No matter how much we love the spaces where we live, they occasionally need a little bit of sprucing up. It’s totally normal to get sick of your décor and furnishings or want to replace them when they’ve gone out of style or become worn out. Most of us don’t have the resources (or the desire) to spend thousands on major upgrades every time we get bored with our homes. But, in our opinion, there’s no need to! With a few small designer-approved tips, you can easily and affordably refresh your living spaces so they feel brand-new without breaking the bank (or your back).
- Reevaluate Your Scent Strategy — A quick, easy and affordable way to give your home an instant refresh — and to help you settle into a state of inner peace — is to do a few simple things that make your home smell like a spa, primarily in the bathroom and bedroom. With a great-smelling reed diffuser or some amazing scented candles, you can make your space feel fresh and new with very little effort. If freshness is your strategy, stick to bright, uplifting and clean notes, such as lemon, orange, cotton, pine and eucalyptus. Knowing how to make your house smell good is a skill that will never go to waste!
- Toss Around Some Throw Pillows — Throw pillows are the living room’s unsung hero. They transform basic, neutral spaces into spaces that are comfy, cozy and customized to whatever vibe you’re aiming for at the moment. Tip: Invest in some high-quality throw pillow inserts (go for the luxe down or down alternative) and then swap out your covers as you please. Change things up for the season, holiday or just because you’re getting bored. Easy peasy.
- Refinish Dull Furniture — Nothing drags a space down quite like old, damaged furniture that has lost its luster. If you have high-quality solid wood pieces, don’t pitch them! Most pieces can be sanded down and refinished with a few basic household supplies. You can also use peel-and-stick adhesive stickers or decoupage to create a totally original effect.
- Cover Up Drab Flooring — A genuine floor overhaul is a massive project, whether you’re refinishing old hardwood or putting in carpet. But there are some stress-free and budget-friendly ways to dress up the drab in the meantime. The easiest way is to cover hard-surface floors with area rugs and runners. If you’re looking to make a big impact, think about installing click-together flooring in the whole room. Even easier, try concealing rough spots with vinyl stickers that won’t damage your floors.
- Repaint the Walls and Molding — Painting is the oldest trick in the book among real estate agents, flippers and remodelers, and for good reason. A fresh coat of paint not only conceals rough spots and stains, but also brings a renewed feel to the room. Consider switching to a light hue, such as a white or creamy white, to crank up that fresh feeling. We often overlook the crown molding and floor boards when painting, but make sure to refresh those, too. Sidenote: Painting your walls and trim the same color is uber-trendy at the moment.
- Invest in a Piece of Statement Art — Few things have as much revitalization power as a good piece of wall art. Go for a single large piece — ideally something in a bright color or eye-catching pattern — and keep the rest of your space looking fairly neutral. This is an easy way to keep the bones of your living space simple and adaptable so you don’t get too locked into a certain décor scheme. The next time you feel like doing a refresh, simply swap out the wall art for something different. You may also consider creating a gallery wall with your favorite family photos or creating an accent wall with wallpaper.
- Swap Out Your Hardware and Switch Plates — It’s all about the minute little details! Dull and drab kitchen cabinet hardware, furniture hardware, doorknobs and light switch covers can seriously compromise your home’s energy and make it feel old and outdated. But these are fairly easy and affordable components, so you can swap them out for something a bit more exciting for a low price. If you live in an old home or just love that antique vibe, scout new hardware at your local architectural salvage or antique store.
- Paint the Front Door — Did you know that, according to Zillow, painting your home’s front door is the exterior home improvement that brings the highest return on investment (ROI)? Yup, the real estate authority says that a fresh coat of paint on your door can earn you an unbelievable3 percent return! If the interior of your front door is visible in your living room, it can change the feel and color scheme of the entire space for the better.
- Bring in Some Houseplants — Nothing makes a space feel bright and welcoming quite like a few shelves or sills of greenery. But plants can be messy and high-maintenance, and if you’re looking for that crisp, fresh vibe, this isn’t the best idea. However, if you follow a low-maintenance plant strategy, you’ll enjoy vibrant, bright greenery all year round.
- Let in the Natural Light — On the same token, make sure you’re making good use of your space’s natural light to get rid of that dull, dark vibe that could be harshing your mellow and overshadowing your carefully chosen décor. Position your furniture and accents so that they’re in the direct path of sunlight for much of the day. This will help you feel like you’re living in a sun-drenched oasis even if it’s gray and snowy out.
As you can see, it doesn’t have to be complicated nor costly to give your home a full-fledged refresh. A couple of trips to the hardware store or antique store and a few tweaks here and there can make even old, tired living spaces feel fresh and new again. So the next time you feel compelled to do a whole-home overhaul, reference this list for some amazing refresh ideas to tide you over.