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Refurbish for a Fresh Start: 5 Powerful Interior Design Tips

Interior design is more than appearances—it’s about refurbishing or creating a functional, comfortable space that resonates with your individuality. These essential tips will help you create an environment you’ll love, whether you’re renovating your whole house or just updating one space.

Space Planning: Refurbish Your Space

Besides measuring traffic flow and furniture arrangement, here are some extra tips that can go a long way:

Consider Furniture Scale and Proportion:

• Stay Balanced: Avoid stuffing them with big furniture when dealing with small rooms. Instead, opt for sizes that fit the space well.

• Give Yourself Space: Shoving furniture against walls smothers the area. Giving yourself room makes the space feel open and fresh.

Think Outside the Box:

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Multi-Purpose Pieces: Find things that have multiple functions. For example, a console table behind your couch can be storage or even an extra lamp table. A guest room futon offers seating and sleeping functionality.

• Be Flexible: Add wheels or casters to your furniture to easily change it whenever inspiration strikes or for different activities or occasions.

Negative Space:

• Leave Some Empty Spots: Negative space is vital because it creates calm energy in any environment.

• Conversation Areas: Furniture placement should target facing each other comfortably while leaving enough room for movement.

Specific Needs:

• Home Office Haven: Set up a workspace with proper lighting and storage for office supplies, even in the living room corner.

• Hidden Entertainment Center: If space is limited, consider getting a Murphy bed or cabinet bed that folds up, revealing a hidden TV and entertainment system. This will maximize space in a studio apartment.

Software Assistance:

• 3D Modeling Tools: Free or paid 3D modeling software lets you virtually arrange your furniture before making any purchases, so you won’t be disappointed when it arrives.

• Space Planning Apps: Create digital floor plans and experiment with different layouts on your phone or tablet.

Remember, space planning is an iterative process. Keep trying new things until you achieve a functional flow that perfectly suits your needs and lifestyle.

Lighting Design: Set the Mood 

We’ve brushed over the basics already, like using layers, natural light, dimmers, and color temperature to create a well-lit space. Here are some additional tips to make your lighting design even better:

Think Outside of the Norm:

• Play with Light Fixtures: Sometimes, all it takes is one statement pendant or sculptural table lamp to elevate your room. Lighting fixtures can be functional works of art in their own right.

• Ditch Overhead Glare: Recessed lighting can be harsh at times, so try cove lighting instead. This type of lighting hides its source while bathing the ceiling in a soft glow. You could also consider track lighting for a more modern feel.

• Smart Lighting Is Your Friend: You can use these bulbs to control brightness and color temperature and even automate scenes for different activities or moods

Draw Attention to Architectural Features

• Uplighting: Try washing walls with light or accentuating architectural details like columns and beams. It gives a sense of depth and drama to your space.

• Downlighting: Aim downlights towards walkways or specific areas to create a path you want people to follow or draw attention to artwork on the floor.

Lighting for Different Activities:

• Reading Nook: A good reading nook should have focused light that doesn’t strain your eyes. An adjustable arm floor lamp would work great.

• Home Theater: A cinema experience isn’t complete without dimmable recessed lighting at a low color temperature.

• Kitchen Task Lighting: Under-cabinet lighting illuminates countertops so you can see what you’re doing when preparing meals (and it’s also essential for food safety).

Don’t Forget Outdoors:

• String Lights: Fairy lights or string lights draped across patios or pergolas add magic outside, too!

• Path Lights: Low-level path lights guide walkways and add a touch of safety and security.

• Solar Lights: Solar-powered lights are eco-friendly and low-maintenance. Use them to illuminate pathways, gardens, decks…, and anywhere outside without electrical wiring.

Remember: Lighting is one of the most important parts of interior design. Remember these tips while letting your creativity flow to create a beautiful and functional space suited to your needs and desired atmosphere. 

Task Lighting for Specific Needs:

Instead of harsh overhead lighting that makes everyone look 100 years old (which may be right), kitchens should use under-cabinet lighting to brighten countertops. Use sconces on either side of the bathroom mirror instead of that big ugly bulb above your head for better task lighting.

DIY Projects:

Beyond upcycled furniture finds from local garage sales, flea markets, and estate sales (you get it), here are some more DIY ideas for personalizing your space and showcasing your creativity.

