In the first of this two-part series for Giving Your Home a Fresh Start, we discussed the power of de-cluttering your home. Once all the steps in part one have been completed, the goal is to change whatever is happening in your home atmosphere that makes you feel disconnected to moments of zen and relaxation.
I’m sure we would all love a huge budget to do some major interior design work, but this is unrealistic for many of us. The good news is that even if we feel bored with our current decor, we don’t need to spring for thousands of dollars; the key is to make small changes in our environment which create a large impact.
- Get new window blinds. So this one can be a little costly, depending on the type of blinds, but what a difference it makes! Quality blinds will offer you the ability to both let in sunlight and block it out, simultaneously bringing in brightness and creating privacy to make you feel safe. This was one of the first changes I made when I bought my first home. When I bought the house, I swore I would never fight with another window string again – such a small thing, one we often dismiss, but one of complete frustration for me. I would often just leave the shades in whatever state they were in to avoid the ever-incorrigible-window string. The purchase of the cordless window blind changed the entire feel of every room.
- Invest in a piece of art. The right piece of art in a room can completely change your perception of it, so this task is not to be taken lightly, though it is one small task. You should envision what you love before you seek the piece and avoid impulse-buys. I like to look at it almost like getting a tattoo (ok, clearly, not as permanent, but if you’re spending a few hundred dollars on a piece, you want to love it for years to come) – think about it for a few months, imagine what it will do, and keep looking. Don’t settle. For me, it was this beautiful brass tree that now sits in my dining room. I always knew I wanted a 3D tree of life on the wall, but I couldn’t find what I wanted… I actually received it as a gift several months after moving in, but it was precisely what I had imagined.
- Add candles to empty spaces. If you have a lot of empty space on shelves, bathroom counter-tops, end-tables, or mantelpieces, a few quality candles can create the feeling of coziness and comfort. Depending on the fragrances you choose, you could recreate moments of relaxation, joy, or even holidays. No matter the time of year, I always have a Trimming the Tree and Beach Bumming candle ready-to-burn in my home; I just love the sense that I can bring Christmas or the beach into my house whenever I want.
- Get a diffuser for your room of respite. Diffusers are beautiful and inexpensive way to make any room into a moment you’re hoping for. With so many aromatherapy blends available on the market, a few drops of a blend in a diffuser can create a moment of peace, serenity, uplifting, energy, or whatever you need. My personal favorite is the GreenAir Serene Living Blue Glass Floor Standing Essential Oil Diffuser and Mister for Aromatherapy (pictured below). Everyone who comes into my house falls absolutely in love with it, and truly, for $39.99, it has made all the difference.
- Get throw-pillows and couch blankets. Especially to make your living room or den feel cozy, some new throw-pillows can both create a sense of comfort, but also add style and warmth. The key to choosing the right throw-pillow is to off-set the color of your couch; you want opposing colors of the same temperature. (Check out this article by DecorLove on how to choose the right color scheme.) Couch blankets are terrific for both practicality and aesthetics. Again, the right color can add a lovely pop and make you feel at home, but the blanket should also be cuddly, so when you want to just lounge around you have something to snuggle into.
- Buy yourself that small appliance! There is always one small appliance you’ve been pining over, maybe it’s a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer or a Keurig Coffee Pot – whatever it is, spend the money to bring that joy into your life. Most likely, that appliance is going to make some aspect of your life easier, and to give you those moments, the money is worth the investment to bring big changes into our happiness.
- Make a photo-tree of your loved ones. In the digital age, we rarely get photos printed anymore, but there is something classic and warm about a printed photo hanging on the wall or on a bookshelf. The photo tree allows you to add many photos, so you can show off your friends, families, and pets all in one place – better yet, it’s a great way to cherish and capture those moments of joy. It makes a space more personal, changing the atmosphere from house to home.
- Add some plants. Plants not only serve to freshen up a space, but they actually make your air cleaner. I love potted bamboo plantsEdit – 1. they’re virtually impossible to kill, 2. they are mysticized with bringing good fortune, 3. they are small enough to fit in any space. A beautiful potted plant creates the sense of energy and life, awakening the atmosphere of a home.
I would love to hear your tips on small changes to make for a fresh, happier home!