GIMME SHELTER- Fresh eyes: Liven up space with a new look

Caroline Andersson-Henri
Upstairs-Downstairs Interiors


Q: Now that spring is here, I want to spruce up my space. What can I do to liven things up without spending a fortunate on redecorating?

A: You don't need a fortune to "spruce up your space," but you do need to be willing to change your perspective, even some old habits. Here are few ideas to get you started:

De-clutter: In general, we have too much stuff: gifts, things we saw on sale and couldn't resist, things that are familiar but have passed their time. We put our things in place and just get used to seeing them there, even if they don't add to the decor or might look better someplace else. Look at you space with fresh eyes and make a change.

Rearrange: Look at new furniture placement possibilities to give your space a new perspective. Consider slipcovers or even a great throw and some new pillows. The same is true for decorative accessories. Remember, collectables look best when grouped together, rather than scattered around the house.

Freshen up with paint: Change the mood of a room with a change of color. If not the entire room, then what about a focal wall in the space? And remember, paint is not just for walls, but also for trim: doors, windows, and ceilings.

Add art to a wall: Art can punch a space. Experiment with grouping the art. Every sideboard, chest, or sofa against a wall doesn't need  one picture or one mirror above it. 

Quick fix update in the kitchen: Get a new look with a simple window treatment offering new color and style. Coordinate with a few decorative counter-top accessories. Tile a back-splash, or if it's not in the budget, hang framed tiles interspersed across the space. Dated golden oak cabinets can come alive with new paint, a wash or glaze, or new knobs. 

The bathroom: Replace the shower curtain and coordinate with decorative accessories. Even new towels can go a long way. Consider using them decoratively by layering different colors.

Don't forget the entrance: The entrance to your home should not be an after thought or catch-all place. The entry is where you welcome guests into your home; it's the focal point of introduction. Entries should be inviting. A touch of color and a plant or floral arrangement coupled with interesting art on the walls can make a statement.