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How to Refresh the Design of a Tired Room

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No matter how much you may have once loved the look of your interior, even the most stylish room will eventually need a revamp. If you’re feeling inspired to refresh or update your home in the coming weeks, it’s best to start small and get clear on your vision for the space so you don’t break the bank or create an unmanageable workload. Here, we’ve compiled the most important steps to keep in mind when you want to refresh the look of a tired room.

In This Article:
  1. Figure Out What You Already Own and Love
  2. Browse Online for Inspiration
  3. Start With One Room at a Time
  4. Create a Budget
  5. Get Rid of Things You No Longer Need
  6. Begin With Foundational Furniture Pieces
  7. Look for Good Deals
  8. Find Simple Ways to Make a Big Impact
  9. Make the Journey Enjoyable

1. Figure Out What You Already Own and Love

Start by thinking about which items you love in your space and which ones you no longer want. You can use the things you already own and love to shape the new look and feel of the space. For example, if you have a rug or pillow in a pattern that you like, you might want to design a room to match that aesthetic.

Chances are good you also have some items that can be upcycled for a new look. Pay a visit to your storage unit (if you have one) or go through your basement, attic or garage to see if you already have existing furniture or items you can use to freshen up your space. This cuts down on waste and helps stretch your budget, so it’s a win-win situation — especially if you’re in a place with limited space. If you aren’t really in love with anything you currently have, it’s time to figure out your new style.

2. Browse Online for Inspiration

Spend some time looking at room decor ideas on Pinterest and Houzz to figure out what interior design style you like. When you see a picture that sparks inspiration, think about what you like in the photo. Is it the color of the walls, the light fixtures, a particular piece of furniture or something else? Are you more into a boho style, maximalist design or biophilic design?

Identifying exactly what you like about a look will help you replicate it in your own home. If you’re struggling to figure out how to make changes on your own, consider hiring an online designer from a place like Havenly. After getting a sense of your style, they’ll source various pieces and products and put together a digital design of what a given room could look like. This can be a great tool for someone who is visual but struggles to come up with design ideas on their own.

Don’t be afraid to dream big during this stage and make a list of everything that would be in your ideal place. Once you have a better idea of your desired style, you can figure out how to realistically bring that to life (and what design dreams may not be feasible for now).

3. Start With One Room at a Time

While it can be tempting to want to redo your entire house at once, it’s more realistic to focus on one room at a time. To make the refresh process easier, start by making a list of the order you want to complete things. Maybe your bedroom is the top priority, but the bathroom can be pushed down the list to a later date. Designing one room at a time will help make the process more manageable and affordable. Plus, you’ll have something to look forward to in the future as you continue to update your home over time.

4. Create a Budget

A budget is essential when you’re planning a room refresh or redesign. Once you’ve decided what area of your home you’re going to prioritize, make a list of your planned updates, including any furniture or decor pieces you need to buy as well as paint supplies, rugs and other items. Organize these into three categories: essential, nice to have, and not essential. You can pencil in the rough cost of each of these items and decide how to spread out the cost of these items over time or find cheaper alternatives that do the same job.

5. Get Rid of Things You No Longer Need

If you’re trying to figure out how to make your room look better, you can start by getting rid of any clutter. Once you know which furniture and decor you want to replace, you can sell the old items on a platform like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or donate them to a thrift shop. Not only will this get rid of items you no longer need, but it will free up some cash for the update. If you aren’t quite ready to part with the items permanently, you can keep them in a self-storage unit for the time being.

6. Begin With Foundational Furniture Pieces

Your biggest expense — and the one that will make the biggest aesthetic difference in your space — is the centerpiece. In the living room, this is typically the couch or coffee table. In the bedroom, this is often the bed and bed frame. When you’re buying a new piece, be sure to measure your space carefully to ensure it will fit. Once you’ve set it up in your space, take a few days to assess how it looks and feels in the room, and make adjustments to your layout plan or mood board if need be.

Tip: It’s often easier to find a neutral-colored foundational piece that pairs well with smaller, colorful decor items and art.

7. Look for Good Deals

Make a list of the items you need to buy and then start perusing online for those things. To keep your budget down, resist the urge to buy every single item new. Instead, you can look for furniture and other items you want on Facebook Marketplace, local Buy Nothing groups or even garage/yard/stoop sales. You can also browse estate sales or consignment shops. While this may take more time and effort (you’ll need to drive around to pick up pieces from around your city), it can help you find one-of-a-kind pieces at a fraction of the cost. 

It can take a while to build a furniture collection you truly love, so don’t be afraid to wait for the right pieces to come along. Instead of buying something you simply “like” because it’s there, wait to find pieces that truly bring joy to your space. It takes time to build a collection that feels like your own, but being patient and building slowly over time will ensure you get the home of your dreams.

8. Find Simple Ways to Make a Big Impact

If you live in an apartment, you might not necessarily want to make any permanent changes to the place. But hanging new artwork and pictures on the wall, adding new rugs and pillows, swapping out some of the furniture and replacing light fixtures can go a long way in making your home look like new. 

On the other hand, you can also make some more permanent or larger-scale updates to your space, such as painting the walls and ceilings, using peel-and-stick wallpaper or even adding removable backsplash tile to your kitchen. These are all simple ways to redo the style of your home without embarking on a major construction project.

9. Make the Journey Enjoyable

Part of the joy of revamping your home’s interior design is that it’s a journey of self-expression and creativity. Remember to enjoy the process and embrace the evolution of your own style as it naturally changes over time. While there’s nothing wrong with following some of the latest trends, be sure to add timeless pieces into the mix, especially when it comes to your bigger purchases like your couch, bed frame, coffee table and dressers. At the same time, have fun — don’t stress yourself out too much with picking the “right” item. As your tastes shift, there’s always room to repurpose, sell, donate or store items to make room for your new style and ideas.

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