I grew up with a mother who rearranged the furniture every quarter. We had two main living rooms, but she also maintained a storage unit with items she would cycle in and out of the house, depending on the season.
She painted regularly, and sewed new slipcovers for chairs and sofas, to keep everything fresh. Nothing was sacred, which kept our blind cat on his toes.
Thus, I’m accustomed to regular change, as far as decor goes. From her, and others, I’ve picked up a handful of strategies to keep rooms in a home dynamic and fresh…
- Paint – go with soft, natural, pleasant tones. Pale gold and shale gray are popular. All white gets boring and shows marking. Primary colors can turn a house in a circus tent. Accent walls work too, if you’re not confident in a color and want to test it first.
- Install dimmers – this should be #1. I love dimmers…they make everything look romantic and sexy. Try them, you will never go back to full brightness.
- Rearrange the furniture – sticking with the same setup gets stale after a while. Try moving your biggest piece, and angling things so there is a flow for movement and looking out windows or at a TV. Don’t be afraid to segment off a large room into a living room with a sofa facing away from a dining area.
- Add some green – I love potted plants. They add texture, nature, and color. Since most furniture isn’t green, they play off of most browns, blacks, and other neutrals. Fake ones aren’t a terrible idea, just make sure they’re not painfully obvious. I put some fake plants in my office, and they work just the same. Fresh flowers are also a great booster!
- Buy real art – go to an art show, or look online for prints you like. Find a frame from an architectural salvage store, or IKEA, and throw that sucker up. Don’t be afraid to create interesting groupings. And, don’t forget about sculptures, or decorative objects.
- Get new throw pillows – to spice up a couch or chair, think about finding new or interesting pillows to add. And if you’re adept with a sewing machine, make your own!
- Think about cautious cohesion – I cringe when I see entire room sets clearly from the same store. Mix it up, but think about having a couple of matching items or colors. For example: matching lamps, or a coffee table that matches your end table.
- Put rugs in funny places – In areas you spend a lot of time, think about putting down a soft rug. In the bathroom, in the kitchen. Why not? They create warmth, and sensory richness.
I may get to try some of these tips myself on a place I’m moving into with my brother. My first real project space, for experimentation!
What do you think? Do you have any strategies you use to keep your home visually appealing and cozy?