As the days start getting longer and winter fades into spring, the optimism of the new season is hard to ignore. And while spring cleaning tends to get the most attention, it's also a great time to revamp our home décor.
You don’t need to go out and buy all new furniture or do a massive renovation in order to give your home a new and improved look and feel, though. Small tweaks can make just as big of an impact. To prove our point, we're sharing 13 tips from the nation's top interior design experts on how to freshen up your home without breaking the bank.
Invest in a New Plant
It’s scientifically proven that indoor plants can make a real impact on your home. Not only can they remove toxins from the air, studies have found they can boost productivity, and help you relax as well. Did we mention they also add a living dimension to your home that other types of furniture and décor aren’t able to? “Nothing says fresh like real plants,” Los Angeles interior designer Mark Cutler reveals. He suggests trying a palm tree to add drama to a corner in your home. If you are looking for something smaller, find something else that reflects your style, like a small cutting growing out of a vintage bottle or a collection of easy-to-care-for succulents.
Declutter Your Shelves
An easy way to give your living space a mini makeover without spending a dime is to declutter and redecorate your shelves. “Decluttering your shelves and other surface areas is a great way to have a fresh new start,” says interior designer Brooke Spreckman. She suggests starting by removing everything from your shelves then taking things you haven't touched in a while or are sick of seeing out of the mix. “Begin with minimal 'decorative' items that will make you happy,” she says.
Try Bare Floors for a Bit
“A lot of times freshening up your home has more to do with what you take out than what you add,” Cutler points out. With spring on the horizon, he maintains there is no better time to remove your area rugs and have them deep cleaned. “The bare floor look will make your home feel cooler, larger, and give all your existing pieces a whole new look.”
A lot of times freshening up your home has more to do with what you take out than what you add.
Invest in Some New Textiles
You don’t have to go big to transform the look of your space. Cutler suggests giving your home a fresh new look by switching out smaller textiles. “What I like to do is trade out the smaller things in my décor,” he explains. “New throw pillows or lighter, linen blankets are a great way to add a fresh twist.”
Organize Your Entryway
If you feel like your entryway is constantly cluttered with keys, coats, shoes, and other accessories, you should consider investing in some sort of an organization system. “The entryway is always a major pain point for my clients," reveals Sara Losonci, founder of ShelfieNYC, a professional home and office organizing business. She suggests a space-saving wall-mounted storage solution for collecting mail, keys, sunglasses, and whatever else you drop immediately upon entering your home.
Update Your Cookware
How long has it been since you invested in a new set of cookware? If your pots and pans are feeling a bit overused, or if you still haven’t replaced your toxic Teflon, then you have the perfect excuse to buy yourself some new ones. Opt for a chemical-free set that is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. After all, shouldn’t your pots and pans coordinate with the rest of the kitchen, considering they spend a lot of time visible to the naked eye? Launched at the end of 2019, direct-to-consumer houseware brand Caraway Home, offers gorgeous ceramic non-stick, high-design cookware sold in an all-you-need set with a built-in storage system.
Add a New Coat of Paint
Is your living space feeling stale? Nothing recharges a room like a fresh coat of paint. “Paint is one of my favorite ways to refresh any room in your home as it’s easy, affordable, and totally transformative,” explains Lowe’s Trend Strategy Manager, Caroline Harmon. “Whether you want your space to feel more spacious, a bit brighter, or even more soothing, a new paint color can do the trick.” According to Harmon, kitchens in particular are undergoing a colorful revolution, so consider painting your cabinets to make a bold statement. “If you’re someone who gravitates toward more neutral aesthetics, look for Mother Nature-inspired tones like rich ochres and dusty blue-greens,” she suggests.
...Or Some Ceiling Treatments
Things are looking up in the new decade, especially when it comes to home design. “We’re turning our design attention to the fifth wall, aka ceilings.” explains Modsy VP of Style Alessandra Wood. “Keep an eye out (or up) for painted, wallpapered, and even fabric tented ceiling designs.”
Create a Spot Centered On Mindfulness
Since wellness is on the agenda for 2020, Wood suggests giving yourself a fresh space to clear your head. “Carve out a spot where you can practice yoga or meditate,” she says, adding that this is possible even in the smallest spaces. “Move a few pieces of furniture if you have to, but identify a place where you can easily unroll your yoga mat. You might hit the wall or another piece of furniture once or twice during your practice, but at least you have that dedicated space.”
Rehang Your Art
Cutler points out that you don’t have to invest in new artwork to refresh your walls. “Your room can get a whole new fresh look by rehanging your art,” he says. You can try grouping it together, salon style, so that the rest of your walls are open and able to breathe. “If you already have them in a collection like that, try spreading them around the room in interesting groupings—for instance a contemporary piece hung with a super traditional one.”
Swap Out Your Lampshades
Instead of buying all new lamps, Cutler suggests freshening up your lamps by dressing them in new shades. “Change up the size, maybe to a really tall one, or switch from opaque to translucent, even play around with the type of bulbs you use, they can make a huge difference,” he suggests.
Lighten Up Window Treatments
If you have dark drapes or shades, swap them out with simple white linen, Holly Waterfield, Lead Designer of Interiors at The Brooklyn Home Company suggests. “It will help lighten up your space and even make your days feel longer.”
Deng L, Deng Q. The Basic Roles of Indoor Plants in Human Health and Comfort. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Dec;25(36):36087-36101.