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The Augusta floor plan by AB Homes with dark tan siding, white trim and landscaping wide shot
The Augusta floor plan by AB Homes with dark tan siding, white trim and landscaping wide shot

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Four easy ways to Refresh your Home

by Brandon Simpson and Dan Lawson

Want to refresh your home? After hunkering down for a chilly winter, we’re ready for the warm rays of spring. This is an ideal time for brightening both your outlook – and living areas. Combined with working remotely or living in close quarters with others may make you wonder: How long can I look at the same four walls? We asked our decorator friend Christine Norton for a little advice. She owns the home-staging service Staged Affairs and knows how to create warm, inviting interiors that complement her clients’ existing furniture and home décor. In a quick call with her this week, she answered a few questions about this topic, offering four easy ways to refresh your home.

Staged living and dining room in an AB Homes of Virginia

Four easy ways to Refresh your Home

What can you do to refresh living areas without overspending?

Start with decluttering; then have some fun rearranging what you already have. Try that sofa in a different spot, and clear out items big or small that are not necessary or that lend to a messy look. It’s surprising how those two steps can change the feel of your room. Then, go “shopping” at home. I love mixing and matching furniture and repurposing items I have on hand. Maybe it’s moving an accent table to another room, or relocating a mirror to a different wall. You can brighten any space with a new paint color, and by replacing your lamps with cool-toned bulbs. If you have a budget for new purchases, you can quickly refresh a room with a new area rug, new colors in throw pillows, a new lamp, or a large-scale painting or print. It’s a moderate investment that can really change the look of a room.

How can you create a home office in a shared space?

If you are using a communal space for your home office, such as a living room or bedroom, try to blend your work area into the setting. The idea is to make these areas coexist, rather than have the office area stand out. Pull the couch away from the wall, for instance, and place your desk area behind it. If you don’t need a large workspace, you can find desks and chairs in a slender style. These can fit under a staircase nook, in a closet, against a blank wall, or next to your bed. The most important thing is to find the space that works best for you. When you do, I recommend personalizing it with something that is special to you—a fun picture, a nice plant, or a memento that makes you smile.

What about warming up transitional areas, such as foyers, hallways, and mudrooms?

Think about how you use these spaces, and then look for items and home décor that make sense to you. A foyer is a good place to have a small console table that can hold keys and mail, with a coat rack nearby. Hallways are ideal for hanging an ornate mirror or a series of large, framed art. These add weight to the space and are pleasing to the eye. A small chest of drawers could also complement the end of the hallway while adding extra storage. Most mudrooms already have cubbies, so think about adding baskets to these bins for keeping belongings out of sight. I also love adding small, personal touches to any of these transitional areas, such as framed pictures, ceramic bowls, or interesting antique finds.

Soon, we’ll be enjoying our porches and decks again.

What tips do you have to make these areas welcoming for guests? The least expensive thing you can do is to give these areas a good spring cleaning or a fresh coat of paint. That goes for outdoor furniture too. Aside from that, I’d again look at relocating or repurposing any items you have on hand. I recently cleaned and refreshed my patio area by painting a bench and a few pots. The only items I purchased were new plants and pillows. It made a huge difference. With something as simple as a little elbow grease, your outdoor living areas can have a new look!

Christine has some great ideas, right? We hope her suggestions inspire you to make a few changes in your own home.

All the best,

Brandon and Dan

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