Remodeling can be pricey, time consuming, and messy. It can also be out of the question in a rental. If your space is in need of a face lift, and remodeling is just not in the works for whatever reason, there are still plenty of things you can do to reinvent and transform. I want to share my three top ways to makeover a space without remodeling, as well as a few tips on each.
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Paint is the number one, easy way to quickly transform a space. If you are not sure what direction you want to go with your decor, you can still put a beautiful neutral paint on the walls that will work with everything.
If you want a go-to source for all things painting, I highly recommend The Creativity Exchange. Cyndy knows paint colors backwards and forwards and gives some beautiful recommendations.
Because I like to keep things really, really simple, here’s my #1 color recommendation.
I have given out this paint color in answer to variations of “what’s the perfect gray paint?” so many times I really ought to be an official representative for Sherwin-Williams. But I’m not, so this is all just free advertising born from my deep, heart-felt love.
Unless you want to call me, Sherwin-Williams.
I’ll keep this brief, but here’s the scoop: Gray paints are always going to tint in a direction. They are either going to show green or blue. It’s really hard to find one that balances well in all settings and under all light sources. In my opinion and experience, Agreeable Gray is the best balance. Okay, maybe best is subjective, but it’s pretty darn good. Personally, I think this stuff is better than the wildly popular Revere Pewter, by Benjamin Moore. That is a lovely color, but there are some green undertones I’m not digging.
I’m going to borrow this image from Hometalk to give you the closest side-by-side I can.
See the slight green cast? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a gorgeous color, but in a side by side, I’ll go with Agreeable Gray every time.
Is this color a wow? Nope, not really. But it’s steady, simply lovely under evening sunlight, delightfully light in daylight, and quietly perfect under artificial lights.
Here are some more photos of Agreeable Gray in action, via Houzz.com.
I have mentioned before that my husband completely renovated the home we live in now. Since returning to this house after spending a couple years away we have been working to give the home a little more character. The first thing we did was to repaint everything. The next big thing on my to-do list was lighting.
Lighting may not be the first thing you think of when you consider impact on a room, but outdated or lighting that out of sync with the rest of the home has the potential to make all your other hard work far less than it could be. Everything we do is on a budget, so when I decided to change out the pendant lights above our kitchen peninsula and the fixture over our dining table it had to be done very inexpensively.
Here are a couple [admittedly lame] before shots.
Here’s the look after we replaced the fixtures. What was there was not bad, despite the terrible photos. But they were not on point with the look of the rest of the house. The new lighting was an incredibly good deal, so much so that I was afraid they would not last. In fact I waited to do this post so I could tell you how they are holding up. It has now been 10 months, and we are just as happy with our purchase now as we were when we got them. They do not look at all cheap. No, we are not using Edison bulbs. While they are undeniably awesome looking when they are off, Edison bulbs put off a light that is just too amber for our liking.
Not sure what style you like best? Chances are, it’s a mix. Here’s a point I would like to emphasize: Just because you like it in someone else’s home does not mean it is your style. Look at the pieces you have gravitated to and purchased for your own home. What do they have in common? You might love what that HGTV host is doing with midcentury modern, but look around and realize the things you have invested in and love are very traditional. Instead of thinking you are doing something “wrong” ask yourself what it is that draws you to the style you find appealing. Perhaps, in this example, you love the simple lines and clean look of midcentury.
Most people style’s are actually a mix of various styles. How can the clean lines and simple designs of midcentury inform your more traditional look? Do not go purchase something just because it fits into the style you want. Unlike HGTV, decorating isn’t meant to be done in a day. Rather it should be a process that reflects you and your family. And remember, often it is not about what you accumulate, but what you get rid of.
When my husband and I first married this is what our living room looked like. It was nice, but it also really wasn’t my decor at all. It was my first home and I felt completely unequal to the task. So, despite my husband’s encouragement to “make it my own,” there it sat.
Five years, and one house in between later, here is what the room looks like now.
It’s a continual work in progress, most notably because I want to replace the chairs and slipcover the couch, but it is much more us now. And with the exception of the fireplace and build ins, it is done without remodeling. We we able to find a look we wanted by taking out furniture, repainting the walls, and including decorative accessories that felt more “us.” It didn’t happen all at once, and it is still happening…and that is okay.
With those pointers in mind, here are a few easy and fun quizzes that do a pretty good job identifying what you might like.
Now, get out there and make your home what you love!