Small Design Changes that Make a Big Impact
Changes that Make a Big Impact
Every once in a while, you feel ready for big changes in your home’s décor, but you don’t necessarily have the time or money for a complete redesign. Luckily, you have an enormous array of options to create a whole new look without spending a lot of money (or sometimes any!) or devoting a lot of time to the project.
When your goal is making the biggest impact with the smallest amount of effort, you need to start in the rooms that receive the most traffic. That means you begin with your living spaces, kitchen, and bathroom. Of course, if you’re looking to upgrade your bedroom, many of these pointers translate into any room. Have fun!
Small Design Changes for Your Kitchen and Bath
The kitchen is the proverbial heart of the home. It’s where guests invariably end up and where the kids talk about their day while Mom or Dad makes dinner. The bathroom, too, is a frequently-visited room (for obvious reasons). When it’s time to update your home’s aesthetic, these rooms make a great, easy, inexpensive starting point.
- Add a backsplash: You have loads of options here, from actual tile to peel-and-stick backsplashes available in a variety of designs.
- Install under cabinet lighting: Instantly brighten up your kitchen with under cabinet lighting.
- Cabinet doors: Painting your cabinets creates a radically different look with minimal time and effort. You can also remove the doors and hardware completely for a nice, open look.
- Door and drawer pulls: This is such a small change that it doesn’t feel like it’d make a difference, but you can completely change the look and feel of a room with new door and drawer pulls. Thrift stores, antique stores, garage sales – you can find interesting items to use as door pulls anywhere. You can even create your own for a truly unique look – just head to Pinterest or check out this how-to article from Bob Villa.
- Paint or paper inside cabinets: If you want a touch of bold color in the room, but don’t want to paint the entire cabinet in that shade, why not paint inside the cabinet? You can also use wallpaper. This obviously works best with glass doors or open cabinets.
- Change the faucets: Here’s another small change that packs a punch. You can go the traditional route by checking out the big box stores. If you’re looking to make a statement, though, don’t be afraid to hit a salvage yard or resale website. Just make sure the new-to-you faucet fits your sink.
- Paint or reupholster chairs and stools: The chairs around your kitchen table, or the stools at your breakfast bar, are easily updated with a coat of paint or new upholstery – or both. This is a fairly simple DIY project, too.
Small Design Changes for Your Living Areas
You can update a living space without replacing all of the furniture and flooring. A few strategic changes breathe life into boring old rooms.
- Throw pillows: This is probably the simplest way to add a pop of color in your living or family room. And, since they’re easily stored and relatively inexpensive, you can keep multiple sets of throw pillows and change them with the seasons or whenever the mood strikes. You can even use removable pillowslips and simply replace those whenever you feel ready for a change.
- Throw rugs: This is another simple way to make a big difference in the feel of a room. You don’t even have to buy multiple rugs when you’re ready for a change, just switch the rugs in different rooms (assuming décor allows).
- Lighting and lamps: Paint old lamps, redecorate lampshades, or head to a thrift store or garage sale for interesting pieces. You can also move lamps between rooms.
- Get creative with picture frames: You can frame pretty much anything to create an interesting wall – your kids’ artwork, programs, calendar pages, postcards, album covers, old movie posters, book covers – the only limit is your imagination.
- Rearrange the furniture: Another instant update – just move the furniture around. Create a conversation area, open up space or make it cozier, whatever works with your current mood. After all, you can always change it back again.
- Decorate bookcase backs: As with kitchen and bathroom cabinets, why not paint or wallpaper the backs of your bookcases? You add an interesting touch of color or a cool pattern without overwhelming the space.
Don’t Forget the Front of Your House
The first thing people see when coming to your home is the outside of it. Updating the entryway doesn’t have to mean new landscaping or repainting the entire home. Again, a few strategic changes go a long way.
- Hang a new door knocker: You can get really creative with door knockers – they don’t even have to be door knockers – to update your front door.
- Install new doorknobs: This is another place where thrift store finds help create a unique, interesting look.
- Paint the door: New paint creates a radically different look.
- New house numbers: Chances are, you’ve had the same house number since you moved in. This is another fast and easy change, and you can find numbers to match any aesthetic (or create your own).
Small Design Changes You Can Make Throughout Your Home
The following items make an impact in any room.
- Paint: You don’t have to paint the entire house, or even an entire room, to make a big impact. An accent wall, an architectural feature, window frames – any small area painted in a contrasting color makes a statement.
- Plants: Adding a bit of greenery to a room makes it feel more homey and cheerful, while also helping clean the air. That’s a win-win.
- Interior doors: Paint the interior doors, change the doorknobs, or both.
- Window coverings: Hang new curtains, blinds, or other window treatments.
- Change your pictures: Switch out artwork, photographs, and other wall hangings.
Zero-Cost Décor Updates
If your goal is an interior upgrade without spending a dime, you still have options (assuming you have a modicum of DIY talent).
Start with the easiest thing – grab a pretty bowl and fill it with fruit, flowers, seashells, rocks, or anything else that strikes your fancy and offers immediate access. You can also use old wine bottles or any used bottle as a vase or candle holder. Try your hand at decoupage, get creative with craft paints, or just leave the bottle as-is (clean it first, of course). You can also rearrange the items in your shelves and bookcases to make the entire room feel different. Group by color, size, texture, or whatever makes sense to you.
Finally, if you have fabric lying around – swatches, old clothes, towels, sheets, sweaters – use it to make your own throw pillows. Or, check out one of the many, many tutorials on making your own rugs with T-shirt strips. Or, use your old fabric to cover the back of a bookcase. Options are numerous and cost you nothing more than your time.
There you have it, a completely revamped home without spending a fortune or devoting a lot of time. Do one project at a time, or focus on a single room. This should tide you over until you’re ready for a complete redesign.[ssba]