Simple changes in home decor can make a big difference in the way a room feels. It can lift the mood, energize the body, and improve the overall feeling of well-being. Clearing a space can also help to focus the mind. And starting with small changes may lead to motivation to tackle bigger projects.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Curb Appeal: This is the first impression of your home. Make sure the front entrance is neat and clean. In any season, keep up with regular yard maintenance. Landscape lighting can add beauty and drama, especially when you’re entertaining guests. Flower boxes and planters near entryways or on windowsills create softness and color. It’s also fun to dress up these areas with seasonal foliage to celebrate each holiday.
Interior Lighting: The brighter your home, the better. Use bulbs that emit soft light instead of CFLs, which can take five minutes to warm up and can give off a harsh, white light. Soft light bulbs illuminate immediately and have a warm impact on the eyes. Lighting is sensory driven—it affects the mood.
Adding new light fixtures can change the look of a room, and is an economical way to update your home. As winter approaches and the days grow shorter, new light bulbs in ceiling lights and floor lamps help to brighten rooms, too.
Natural Scents: Plants can neutralize the air in your home. Fresh-cut flowers can delight and enliven the senses. The innate connection that we have to nature has proven that plants often have a relaxing effect on us and can help to improve our health and well-being. And infusing fragrance into a room using flowers, diffusers, or candles can change the overall feeling of a space.
Walls and Floors: If your artwork has been hanging in the same place for so long that you no longer see it, move pieces around. This can provide an entirely different feel to a room. On neutral-colored walls, an easy way to add a design touch is to add a pop of color and certain styles of framed artwork.
Here’s another idea: use carpet tiles instead of a floor rug. Mix and match the colored tiles to create playful patterns. Change the patterns occasionally for a different look.
Shelf and Table Displays: If you have an overstuffed bookshelf, take time to go through and thin it out. Give the books you no longer use a second life by donating them. Display meaningful objects in cleared spaces to make the shelf more interesting—an eclectic style statement can turn into a fun conversation with guests. Toss old magazines to freshen up a coffee table. And when arranging objects on a table or mantelpiece, place three objects of subtly different sizes in a small cluster for a carefully curated design look.
Accessories: An easy way to create a new feel in a room is by switching out the pillows or throws you currently have on your furniture. Colorful pillows will brighten living rooms and bedrooms. With a dark sofa, you can bring in light-colored accent pillows for dramatic effect.
Look at your kitchen with fresh eyes, too: move small, countertop appliances and counter displays to new areas. Store items you don’t use often. Simply changing out kitchen and bath towels can make you feel good. Add seasonal accents around your home to make it more festive.
Clean and Declutter: Decluttering spaces can declutter your mind and create new energy. Clean out closets by donating old clothes and shoes. Remove items from rooms that are collecting dust. Clear desktop spaces and clean out junk drawers. Check under your kitchen and bathroom sinks and toss toxic cleaning chemicals, old beauty products, and items you no longer use. Organize your medicine cabinet and throw out expired vitamins, supplements, and pills. Look for expired products in your refrigerator and cupboards, too. Go through your garage and basement to get rid of old paint, caulk, plaster, remodeling supplies, or other products that are dried out or broken.
Fresh Paint: Paint has an emotional impact that can evoke feelings of comfort. Rooms with light and neutral colors can appear larger. Metallic accent colors and mirrors will help brighten a room. An accent wall adorned with dark paint or elegantly patterned wallpaper is a great way to bring in color without overwhelming the room.
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