Whether you’re putting your home on the market or just want to hit the reset button on your interior without breaking the bank, no need to take out a home equity line. There are several ways you can freshen things up without spending too much money, says Lindsey Jamison, Partner and Lead Designer at Rumor Designs. “I’ve moved a lot in my adult life, so even as an interior designer who is used to large-budget projects, I have discovered ways to make improvements without spending too much.”
The first thing to do, Jamison says, especially when listing your home for sale, is to declutter. “It feels good to get rid of things you don’t need anymore, and gives you a fresh start, and it’s free. I’m a big fan of working with what you already have—it can make a difference.”
Here are five other ways to give your home’s interior a freshen-up.
Find a new arrangement.
“The first thing you can do without spending anything is to rearrange the furniture,” Jamison says. “Chances are you’ve had it set up a certain way for so long that just moving things around a little bit will make a big difference.” She suggests moving couches to the other side of the room and changing the chair layout while still maintaining a nice flow. “Try changing the layout of your rugs—put it at an angle instead of having it symmetrical with your sofa.” Or spend some money on new rugs and throw pillows and get a big return on investment for a fresh pop of color.
The minor things are major.
Interior designers are trained to see the smaller details most people wouldn’t even think of, but collectively, those details make a difference. “There are so many minor things you might not even notice, like outlet covers that might be cracked or broken,” Jamison says. Replacing old dingy covers with new, bright white covers will provide the overall space with a fresh feel. Other small things that can make a big difference are changing out cabinet hardware in the kitchen, bathroom, or even on an old antique piece. “Dated hardware can be heavy and clunky. You can freshen up your cabinetry with brushed nickel or brushed brass, which is coming back right now.”
It does require an investment, but wallpaper is incredibly versatile and effective when it comes to updating a space. “It’s a big design element that we’ve been using a lot. It adds a layer of sophistication and texture to any room,” Jamison says. She suggests using it for an accent wall in the bedroom behind a headboard, on the backs of shelves, or in the bathroom. Wallpaper with a natural weave like grasscloth provides texture and comes in many colors; vinyl is best for bathrooms because it’s easy to wipe down and can handle moisture. “Wallpaper comes in many price points, but if you are on a budget, you can achieve the same effect with paint,” Jamison says.
The first impression is everything.
“The entryway is your first impression, so you want something nice to see right away,” Jamison says. Start with the front door. “Bold colors like red and orange are popular right now, but even a fresh coat of paint can do a lot.” The entryway is the first thing you see when you come through the front door, so it’s important to consider. “You want a welcoming landing space, maybe with a console and table lamp with a pretty mirror if your space allows it.” Organizing the space is equally as important and can be achieved easily and on a low budget with hooks, cubbies, or benches that have storage. “Not everyone has a custom mudroom, and people who live in the mountains tend to have a lot of jackets and gear,” Jamison says. “Whether it’s custom or something you purchase online, smart storage is the key.”
It’s all about accessorizing.
Bookshelves are a great place to start when it comes to refreshing your space with a new look and some accessories. Jamison suggests restyling bookshelves by decluttering, “taking what you have and rearranging it or flip your books around and put a stack of books with the paper facing out.” Accessories are another inexpensive way to spruce up a space. “Swap out picture frames and add nice matting, or create a gallery wall, which are really popular right now. Don’t be afraid to mix in artwork; kid’s artwork can create a fun, playful feel.” //rumordesigns.com