New Year, Fresh Look - 5 Quick, Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Freshen Up Your Home

Has the New Year motivated you to do a little freshening up at home?

In January, when the holiday chaos is put on  hold for another year, and it is to early to get out into the garden, I always find myself feeling inspired to make some changes around my home. Adding some bright color and pattern to your rooms can help to alleviate winter’s gloom, and can be done without spending a tremendous amount of time and money.  With with that in mind, I thought I would share  a few quick, easy, and low  budget ways to freshen up your home for 2012.  

 

Start with your throw pillows, they can give any room a punch of color in seconds. If your sofa and chairs are upholstered in a print, look for solid pillows that highlight the less dominant colors in your upholstery fabric.  If your furnishings are upholstered in solids, then patterned pillows are your answer. You can go with some of the latest trends, like trellis patterns, or suzani prints, and when those trends fade — as they all do — you will be happy that you didn’t spend lots of money to get the look!

 

 

A new duvet cover or comforter can transform your bedroom.  If your walls are painted in neutral shades, almost any color or print will work.  Conversely, if your walls are the source of color in the room, then a beautiful neutral with hints of your wall color is what you want to select.  Make sure that you choose something that you love.  Your bedroom is your oasis so the decor should make you want to spend time in the room.  Splurge for a few coordinating throw pillows and you will feel like you are staying at the Ritz.

 

 

One of the quickest ways to instantly refresh a space is to paint. Painting a small room can be accomplished in an afternoon, especially if you're using just one color.  If you don’t know what color to choose, spend some time getting inspiration at design websites like Houzz.com.  And don't stop with the walls!  Furniture can be transformed with a stroke of color, and a piece of painted furniture is a great way to add pizzaz to any room. To create a colorful accent piece, try Tangerine Tango, a vivid shade of red-orange that was just selected by The Pantone Color Institute as the 2012 Color of the Year.  Or, to get a Scandinavian look, try painting a table  with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint or any of the lighter shades of Milk Paint.  You could also pick up a case piece with an interesting drawer arrangement and paint it two tone to create a spectacular entry piece.

 

 

 

If you haven’t rearranged your furniture since you moved in, now may be a great time to consider doing so. If there is a feature in the room, like a fireplace or a window with a great view, make sure that is your focal point.   Moving the television, or swapping a long sofa for two comfortable chairs with ottomans, can immediately give your room a fresh feel.  You can also think about repurposing some of the furniture you already own.  

 

Finally, once you have made all your changes, give the rooms a good straightening.  Clean off the top of dressers and tables, display your favorite things and store (or toss) the rest.  You will not only have a new look for the new year but you will feel organized too.