At some point in life, everyone has wished that life had a reboot button.
Especially the (still) challenging year that 2021 had been with the pandemic and its quarantine after-effects rolling into 2022, we all crave a real fresh start.
What used to connote a fresh start was booking a ticket, packing up, going on a short weekend getaway or vacation, and coming back refreshed and reenergized. Since COVID-19 has made that impossible, we can, instead, look at that space where we spend the most time nowadays – our home. Or better yet, our rooms.
With a space makeover, you can start to feel energized, lighter and bask in that refreshing feeling.
Before we start, pick a space you spend a lot of time in. It could be your bedroom, the attic where you spend some alone time, a little reading nook, or whichever part of your home you feel like redecorating.
Photo source: Unsplash | Abbey Houston
Now, here are a few simple ways to make that happen:
1. Clean up your space
Believe it or not, regularly decluttering does you and your space good. It makes you ready for anything and everything you plan to do and gives your space that much needed breathing room.
Cleaning up gives you room to think; and of course, room for storage. Reorganizing teaches you to let go of things you don’t love and don’t work for you anymore. You can even touch other people’s lives when you donate pre-loved items to orphanages and charities. To get started on this first step, follow the KonMari Method or take a look at these decluttering tips for different rooms.
“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” – Marie Kondo, professional organizer
Now, you have a clean state for that fresh start.
Photo source: Invaluable
2. Define your own style
Don’t feel pressured by the need to follow current trends. They come and go; but your personal style stays with you forever. If you follow a style that speaks to you, you will always feel connected to your space.
“Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style.” – Billy Baldwin, American interior decorator
Sometimes, it might be challenging to put a finger on what your personal style is exactly because it happens to be a mix of different things. If you’re in this quandary, start by adding some sentimental pieces or memorabilia that matter and spark joy for you. Or, try picturing yourself in your favorite store, at a spot in a cafe or hotel where you feel quite relaxed and comfortable and apply those to your own space.
At times it might also help to watch interior design shows on TV or Netflix, if just for inspiration and tips on how to recreate the space you envision.
Photo source: Unsplash | Toa Heftiba
3. Start with a color palette
Changing the color of your room is an easy and direct way to refresh your space. Can’t think of a color? What’s your favorite?
It does not have to be the same color all throughout. Even just a splash of color makes the space pop, especially on that one important focal point. Mixing and matching color options is another one way to make a space look more dynamic while still creating harmony.
Photo source: Country Living Magazine
Some color schemes to explore are monochromatic, pastel, Scandinavian shades, farmhouse red and brown, and many more.
Play around with the color tone of your room. Some prefer the neutral or earthy color all throughout to follow the popular, relaxing Japandi feel. While others want more pizzazz in their space and incorporate that bright, attention-grabbing pop in a corner or centerpiece. You can use color for your furniture, floor, small decor and even textured accent walls or indoor plants.
Photo source: Window World
4. You don’t need a big budget
Never fear, giving your space a fresh start does not require you to break the bank. The secret is prioritization. Remember, you do not need to change everything, play around with the different elements in your space – from the floor, walls, furniture, small items, decor, etc. and see what you can add, remove and replace.
Mix what you need and want, mix the important sentimental items with plain decor, mix big ticket items with more affordable pieces and stay true to the space you envision. Quick suggestion, it might be best to splurge on what you’ll need or use more often or want to keep for years.
Spend bigger money on the ‘wow’ items in your space. The first thing you will notice when you enter your room – the centerpiece – will be the focal point and select furniture that can stand strongly on its own.
“Don’t be afraid to experiment – not everything has to match. A house that is 100% perfect is rarely full of charm.” – Rebecca de Ravenel, New York interior designer
Photo source: Unsplash | Devon Janse van Rensburg
5. Add interest in your entranceway
Often an overlooked spot, the entrance to your room or space is a makeover opportunity. As the welcome area, this can be the place where you first feel the energy of the space.
