Most houses have so much potential, but are hidden under decades of trends and clutter. Going through each room and taking out all the stuff that doesn’t serve a practical or sentimental purpose can be so freeing. I think I take a basket to goodwill at least twice a month. I just love the feeling of getting rid of ‘things’, stuff that’s been sitting around untouched and un-admired.
If your home isn’t newer you can peel back the layers of trends. I think we removed 5 layers of linoleum from the kitchen! It’s so funny to see what was in style each decade. If you don’t need to take down walls or anything too invasive you can focus on just the cosmetic of your room.
1) Texture: if you have popcorn ceiling please oh please take it down. I know the sparkles are pretty, but it will make your room feel so much better having smooth walls! All you need to do is spray the popcorn with water and scrape it off with a flat head shovel. It’s one of the easier updates that cost nothing and makes a dramatic difference. Walls are a bit trickier and if your texture is heavy you might be able to re-skim them, but it can get expensive.
2) Paint: I always choose something neutral, but still warm and light. You can try Benjamin Moore Simply White or Glidden Wedding White, they are almost a match to each other. You can accent with decor, it’s easier to switch out than repainting and you can change it up with the seasons instead of holiday colors clashing with your walls.
3) Light fixtures: This makes a huge difference. Get rid of the boob lights and update to something that doesn’t feel like builder material. Wayfair & Overstock always have affordable fixtures that look expensive. We just bought this for our stairway and Im obsessed. Try and stick to the same finish through out your house to give a cohesive feel. We have a lot of oil rubbed bronze mixed with antique bronze & stained glass and they fit well together for this house.
4) Flooring: This one could get spendy. Look under your carpets for original wood flooring. Having them sanded and stained a color you love is way more affordable than laying stone, wood, or even carpet in it’s place. Updating with stone and wood is always the best choice over synthetic materials like carpet and linoleum when you’re looking to get a return on your investment. Also try and not have more than a couple types of flooring in your whole house. When each room is broken up with a different pattern and color it feels smaller and outdated. If you can lay the same material throughout the entire home it will carry your eyes throughout the house instead of being held up on different patterns. It also gives the illusion of a larger space.
5) Adding in character. Even if you have a newer developed home void of all character you can still give it charm. We have a craftsman house and the previous owners had removed a lot of the trim & baseboards inside. Billy re-created the headers for the doorways, built a mantel for the fireplace and we also just added in some board and batten to the downstairs bath. If you have a period home try and stay true to the style and bring it back to life. You can add built in bookcases, base boards, crown molding, beams, mantles… there’s endless ways you can add touches to a room that make a dramatic difference and create the feel of a custom home.
You can see the before and afters of this room here.