We spend a lot of time in our homes, more so now that many are working from home. The more time we spend looking at the same four walls, the more important it is to make that space fit with our needs. Whether you need a place to be productive or a place to unwind, a simple refresh, or an entire overhaul, it can be hard to know where to begin. This is especially true if you’re looking around right now at blank walls and sparse furniture.
Before you get overwhelmed with options, start with these 5 simple steps.
1. Overhaul Your Walls
Painting your walls instantly upgrades the look of your home and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. You don’t have to paint all four walls, either. Paint one wall to create a focal point that draws the eye toward it. Paint the bottom half of a wall or play with patterns by taping diagonal lines with painter’s tape and only painting inside the lines. If you have some extra money in the budget, or you have landlords that don’t allow painting, try a peel-and-stick wallpaper. Today’s wallpaper has so many options for colors, styles, and even textures. They have a sticky backing that can be repositioned if you don’t get it right the first time, which is extra helpful.
2. Put Up Shelving
Bare walls make a home look unfinished. A quick way to complete the look is with shelving. Shelves come with an added bonus of extra storage if space is a premium in your home. Create a shelf that runs the length of your room, or stack shelves vertically on a wall and add your favorite books, collectibles, storage boxes, or a mix of the three to give your room a lived-in look. While finished shelves can get expensive, they are fairly easy to DIY by purchasing lumber from your local home improvement store. The larger hardware centers will cut your wood planks for free to the exact size you need. You can stain the wood for a few bucks more or leave it unfinished. There are cool brackets for sale online in just about any style you can imagine. Look for brackets that match the size of your shelves and already come with screws and anchors to take the guesswork out of installation.
3. DIY Framed Art
In addition to shelves, framed art makes a home pop. While professional artwork and custom frames can get pricey quickly, you don’t need to spend your last penny to get gorgeous art on your walls. Even the simplest painting or photograph looks great with a frame around it. Art kits are an affordable way to add paintings to your walls. Find a kit that comes with multiple sizes of canvas or cardstock and includes paint and brushes. Invite your friends, family, kids, and even the family pet to an art party to get a good mix of artistic styles. There are also websites that will let you print photos onto canvas or poster board. For a technology twist, you can also download frame-worthy digital art created by AI. Mix different colored frames and different picture sizes for an eclectic look that will fit in with any decorative style. Custom frames can get expensive, but if you stick to standard sizes you can usually find a deal at your local craft store or even better deals by buying multiple frame packs online.
4. Plants! (Real or Artificial)
Plants add atmosphere (literally, adding oxygen) to any room in the home. They can bring a calming feeling and an increased sense of well-being. Larger plants can get pricey, but if you group smaller plants together you can still get that one-with-nature effect while spending less. They increase the humidity around themselves, and you reap the benefits. For dark spaces, consider adding an LED Grow Light to keep plants thriving year-round. If you have a black thumb, opt for artificial plants. They may not release oxygen or humidity, but they’ll still look great, and will give you a similar sense of calmness. A rule of thumb with plants, group them in odd numbers. They tend to look better in groups of 1, 3, or 5.
5. Ditch the Outdated Lighting
If you still use incandescent light bulbs in your home, a super simple way to upgrade to high-quality light that looks great with any home décor is to switch to White Filament LED Bulbs. White filament bulbs emit similar light to incandescents using up to 90% less energy and come in a clear glass housing that shows off their minimal white filament inside. While other clear LEDs have large yellow filaments that are obvious, these bulbs are more discreet, blending into your home’s décor. They look great with every design style from minimalist to maximalist, modern to vintage, shabby chic to industrial. LED bulbs last up to 50,000 hours and they don’t start to dim like incandescent bulbs as they age. White filament bulbs have a 90+ CRI. Their high-quality color rendering makes white objects appear whiter, skin tones appear more natural, and colors appear true to life. These bulbs were meant to be seen, so you can leave the lampshades off. They’ll look white when they’re off, but they come in warm and cool color temperatures, so you can still get the right light for your space.
Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive. No matter your style or budget, these steps will set you on your path to making your home match your personality and fit your needs. And if you still have your heart set on the original vintage look, check out our line of Vintage LEDs.