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Pro Tips

Designer Tips: Freshen Up Your Decor on a Budget Before the Holidays

Entertaining for the Holidays and want to freshen up your space with affordable home decor? Sometimes, all it takes is a coat of paint or a few well thought-out accessories. Here are some decorating ideas and the best tips from our interior designer.

Portrait of the interior design expert
Lydia Thammavong
Head Designer, Styles and Trends
Thanks to her design expertise and eye for trends, Lydia develops distinctive seasonal collections and stylized interior design concepts, where functionality and comfort take precedence. She draws inspiration from her finds, then adapts them to develop unique and stylish seasonal collections.

What small, budget-friendly changes can make a big impact on the whole house?

There are several ways to give a room a new look without changing everything or spending too much.

  • Think carpets and mats. Putting in or taking out a carpet or mat can transform a room and add texture in minutes at little cost. I love adding a carpet in the winter for warmth and softness under my feet. In the summertime, I just roll it up and put it away!
  • Add wall shelves. Often, we don't know what to do with our walls other than hang paintings. I love using shelves to dress up a wall while displaying pretty things (like leaning frames and plants). To create a smooth visual impact without overloading the space, an airy and uncluttered layout is best. With the various sizes and materials available in shelving, this decorative trick works for any room! Also consider choosing brackets that match the style of the space. You could also use floating shelves.
  • Replace light fixtures or bulbs. To give a room character, dare to add a spectacular or sculptural light fixture. But beyond fixtures, changing bulbs for a different light intensity or colour can transform the atmosphere of the space at very little cost. With smart LED bulbs, you can adapt your lighting to your needs or the desired atmosphere. For example, cooler or neutral white lighting is best for work, but warm, white lighting creates a soft, enveloping light for relaxing moments.
  • Move furniture around and declutter. By moving furniture around and rearranging the space, you can improve comfort while changing the decor—without spending a dime! For example, chairs can be moved near or away from windows as the seasons change. In the same vein, cleaning and decluttering makes the room look bigger and brighter.

Pro Tip

Choose a carpet that is large enough to slide 6" to 8" under the furniture to unify it while creating a cozy area.

Textured panel accent wall

Besides a fresh coat of paint, how can I add touches of colour?

Painting furniture is a small effort that can make all the difference. This is a great opportunity to take faded wooden furniture and give it a burst of colour. Then, simply switch up the knobs and you’re done!

To add colour and texture, I also like to add textiles (like cushions, curtains, and rugs) as well as plants and planters.

Lastly, an accent wall is always a great way to add colour and a unique touch to any room. Some of our favourite projects include:

Lounge corner in a modern kitchen

How can I energize the space with accessories?

Well-chosen accessories are perfect to complete any interior design. I love using decorative accessories to add colour and texture to a space. I also like to work with contrasting shapes and finishes. For example, I’ll add curves to soften the look of a room that has lots of straight lines. I also mix finishes like matte black and brass to add a touch of elegance and a vintage, yet modern, look. Last but not least, tall plants in fancy planters are great for adding height, texture, and colours while energizing the space!

Find even more tips on decorative accessories in our article Interior Design Trends: 6 Must-Have Home Accents.
Bathroom with decorative accessories

How can I refresh my bathroom on a budget?

Decor is not the only thing that can transform a room! Cleaning bathroom grout to bring it back to its original colour is a great way to enhance the look at little cost. If you've tried everything but the stains are just too stubborn, consider staining it with a grout marker.

Alternatively, you can easily give your space a new look by changing the vanity lighting or the faucet, by replacing the accessories, and swapping the old medicine cabinet for a stunning mirror.

How can I give my kitchen a new look without renovating?

Cleaning the floor and backsplash grout does wonders, as does replacing the light fixtures or the faucet. I also like to change the bar stools or chair covers to transform the look for little.
Canvas with a textured arch

What are your other tips for creating a unique decor?

Handmade accessories are an inexpensive way to add a unique touch to any room. Paint a vase or decorative bowl with spray paint or paint wooden furniture a trendy colour, for example. You can even use joint compound to create a work of art! No artistic skills required. Find out how!

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