Today’s families want a comfortable living space that is aesthetically pleasing, yet functional. I often meet with clients in their homes and they have an idea of what they want, but don’t know where to start. Before you embark on a costly overhaul, you may be surprised by what a few small changes can do to upgrade your home. Here are five budget-friendly ways to help refresh your space.
Minimize and Organize
The first step in remaking your space – and arguably the most important – is ensuring that you’re not overrun by “stuff.” The most comfortable homes are well-curated and not cluttered.
Many families naturally acquire extra items over time, which is why we need to regularly edit and re-home our excess items. If you’re having a hard time letting go, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo can help liberate you. You might consider donating used home items to Goodwill, Diversity Thrift, or the CARITAS Furniture Bank.
Once you have minimized, you can focus on organizing. Here’s one of my favorite adages: A place for everything and everything in its place. If every item in your home has a designated spot, staying organized becomes less of a challenge.
Another easy way to make your space feel new is to simply rearrange the furniture in your rooms. I know this may sound too easy, but clients are often amazed what revisiting the layout can do to revitalize a space. Is the couch pushed up against the wall? Try moving it to the opposite side of the room and putting a sofa table behind it. Do you have furniture partially blocking windows? Rearrange to ensure you’re letting all the light in. Are your seating options too far apart? Pull furniture closer together to create more connected groupings.
Revisit Your Color Palette
This year’s color trends continue to be dominated by gray tones. But a home dominated by only gray is rather blah. The easiest way to decorate is to start with a neutral palette on your floors and walls and infuse your space with bold accent colors in the form of pillows, art, and accessories.
If you have any small upholstery pieces, consider giving them new life with a fresh fabric and the help of a local upholsterer. (Here’s an inside tip: Crypton is a great stain-resistant fabric that works well for homes with small children and pets.)
Update the Lighting
Often overlooked is one of the key elements of a well-decorated home – lighting. Technology has come a long way, and LED and halogen lights are now readily available. They use less energy, don’t emit heat, and last years longer than their counterparts. I would argue that fluorescent, incandescent, and CFLs (compact fluorescent light) have no place in the modern home. To quickly energize a space, try switching out your bulbs or adding a floor lamp or table lamp.
Bring the Outside In
My favorite addition to every project is the greenery. As the lines between indoor and outdoor living continue to blur, everyone should aim to incorporate greenery into a home’s interior decor. They imbue a vibrant and organic energy into a space. Whether or not you have a green thumb, there’s a plant for you. Succulents and fiddle leaf figs are popular selections, and I find that their foliage accents all color palettes. For those averse to living plants, it’s okay to invest in the best artificial ones you can find.
There’s a time and place for big home renovations and major decorating projects, but it’s easy to make small and inexpensive changes to upgrade your home. And summer’s a great time to get started!