. Here is a collection of sea urchins mounted on a piece of shagreen that I can imagine mounted in a shadow box and hung on a wall.
I hope the above ideas have inspired you to think of creative ways to freshen up your spaces, while budgeting appropriately.
Photo Credit: Instagram @indiahicksstyle