How to Spruce Up Your Home’s Existing Decor

You’ll be amazed by how these little updates can completely transform a space.

Do endless images of beautifully curated homes on Pinterest have you wondering why your home isn’t as picture perfect? While that level of perfection isn’t realistically attainable on a daily basis, there are simple, affordable steps that you can take to breathe new life into your home.

Chicago-based interior designer Carly Pokornowski Moeller of Unpatterned spoke with ESTATENVY to share the easiest ways to spruce up your home without breaking the bank. After friends and family repeatedly consulted her keen eye for design when decorating their spaces, Moeller knew she was onto something. Now an in-demand designer in the greater Chicago area, Moeller has mastered the art of freshening up a space.

Consider how each room functions in your home.

The first thing Moeller asks clients is to explain the function of each room in their home. “I always want to get a vibe of how the room is used and who’s using it,” says Moeller. “It’s important to think about how circulations flows through the room. Do you want the rooms to flow together or do you want them to be divided, like using a couch to break it up? Another thing to consider is how a room is actually used. Some people use their living room as the area of the house where everyone comes together to relax, whereas others might use their living room as a more formal area.”

Low-investment, instantly gratifying updates can transform a space.

Simple changes, like purchasing new throw pillows and restyling bookshelves and coffee tables, can have a major impact. Moeller suggests looking at photos online for inspiration, sticking to a specified color palette and paying attention to details like mixes of textures and varying object heights.

Another easy trick out of Moeller’s playbook: odd numbers tend to look the best. So if you’re going to put candles on a shelf, for example, consider using one or three rather than two. And adding something living, like flowers or plants, is always a good call.

Don’t neglect walls.

The number one mistake Moeller finds in her client’s homes is a lack of fresh paint or wall hangings. “So many of my clients are afraid to mess with their walls,” says Moeller. “But adding a fresh coat is sometimes one of the most powerful things you can do.”

Moeller says wall designs and art hanging are non-committal, inexpensive ways to try out new decor trends. The key is to find pieces that mean something to you, whether it’s a unique wall hanging you found at a flea market or a piece of art that’s been in your family for generations.

Use new hardware to change the vibe of a room.

“I always tell clients some of the biggest impact can be made from hardware and lighting, even in a rental,” says Moeller.

If you still have the knobs and handles that came with the cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom, replace them for a completely new look. As for lighting, affordable fixtures can be found at places like World Market. Look up online tutorials and change out existing fixtures yourself. Replacing outdated lighting with interesting fixtures that emit good light will completely change a room.

Provide a little TLC to valuable and sentimental furniture.

“Reupholstering furniture that has really good bones or sentimental value will probably be less expensive than replacing it,” says Moeller, who often reupholsters pieces for clients. She does, however, warn clients to let go of pieces that don’t fit in your space, especially if you’ve moved things from another apartment/house. “It can hold back the design of the room if you can’t reevaluate it from a spatial standpoint,” she says.