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  • Writer's pictureellencdonker


Six takes on refreshing your space

Every year right about now I feel as though I were in the “almost there” season – practically desperate for spring but hopeful in knowing it’s just around the corner. While I wait for warmer temperatures, I like to freshen up my home, organize and declutter.

Although we often associate sprucing up our homes with large and expensive projects, updates don’t have to come with a hefty price tag. With simple changes that you can do on your own, your home can feel like new. They’ll make a world of difference.

1 Organize. Declutter.

I find streamlining my home the simplest and most fulfilling project of all. Although you can do this for any room, last year I tackled my kitchen. My cabinets and drawers were overflowing with who knows what and I was feeling extremely uninspired in this space where I spend the majority of my time. The goal was to simplify one of the most easily cluttered and used areas of my home – ultimately creating a more peaceful, useful, minimal, and beautiful space.

I created an open shelf pantry and used simple glass jars for ordinary kitchen ingredients and snacks.

I started by doing some research. For example, stock canned goods two deep; anything beyond that and you’ll likely forget what’s there. And knowing that I do best when my surroundings are not just functional but also beautiful, I decanted and emptied ordinary kitchen ingredients and snacks into simple glass jars and labeled each one. Then I created an open shelf pantry to display our dishes, serving ware, baking flours, and kids’ snacks. Now we can clearly see what we have and what we need. Beauty and function combined. Of course, open shelves aren’t necessary – just do the same in your cabinets. It will keep everything neat and pretty.

Chalkboard paint is great for kids' spaces.

2 Paint.

You got it! Pick up a paint brush and witness a room transformed. Whether you want to brighten up your walls with a clean white or some fun color, it’s an easy task to do ourselves for a low cost. We recently painted our interior doors and brick fireplace black. The depth and richness of the black added an easy sophistication that was missing before and made it feel like a new house. It was such a no-brainer, I only wonder why we didn’t do it sooner.

If you don’t want to paint an entire room, try a feature wall. With kids it’s fun to use chalkboard paint, especially in the kitchen for writing grocery lists or featuring your weekly calendar. My kids love to write and create on ours.

Our painter added a factory finish to our cabinets. They look like new.

Want to overhaul the look of your kitchen without a big budget? Paint your cabinets. That’s what we did this past summer and the outcome was amazing. Our painter used the same sprayer that cabinet companies use and gave us a factory finish. Anyone who has seen our kitchen thinks we installed new cabinetry. Although this is more expensive than simply painting your cabinets, it’s still a fraction of the cost of new ones.

3 Plants.

Plants are one of the best ways to freshen up your space: literally. House plants filter out harmful toxins and help clean the air. My favorite and easiest plant to care for is the snake plant.

Plants are an easy and inexpensive way to freshen up a space.

4 Think outside the box.

Need a bedside table but don’t have enough room? Add a small shelf. We use a reclaimed wood shelf on one side of our bed. Not only does the old wood make the piece interesting but it functions perfectly as a bedside table.

Art doesn’t always need to be a classic framed piece. Add texture to a space with a macramé wall hanging. Use objects you might have and love around the home. We hung a large vintage dough bowl in our dining room instead of traditional art and it is now a conversation starter. Pieces like this are not only beautiful but add dimension to the wall.

Hanging an unusual art piece on the wall like this dough bowl makes for a good conversation piece.

5 Lighting.

Ahhhh lighting. It’s easy to overlook but lighting is key for setting the mood of the room. It should make a statement. For ceiling lights, always go a little larger than you would initially think. With so many well-priced options, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. I wanted our dining room to be light and airy so we went with a natural, textural pendant.

Wall lighting is another beautiful and affordable option to try. I love installing plug-in wall sconces in place of table lamps in casual living spaces such as bedrooms and TV rooms. It frees up table space and adds visual interest to the walls.

Using plug-in wall sconces instead of table lamps frees up space.

We also use twinkle lights in our (non working) fireplace to give it a glow all year round. They also add a warm and cozy vibe to my kids’ spaces.

Try layering rugs to make a space feel new and interesting.

6 Rugs.

One of my favorite ways to change up my space and make it feel brand new is to use rugs. Shop your house and swap rugs from room to room or purchase new ones. Try layering them. I love to use vintage rugs because of the history that comes with each one. Although they can be pricey, if you take the time to thrift-shop you can also find real gems.

Tanya Meda is a mom of four who creates light, bright, and inviting spaces for her House of Six and beyond. Follow her journey on Instagram @houseofsixinteriors.


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