We have a lot to cover, so I’ll spare you the pithy introduction, and cut right to the chase.
1. Clearing away dust and dirt will make even the most dated décor feel at least livable.
2. Follow the three D’s. De-clutter, dump and donate.
3. Repaint the walls at least every five or six years, and don’t forget about the moldings.
4. Change out the area rugs or remove them completely for a lighter spring and summer feeling.
5. Paint the furniture. Tired of that old armoire or coffee table? Slaps a highly lacquered coat of paint in a bright color for instant pizzazz.
6. Add crown and wall moldings. Consider Styrofoam moldings for a less costly solution that’s indistinguishable from expensive plaster.
7. Want to be green but can’t get used to cool CFL lighting? Then skip it and use incandescent bulbs with lamp dimmers instead. The bulbs will last much longer than normal and the dimmers will create a lovely glow in every room. (Try pink-tinted bulbs for an even warmer look).
8. Decorate the drawers. Opening a well-organized drawer lined with fabric will change your life. (Cheat: Updated shelf paper comes in chic designs. Peel and stick.)
9. Hire an art-hanging company. Minor changes can make a world
10. Place a standing order for fresh flowers delivered weekly.
11. Host a home good swap party. Ask guests to bring photos of items they would like to loan out or the item itself. Wait six months and repeat.
12. Change the pulls on cabinets and dressers. For added sparkle, consider glass or polished nickel. For a funkier look, use mismatched vintage pulls.
13. Re-think the purpose of every room. If there’s a TV that you never watch, remove it. If there’s a room you never use, craft it to suit your needs. Make it a yoga room or even an art gallery.
14. Leopard and zebra prints are the spiciest neutrals. Use them for rugs, pillow coverings and wall coverings (but use them wisely).
15. Upholster the wall behind your bed for a sumptuous look.
16. Replace your dining room chandelier with a trio of complementary pendants hung at varying heights.
17. Frame something meaningful, whether an art print or an old doll. (Don’t frame baby clothes, which can look kind of creepy.)
18. Throw things off balance. Nix matching bedside tables in favor of unique, complementary pieces. Break up the matching lamps flanking the sofa.
19. It’s your home. Forget about following trends and keeping up with the Joneses. Just do what you want.
Painted chair: As a photo stylist, Johanna Lowe understands how to make things pop. In the bedroom of her Buchanan, Michigan home, a red chair injects a dose of color into an otherwise neutral space.
Flowers: Interior designer Nicholas Moriarty stops and smells the flowers in his Chicago loft.
Oversized chandelier: An oversized chandelier by artist Lucy Slivinski makes quite a statement hanging in interior designer Michael Del Piero’s Bucktown boutique and design studio.
Upholstered drawers = inner peace? (Photo taken at Scout in Andersonville).
Wall moldings: Add wall moldings for interest and sophistication. (Photo taken at Andrew Hollingsworth’s former condo on Lake Shore Drive).