10 simple interior design tricks for a quick “pick-me-up”
Maybe you’re not an interior designer extraordinaire, or even have a creative bone in your body, but… it doesn’t matter. Here’s a short list of 10 simple design tips that anyone can handle. (If you’re thinking you can’t. You can.)
- Mirrors. For small living areas, place mirrors on your walls, preferably across from a window (large, medium and small). Make it off center or linear, whatever your style is. Doing so will reflect natural light coming through the windows and give the optical illusion of space.
- Paint. Lighten the paint on the wall for confined spaces. It will open the room and make it appear larger. (A dark shade will make your room feel confined and smaller than it really is). For open or larger areas, put a pop of color on just one wall to anchor the room.
- Natural shades. Ditch the vinyl or plastic shades… go all natural. Natural woven shades, like bamboo, automatically warm up a room. Make it more inviting. They come in all colors; beige, teak, walnut, black, white. And if you’re worried about privacy, you can add a privacy liner too. Extremely versatile and some are not so bad in the price area either.
- Trays. Colorful, natural, patterned, clear. You can find them in multiple colors and various materials. Place a tray on your coffee table where you can store coasters, magazines and books. Place it on top of a stool next to your couch, and viola, you have an end table. Use a tray as a dining room table centerpiece. Create a vignette and vary the height and shape of the piece (for example: candle, vase with flowers, coasters). And keep in mind the rule of three: a group of odd numbers is more pleasing.
- Update your hardware. Drawer pulls, knobs and handles can give you an opportunity to tie a color scheme together, complement the design of a room (think vintage, coastal, classic), add texture (like beaded or hammered metal knobs) or add a touch of nature to your room (try leather, weathered driftwood or rope).
- Baskets. Yes, baskets! They’re multi-functional and update your décor at the same time. I like natural material best, but they come other great material like chicken wire and fabric. Use baskets to store books and blankets. Many are decorative and can be used as wall art. They’re also great for an entryway; hang on the wall for your mail, keys and cool shades. Place a potted plant into a thick woven basket (it's a good way to hide a plastic pot so you don't have to pay a fortune for a ceramic one; you can even keep it in the container it came in). Lastly, use baskets to declutter your stuff out in the open; keep your frequently used spices and oils on the kitchen counter, or place a basket on a coffee table for your remote control, coasters and more.
- Use what you already have. Look around your home. Search your junk drawers, closets, kitchen cabinets and maybe under your bed (of course, push the dust bunnies aside). Did you find an old calendar, notecards, old movie tickets, pretty plates, books? Calendar pictures, notecards, decorative plates, and even movie tickets can be automatic wall art. Look at some of your hardcover books. Take the jacket off because there might be a pop of color that would look fantastic on your coffee table too.
- Go green. Bringing the outside in just lifts your mood and green is so pretty. I know plants and pots can get costly, so I typically buy a houseplant that roots well in water. It’s a great way of multiplying plants without paying a dime. I root several plant cuttings in water and place them around the house; instant decor. You can root them in empty baby jars, canning jars and wine bottles. (Be creative and check your recycle bin!) In 3-4 weeks, they’ll take root. Then you can plant them in a pot or leave them in water (they’ll continue to grow). Check out this Clever Bloom blog on how to root plant cuttings.
- Consignment. I love consignment stores. Because I find unique and inexpensive pieces that I can display around my home to change up my décor. And no one knows, that the candy dish I use, is an actual ashtray that I paid two dollars for. Go out and hunt. Look for old ceramic ashtrays with pretty designs, tin trays and weathered cameras (now relics) to display on bookshelves, old suitcases you can stack and use as an end table or plates that you can hang on your wall.
- Pile on the pillows. If you only have the energy to do one thing. Pile on the pillows. Pick a pop of color or two and a few neutral colors. Then mix and match designs and textures like the photo above. And pile ‘em up on your couch. Your friends will say, ”Hey. What did you do? Your place looks great!”
Hopefully these tips have given you inspiration and motivation to elevate your space. Happy decorating!