BY: Sara Smola
Our homes all need a bit of a facelift from time to time, but with our busy lifestyles, who has the luxury of time and finances to update the home as often as design tastes change? While we don’t suggest a complete remodel whenever the mood strikes, these time and cost-effective tips will have you updating your home on a more frequent basis.
1. Reface instead of replace cabinets.
Just because you’re not thrilled with the color or style of your cabinets doesn’t mean you should start from scratch. A kitchen remodel can exceed $40,000 for a complete overhaul and take months finish—yet a whole new look can be as easy as simply refacing the cabinetry. Starting at just $1,000 for “wood-like” laminate to upwards of $9,000 for a top-of-the-line wood veneer, this option achieves the same result as a remodel at a fraction of the price.
2. Remember that your taste in patterns and colors will change.
It is far easier to get rid of an orange throw pillow than paint over a similarly colored wall. Textiles, like curtains, throw pillows and rugs, are a cost-effective, temporary way to change the look of a room whenever the mood strikes. But, make sure you’re adding color to a relatively neutral canvas like a solid colored couch or flooring—you don’t want a mish mash of color or everything will look cluttered, rather than curated. For a luxe look, try rich velvet fabric or embroidered, bohemian print from a lifestyle retailer like One Colorado’s Anthropologie. Side note: Drapes are also a great trick to make a room seem bigger; Don’t hang your curtains directly above the window, instead, hang them closer to the ceiling to make the room appear grander.
3. Reuse and DIY when possible.
For those looking for a more committed style statement, a couch says a lot about your design aesthetic and can be the focal point of a room. Whether you’ve grown tired of a classic Chesterfield or a mid-century masterpiece, there’s a way to update the look rather than kicking your sofa to the curb. Instead of buying a new couch, a simple fix can be as easy as adding a slipcover, from a high-end furnishings retailer such as Colorado Boulevard’s Restoration Hardware. Their slipcovers come in a variety of fabrics and patterns and can alter your living room’s appearance in minutes. Reupholstering your current couch can also create the look of a brand new couch—without the steep price tag. The artistically inclined may want to “DIY” entirely with a find from the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Just make sure the sofa has good “bones” and use an upholsterer you trust.
4. Add a little paint for a big impact.
Nothing says makeover like a fresh coat of paint—color has the ability to profoundly influence the ambience of your room. Red and orange add energy while blue is calming. Grey is a sophisticated albeit neutral color for those wanting more “warmth” than a stark white hue provides. If an entire, dramatic new look is what you’re going for, by all means, get the color of your choice and paint the whole room. But, for those looking for a more subtle pop of color, try painting one side of the room or even the ceiling. When a white ceiling is paired with matching white walls, the room feels more open and airy. For added contrast and quirkiness, try a brightly colored ceiling paired with white walls.
5. Let there be light.
Without lighting, your space would look dark and dreary, but aside from that obvious fact, lighting is a key factor in how your home looks and feels. Natural lighting looks best but if a skylight is out of your budget, settle for adding lights in otherwise dark corners of the room. Replace dusty, faded lampshades instead of the whole lamp. It’s a cheaper alternative and you can rest easy knowing if (or inevitably, when) you get tired of the look, you can change it again. Depending on how dated your ceiling fan looks, consider switching out the glass light bulb covers too—it’s a small detail but even a miniscule sign of antiquity in a modern space (and vice versa) will stick out like a sore thumb.
Next time you’re fed up and just need a change, don’t despair. Give these tips a try. With a little effort and creativity, you can make your home feel like a brand new space.