These simple styling tips can help to make our living spaces feel like new
In these current times who isn’t looking to redecorate homes for free? A little can go a long way, especially when you’re talking about simple decor changes such as rearranging furniture etc.
Where we place furniture and accessories determines the feel and function of a room. So by merely changing things up, we can help to change the decor – without spending any money whatsoever.
Big changes with zero spend, yes, please!
We’ve enlisted some extra help from Wayfair’s resident style advisor, Nadia McCowan Hill – to share her simple styling tricks to change the decor.
1. Rearrange the furniture
Image credit: Spike Powell
Rearrange sofas and armchairs, offset the coffee table – forget the rule book for a minute and rethink your space imaginatively.
I’m a huge fan of rearranging rooms to give them an all-new effect, boosting feelings of well-beingNadine
‘Whether it’s moving your favorite occasional chair from your bedroom to your living room window, or reworking accents the simple practice of putting things in a new spot will bring a little excitement to a tired (and at the moment) much-seen room.’
2. Display pictures with a fresh perspective
Image credit: James French
I did this very thing on the first weekend of lockdown – and boy did it feel good to do! It’s one of those jobs that we’ve probably all thought about for ages but just never get around to.
Whether you have a picture ledge (as I do) or a gallery wall of hanging frames, a quick reshuffle of positions makes all the difference. Plus you can give them all a much-needed clean while you do so. Win, win.
3. Divide a room
Image credit: Heather Hobhouse
Nadine advises, ‘Another great way to create a feeling of space is to use furniture to divide your room. For an open plan living/dining room with sophisticated zones, try positioning your dining table at one end of the room.’
‘Then create a clearly demarcated living area, by placing your sofa in the center of the room facing the opposite direction. With a sideboard pushed flush against it’s back you will be able to create two areas for living and dining and your sideboard will also provide the perfect plinth to style up with lamps, books, and accents to create a design-led look.’
4. Move furniture away from walls
Image credit: Brent Darby
While we’re moving furniture consider how to position it, for a fresh feel. We probably all have sofas and sideboards butted up against the walls and they’ve been that way since we moved in. And, yes, sometimes that’s the only viable option and best use of space – but stylists say that is not always the best idea.
‘It’s a myth that pushing furniture up against walls makes a room feel bigger,’ Nadine says. ‘In actual fact, your pad will feel far more spacious and pulled together if you pull sofas and larger items of furniture slightly away from the walls’.
5. Swap the cushions
Image credit: Jon Day
A simple but effective way to instantly change a room’s decor is by mixing in new cushions. At present shopping for cushions is not an essential need, so why not improvise. Change cushions from room to room, ok they aren’t new but they suddenly become fresh in a different environment. Take the cushions off the bed and replace the cushions on the sofa, switch things up to welcome a small sense of change.
6. Restyle shelves
Image credit: David Brittain
A simple practice, but a highly effective one for completely changing the look in any room. ‘Restyling your interior is the easiest way to give your space a new lease of life and the good news is that you don’t need to splash the cash to create a fresh new look,’ says Nadine.
Clear the shelves, give everything thorough dust and start to restyle how things were displayed. This is a great opportunity to declutter, to display items in a more organized and curated way.
‘Try stacking books both horizontally and vertically to create a cute vignette,’ Nadine suggests. Or ‘add a few trailing plants to make everything feel organic,’. her top tip when it comes to styling shelves is ‘be mindful not to over-style’. Less is more, it’s about striking the perfect balance.
7. Switch up the lighting
Image credit: Rowland Roques-O’Neil
It is more than likely you’re using your home in a completely different way at present, while in lockdown mode. Changing the lighting in your main rooms can help to change the ambiance and also zone different areas to enjoy – such as a home office or a reading nook.
Use table lamps to give a concentrated area of light, even moving a bedside lamp into a makeshift home office space for this purpose. Switch the floor lamp into an alternative corner, perhaps above an armchair or beanbag, to signify a dedicated quiet corner for some reading come the evening – a welcome break from watching the TV.
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8. Rethink rugs
Image credit: Catherine Gratwicke
The same premise as with the cushions, switch the rugs from room to room, for an instant mini makeover. Or change where you position them in within each room. Do you have the rug placed centrally in the living room, because that’s what you think you should do? Why not lay the rug off-center?
Turn it vertically rather than horizontally, to change the room’s perspective. Even a few inches from where it is now can make a difference, just your wait – give the rug a twist.
9. Reposition the TV
Image credit: Dominic Blackmore
Create a new focal point for the living room by repositioning the TV. As much as we don’t like to admit their prominence, TVs are more often than not the anchor of the living room scheme – the point to which all eyes come back. And as we are all no doubt watching our screens more than ever it’s suddenly feeling imposing perhaps.
By moving the TV (where it’s not wall-mounted of course) we can completely change the dominant aspect of the living room, in an instant. Even better, where possible hide it from sight.
10. Repurpose pieces
Image credit: Matt Cant
Give pieces of furniture a different sense of purpose, to be more creative with the function of every single item in your home. From IKEA steps being used more as stools and stools as bedside tables to ironing boards being used as desks – there’s never being a more relevant time to have fun with how we use key household items.
The best thing about all of this simple redecoration is they are free and totally reversible. You can rearrange your house back to how you like once this is all over. But we wouldn’t mind getting a lot of these changes will stay in place, as you’ll love how the little changes can make a big difference.