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5 Easy Ways to Freshen Up Your Space


5 ways to freshen up your space. Small changes big impact.

Over the past few months, I’m betting a lot of you spent waayyy more time in your homes than you’re used to. Did you do any redecorating? Tackle some projects? Reorganize your closet 17 times?

I don’t necessarily do “Spring cleaning” - partly because Florida doesn’t really believe in seasons - but mainly because I tend to go through constant cycles of refreshing, cleaning, and organizing my home. There is true value in being able to come in and relax in a space that feels welcoming, calm, and refreshing.

Even if you’re not one of my fellow organization-lovers (or maybe you are and you don’t have the time to empty out all your closets) here are 5 easy ways to freshen up your space.

1. Rearrange the room 

modern coastal minimalist interior

If you have a room that feels cluttered or just not as relaxing as you want it to be, you may find that simply sitting in a different area of the room and having a different view could do the trick. Even when I was a kid, I remember turning my bed in all the possible different directions, putting it against different walls just to see which gave me the most amount of space for other things. 

You can measure things and plan it out, or go all in and just start moving things around to see what works. You may find that the random chair in your living room that you never use actually fits perfectly in your bedroom. Or maybe if you turn your bed 90 degrees you magically have way more space in your room. 

2. Update your wall decor

This could mean finally printing and framing those pictures that live on your phone, purchasing some new artwork, or simply moving around the pieces you already have.

I have a lot of small pieces that I’ve bought from other artists, but don’t keep them all out at once. Every once in a while I switch out which ones are displayed, and it makes them seem brand new every time! 

pink and teal coastal abstract painting by kate shore - heat wave

3. Clean out that drawer (or shelf, or closet…)

You know the one. The one that every time you open it you think “why do we have these things?”  or “I know it’s in here somewhere…”  For me, last week it was our cabinet that houses all the spices, baking ingredients, and also apparently the random leftover sauce packets from restaurant takeout that I know we’re never going to use. 

I took EVERYTHING out. Combined what we had duplicates of (I’m looking at you, 3 bags of partially used flour), moved some things to other locations, wiped down the shelves, and put it all back in in a way that actually made sense. 

I know, this isn’t decor related. It’s a space that only my husband and I ever see or use. But now I open it and don’t immediately go into stress mode, or buy things we already have, or get pummeled by things falling out of an overcrowded cabinet just to be stuffed back in. 

Even spaces that aren’t actively exposed can impact the feel of your overall space.

 

4. Bring the outdoors in

calming colors from nature

 

You've probably heard me say it before - being outdoors in nature calms me beyond anything else. So I try to bring that same calming element indoors.

Let’s be clear - I do not have a green thumb. Whatever the opposite of that is, that’s what I have. So while I love the idea of house plants, and I do have flowers in vases from time to time, there are other ways to bring the outdoors in, too.

  • Color - Use the soothing colors of nature in your decor, whether that’s in your wall color, blankets, pillows, wall decor, flooring - anything. A great place to find inspiration is Design Seeds, where you can find a variety of color palettes to suit your style. 
  • Soft, cozy textures
  • Artwork that reminds you of the outdoors, the feeling you get in nature, or resembles one of your favorite places
  • Photos of your favorite outdoor locations
  • Scent - I’m a sucker for a great candle
  • Open those windows! Let the fresh air and sunshine in whenever you get the chance.
  • Natural materials - Stone, wood, grass, water - think of ways to incorporate natural materials into the items you see and use every day. A few ideas in the images below - a woven lamp, handcrafted pottery, stone and copper drawer pulls, and a modern wooden clock
natural materials in home decor - kate shore art

    5. Paint a wall

    This one is obviously more involved (and a higher level of commitment) than the steps listed so far, but color theory is a real thing! And if something feels off, it may be worth painting a few walls. 

    Maybe you left everything the way it was when you moved in. Maybe you painted every room in your house. Even if you chose your color palette based on what HGTV told you was the absolute best, I want you to step back for a moment.

    Do you like the colors in your house? When you walk in a room - what is your initial feeling, your immediate reaction? 

    If you’re not ready to pull the trigger, here’s a great (and inexpensive) way to test out some new color choices:

    • What you’ll need: 
      • paint samples
      • white poster board (at least one sheet for each color of paint you get)
      • Paint brush or small foam rollers
      • Painter’s tape (or other tape that won’t damage your walls)
    • Go to your favorite hardware store and purchase small samples of some of your favorite colors. 
    • Grab a few large sheets of white poster board, one for each color you purchased. Paint a full sheet with each of your paint color samples. 
    • Once they’re completely dry, use painter’s tape (or any other tape that won’t damage your walls) to hang the poster board sheets in the room you’re considering painting. 
    • Leave it up for a few days, see how it makes you feel. Move it around. Look at it from different distances and directions. Add additional pieces of painted poster board if you want to see it as a larger section. By having the color inside the actual room, you’ll see how it looks as it the lighting changes throughout the day, and you can choose a new paint color without hesitation.

    I hope this helps you realize that you don't have to redecorate your whole house or go into full-on spring cleaning mode to update your space. There are a range of things you can do to make your space feel more calm, welcoming, and refreshed.

    What other things do you do when you're place is feeling stale? Let me know! 


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