Crafty Cozy Touches:

• Knit or Crochet Throw Blankets: Learning how to knit or crochet is a great way to relax and add warmth and texture to your space with the cozy throw blankets you make.

• DIY Pillows and Plushies: Get that sewing machine out of storage! Sew unique throw pillows with fabric scraps you have lying around. Or even better, create adorable plush toys for a touch of whimsy.

• Macrame Wall Hangings: Macrame is super trendy right now. This technique creates beautiful wall hangings, plant holders, or room dividers.

Upcycling with Flair:

• Tin Can Lanterns: Transform empty tin cans into charming lanterns with paint, decorative punched patterns, tea lights, or battery-operated fairy lights for a warm glow.

• Mason Jar Crafts: Mason jars are every crafter’s dream jar — they’re versatile and have endless possibilities! Use them for storage, create centerpieces with fairy lights and flowers, or paint them and hang them as decorative candle holders.

• Repurposed Picture Frames: You have that one wall in the house that takes up so much space, and you have no idea what to do with it, right? Grab those old picture frames collecting dust in the closet and put them to good use. Give each one a fresh coat of paint and hang it on your wall as artwork, or, if you’re feeling extra creative, cover the whole thing with photos for a photo collage. 

Personalized Touches:

• DIY Coasters: No more arguing over whose drink belongs to whom! Personalize your own coasters using ceramic tiles, wooden slices from a past hiking trip (or maybe even the woods behind your house), or fabric scraps. Paint your initials on them so nobody can claim they thought it was theirs.

• DIY Throw Pillows with Photos: We all love personalized gifts, but sometimes they can be expensive (and for some reason, photo paper is really uncomfortable to lay on). Instead, print family photos onto fabric sheets found at almost any craft store (or online). Take a weekend project to create throw pillows with loved ones’ faces or cherished artwork—gift one to every family member!

• DIY Wall Decals: If you’ve always dreamed of adding some personal touches to your home but never had the budget for it, now’s your chance! Head to any store that sells stencils and vinyl paint and get creative. Add quotes above doorways, patterns behind cabinets, or silhouettes along baseboards. Personalize each room without going broke.

Onto some interior design tips:

Planning and Budgeting:

• Think About It: Before starting any decorating process, ask yourself these questions: “What needs to go in this room?” and “How do I want this room to make me feel?” These questions will help guide where things should go so everything is as functional as possible.

• Spend Money Smart: In every setting, there are things that you can and can’t pinch pennies on. You’ll spend more money on more significant furniture items (like a couch or bed) than on decorative pieces, so set your priorities straight when planning for each room.

Creating A Look:

• Color Scheme: Each room should make you feel a different way—cozy, calm, happy, whatever! Paint warm colors like reds and oranges for the most comfortable feel or cool colors like blues and greens for the most calming ambiance. 

• Focus on The Center: Every living space needs a centerpiece. This will draw your attention as soon as you walk in and keep you interested. Arrange everything else around that center, but be sure not to distract from it too much.

Furniture Arrangement and Decor:

• Furniture Placement: Nobody likes shouting across a room to converse at dinner time. Ensure there is an easy path between every sitting area so people don’t have to jump over coffee tables to get where they need to be.

• Use Rugs: Rugs help define spaces within one big room and add warmth in cold areas (both temperature-wise and aesthetic). Nothing will pull together your reading nook more than a knitted blanket hanging off the back of a chair.

Additional Tips:

• Mix Things Up Many people think mixing vintage with modern is unheard of, but that could not be further from the truth! Taking old finds from garage sales or thrift shops and blending them with brand-new items sets a unique tone while still screaming “you.”

• Natural Light Best Light: No matter how many light bulbs we put in our home, nothing beats good ol’ sunshine shining through our windows. Use window treatments that let sunlight brighten up your space and make it feel inviting and comfortable.

• Bring Nature House plants are so underrated. They add color to your home and clean your air! Find some that match the sunlight from your windows and watch them thrive. Just be sure to water them every now and then, or they’ll start wilting away.

• Feel at home: The most important thing about any space is making it feel like it’s yours. Each room and wall should be an extension of you, so don’t be afraid to lean in. Consider hanging up family photos, displaying your favorite collections, or even putting out small trinkets. It’s all about making a space that makes you happy.

But remember— these are just guidelines! There’s no wrong way to decorate your home. As long as it makes you happy, nothing else matters!

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