How to Refresh Your Home (Without Spending a Fortune)

The decorations have been packed back up in the loft and we’ve entered the post-festive-season blues. Oh yes, January is here and with that, the return to short days, long nights and lots of sitting in because it’s just too cold or too rainy to step outdoors. This is normally the time we start looking around our home with a disdainful eye – it’s bare surfaces, now bereft of tinsel and Christmas sparkle, staring back at us and well, it all looks rather dull. We might get a bit grumpy. We might think it’s time to take drastic action. We might be thinking “I hate it! Get rid of it all! Start over!” We need a fresh start, after all, right?

Well, hang on. The truth is, while things may be looking a bit lacklustre at the moment, there’s no need to start from scratch. What your home probably just needs is a little refresh. Over the next month, implementing these little tricks will do wonders for your home and your existing items. You don’t need to start again or spend a huge sum, you simply need to look at things with a fresh eye. Here are our tips for giving your home that refresh it so desperately needs without spending a fortune.

Edit Your Belongings

The first thing you’ll want to do is clear out those things you truly don’t love anymore. If you’ve got hand-me-downs or gifts from well-meaning family or friends that you’re actually giving the side-eye to, it’s time to donate or sell those items. Don’t feel guilty – it’s your home, you are allowed to choose what you surround yourself with. If it really is that precious, then carefully wrap it up and store it away for when Auntie Edna visits and only then pull it out. But on a day-to-day basis, it’s important to look objectively at what you have.

Are there things you can do without? Is there clutter or additional furniture that doesn’t need to be in the room? Consider the edit as your first step so that what you are left with are the things you actually really do like.

Try a Swap

Once you’ve edited your belongings, consider whether you can freshen up the space by doing a little swapping between rooms. Could the rug in your bedroom work in the living room? What about the small side tables you have next to your sofa – could they be better placed as bedside tables? Could the art in your hallway be relocated to the dining room? Consider things like artwork, light fixtures, rugs, and small furniture – in a new context they might just look brand new to your eyes again.

Upcycle A Piece of Furniture

Next, consider any furniture you have that might still be in generally good condition but just needs a bit of love. Perhaps the paint is chipped or the surface scratched, or maybe you love the shape of something like a lamp base or a small curvy sideboard but not the colour or finish. While I wouldn’t suggest this approach with valuable antiques, painting a piece in a fresh new hue, adding some wallpaper to the back of a bookshelf or spray painting something for a totally different look will always give a space a fresh new aesthetic sheen.

Incorporate the Metal of the Moment

There’s little doubt that gold and brass are the metals of the moment right now, so if you’ve been sticking with chrome or silver all these years, it may be time to incorporate a bit of warmth into your room. Gold finishes are wonderfully reflective and they also go a long way in adding visual warmth to a space. Consider some smaller accessories in gold like a tray, candles, or a few pretty ornaments to liven up your shelving.

Try Out A Colour Trend

If you feel like your walls are crying out for some love, why not experiment with a trendy new colour? The last year has seen pale blush pink rise to become one of the biggest trends of the year and now we’re seeing lilac and peaches hot on its heels. Pale colours not for you? Why not consider deep indigo, a full-bodied burgundy, or perhaps a deep forest green instead? A couple tips before opening that paint tin; be sure you incorporate a few other items into the room to create cohesive colour palette; make sure you test the colours on your walls first to make sure you love it in every light.

Hang Some Art

Another idea if you just can’t bear to break out the paintbrush is hanging some new art on the walls. Artwork has the ability to evoke emotion, add colour, create drama or whimsy in a space. It’s powerful stuff. Consider either one large piece to draw the eye or create a gallery wall of your favourite pieces.

Create a Moment

And finally, consider creating small ‘moments’ in your home. What do I mean by this? It’s a trick that stylists and designers have used for ages. It’s simply a collection of items displayed on a surface in a considered manner. These should be pieces you love or that reflect your personality. Pull together items like small pieces of art, vases, books, candles, ornaments, boxes, baskets, items from nature, or anything you simply enjoy looking at. Start by layering the tallest and largest pieces at the back, stack books to create some height and top with other objects and fill in some of the surfaces around it. Use a tray to corral smaller objects and create a cohesive theme through colour or textures. It may take some trial or error but half the fun is in the creation!

All of these tips will make your home look more styled and purposeful and you may find yourself lingering a little longer in the lovely room you’ve just created.

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As a multi-award winning interior design content creator, Kimberly Duran is an Interior Design-obsessed American ex-pat, who chronicles her decorating journey and dispenses interior design advice in her personal blog, Swoon Worthy. When she’s not helplessly drooling over all the latest trends in design, she’s adding things to the imaginary ‘shopping basket’ in her head, she likes to get messy tackling DIY projects with her partner in crime, Wayne, stalking eBay for vintage bargains and filling her home with her favourite neutral – gold.