5 things you can do over time that make a big difference in your decor
A couple of days ago I posted an update letting you know my house is in the “hot mess” phase of a flooring update. While I don’t have photos to share (yet!), I do want to talk a little bit about how small, gradual changes can have BIG impact.
Here are some before and after photos of the main rooms in our previous home. Over the course of a couple of years, we made some subtle, slow changes that didn’t feel big at the time, but together they really did change the look and feel of the space.
1) Flooring: This is my #1 recommendation. If it’s in the budget, changing from carpet to a wood, laminate or tile floor can make a HUGE visual impact in the room. And it contributes to better air quality in the house, particularly if you have pets. Dust is more visible on a hard surface (so you clean it more often) and it’s easier to get hard flooring really good and clean than it is with carpet.
2) Paint: the smallest shift in undertones can really change the way a room looks and feels. In my before photos, you’ll see a very pink beige that was selected to go with the pink beige carpet. On top of that, we had a west facing front room so what started as a beige really read pink in the afternoon sun. Most mornings it just looked beige. But once we replaced our floors, the pink beige had nothing to relate to, so we made a small color correction. We kept the same general color palette (beige and chocolate), but shifted the undertones so they felt warmer and richer.
3) Accessories: One of the biggest decorating errors we see is having accessories and wall decor that is just too small. This usually means more pieces get added, and it just feels cluttered. Going with fewer, larger pieces is a good rule of thumb when you want a clean look.
4) Go green: Bring the outdoors in! Adding pops of greenery in appropriate proportions will make colors richer and help bring a room to life.
5) Don’t forget the curtains. Please, for the love of all that is holy, get curtains that go to the floor. Preferably, from floor to ceiling, but at least to the floor. You don’t have to buy custom…. in fact, the white curtains in my photos above are actually just $1/yard white fabric. The offending curtains in the “before” shot of my back room were from Walmart. I loved the color and texture with the new paint and didn’t want to see them go. So I went back and bought extras. I cut them up and sewed them back together so each panel was actually made up of 2 panels. I placed the seams above and below the lower windows (so the light would not make the seam more obvious). Easy, peasy.
While some of the changes we make (i.e. bathroom and kitchen remodels) require a plan and involve a bunch of intentional changes all at once, most of our decor is a work in progress. Slow changes over time allow your decor to evolve with your style. Take pictures along the way, though; it’s fun to go back and see how much things change over time!