Changes here are simple. Adding a potted plant, a welcome mat or cute rug, a door sign or wall art will instantly make your entryway more polished and inviting. And then, you will feel more of this inexplicable excitement and happy feeling in anticipation as you reach this fresh new, welcoming space of yours.
Photo source: Chaylor and Mads
6. Add new small decors to immediately breathe new life
For instant gratification that automatically changes the appearance and feel of a space, add small home decors. Bring in items like cushions, scented candles or a throw for some added cheer and comfort – maybe even get the hygge effect.
Other more ‘permanent’ small decors you can try are decorative floating shelves for your favorite books, nightstand to hold a cute new lamp or an antique work desk. When thinking of placing more meaningful items, you can start by hanging pictures of family, friends and trips placed in eclectic frames, displaying toys and figurines from childhood, or trip souvenirs. Up to you how much you want on display.
Photo source: The Beauty Revival
These small changes do not cost much. Many of them may just be lying around in a forgotten corner or box in your storage. It’s time to rummage through there and bring those out because on top of bringing some change, they also hold sentiment and joy.
“Serious is a word that should be entirely avoided when it comes to decorations.” – Kathryn Ireland, English interior designer
Photo source: Pexels | Alina Vilchenko
7. Create a gallery wall
Do you happen to have blank wall space you’re unsure what to do with? The easiest is to hang some wall art, but that may cost some money. So, another option is to create your own pizzazz to enliven that wall.
Depending on your style and color preference, stick a variety of pictures or prints showing treasured memories and people in your life. You can easily update this over time. Apart from pictures, you can frame your favorite quote, hang it and let it serve as inspiration. Or, if you’re the more creative type, let that flow and paint your own gallery wall – one-of-a-kind and only found in your room.
If you want a calmer feel, you can install simple box shelves and insert small decors or hanging plants to incorporate some biophilic design.
“Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love.” – Nate Berkus, American interior designer, author and TV personality
Photo source: House Beautiful
8. Play around with furniture
Now onto bigger items. Some rooms and spaces allow readjusting the furniture pieces and rearranging the layout. If yours will allow that, try it and the room will immediately have a different vibe after. If not, breathe new life into your current furniture by putting on new covers – give current pieces a whole new look.
Another option is to simply add new furniture. This new accent piece does not need to cost much if you’re still building that budget.
Photo source: Pexels | Naveen Sahu
A bar cart would be a quirky and eye-catching new addition. A side table is subtler. A cute chair or ottoman to give you more seating or resting spots; or laying down a rug (even layering two rugs) gives any room a cozy makeover.
Photo source: Unsplash | Spacejoy
9. Spruce up with greenery and indoor plants
Still thinking your space needs something more?
If so, some greenery and cute potted plants will soften and add some depth to your space. Worried now because you have no green thumb? Not to worry, there are several indoor plants that are beginner-friendly or you can opt for dried foliage like pampas grass or cotton grass; these will last you a year or two.
Greenery is relatively inexpensive and these natural elements add an easy texture to your space. Not to mention there are other benefits to having indoor plants – it enhances indoor air quality and lowers stress and anxiety to begin with. But the simplest benefit is it adds joy when you see your plant babies growing happily.
Photo source: Pexels | Charlotte May
10. Decorate your bathroom
Many spend a lot of time in their bathrooms, others consider their bathrooms a feel-good place where they can be fully themselves, to relax and have some down time. So, bathrooms are an important option you can tackle when you’re looking to give your place a fresh start.
There are simple ways to go about this. You can freshen up its look and feel with some small additions or changes – cute soap containers, rolled fluffy towels, scented candles, ladder displays on the corner or a small plant.
Photo source: Domino
If you want to try something different, try incorporating fragrance into your bathroom. Just like how some malls have a signature scent, you can do this in your bathroom with your favorite perfume or aromatherapy. You can also buy some eucalyptus leaves for your shower and enjoy its calming whiff every time you take a hot bath.
With this, even spending time in the bathroom will give you that ‘fresh start’ feeling that more and more people are craving for these days.