Recently I was meeting with a client who said he wanted me to refresh his home by shopping it. I walked through and started thinking about ways to rearrange and use what he had, only differently. Later I was brushing my teeth and realized that the pretty little ceramic dish that I keep by the sink had been on the right hand side for almost two years, while a collection of three glass cups , which I use to hold make-up brushes, Q-tips and cotton balls was on the left. I decided to swap them and behold, transformation! It was just a simple thing but got me thinking about how doing little things like that, for zero dollars, can really feel like a mental refresh to a home. Here are the 6 ways to refresh your home for free that were inspired by this ah-ha moment.
#1. Swap the items on your bathroom counter.
#2. Reverse your bedding.
I don’t mean turn your sheets inside out, but most people have multiple layers on on their beds. I usually have a duvet and a matelasse. For an easy refresh, I will take whatever is folded up at the end of the bed, and instead make the bed with it and then fold up the other of the two and put it at the foot instead. It’s a different look to have a thinner blanket covering the bed (and if you don’t have a foot board you can tightly tuck it in to the mattress for a clean look) and then fold up the duvet at the end. Just a quick change, but a good refresher.
I don’t love the colors here but this shows the duvet on the bottom with a matelasse folded up at the end of the bed.
Here’s the reverse
And here’s a close up of the tuck that I was referring to
#3. Swap your draperies.
Look around you home and think about what window treatments could work in a different space. I’m not talking about taking rods down here, but sometimes you can just swap panels for a new look.
#4. Cluster smaller works of art from around the house into one big collection.
Often times people will scatter their art all throughout the house, a small piece here, there and everywhere until there is not much impact overall. Instead, gather smaller pieces from around your home and find a large or prominent wall and make a collection out of the pieces. The most important part of hanging art (unless it’s super expensive in which case you should pay to have it hung) is just doing it! Most people become paralyzed and never try. It’s okay if you’re not exactly sure how it should look. A collection of small pieces will look good close together and somewhat randomly placed. A good simple rule of thumb is to have approximately the same amount of dead space between each piece. You can also cut the shapes of each piece out of paper and then tape them up first to practice and rearrange before you put the real stuff up.
#5. Group like items together.
Look around your home for small objects, architectural items, little boxes and pull together like groups. Silver, milk glass, wood, brass, tortoise, pottery whatever you might have. Put them together on a small table, bookshelf or entry way piece. If you look carefully, you will likely find a collection that you never realized you had.
I love this collection of malachite from the home of Lindsey Harper, college sorority sister shout out, who has become quite the notable designer over the last few years. She can be found in Southern Living, House Beautiful, Elle Decor and many other publications almost monthly now!
#6. Use your guest bath towels.
If you’re like me, you often use the same circuit of towels all the time, starting to fade, etc. and leave a perfectly folded stack of newer, nicer, whiter and softer towels for company. Why do we do this? We need to be kinder to ourselves and give ourselves the luxury of a nice towel. Sounds silly perhaps, and maybe I’m the only person in the world that does this, but I bet if you think about it you can find some way in which you deprive yourself of simple luxuries that you would easily give to another.
On a final note, and yes, this defeats the purpose of a posts with the word “free” in it. Ballard Designs is having a 30th Anniversary sale from now until February 24th which is 20% off on everything! You might want to do a little shopping for some new towels! 🙂
Oh, and Scott’s is this weekend too…just sayin’.