Simple Ways to Spruce Up Your Home

Here are eight simple things you can do to breathe new life into your home, no matter what style or décor you prefer or your budget.

Last year, many of us were spending much more time than usual at home. While more of us may be venturing outside this summer, others, especially those living with chornic illness or disability, may continue to remain at home for a while longer. This could be an ideal time to freshen up and invigorate your space. There are a host of simple, low-cost things you can do to breathe new life into your home, no matter what style or décor you prefer or your budget. 

It's important to be aware of your limits when it comes to DYI home projects, experts say. Even if you know how to wield a drill or can easily assemble furniture, certain jobs are best left to those with expertise, especially projects involving electrical work or plumbing. Even if DYI isn't your thing, however, you can still make many improvements.

Here are eight easy, inexpensive ways to enliven your house or apartment.


The Home EditBefore you begin redecorating or buying any new items, a good first step is to thoroughly evaluate what you have and start to declutter. Sort through your closets and storage areas and throw away, recycle, or donate any items you no longer need or want. If you aren't sure where to start, look up the methods developed by organizing guru Marie Kondo and let her be your guide. Other helpful resources include The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals and The Home Edit Life: The No-Guilt Guide to Owning What You Want and Organizing Everything. There's also The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How To Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter. Don't forget about all the little things you have stuffed inside of kitchen cabinets, dressers, and bathroom drawers.


Keeping your home as clean as possible is especially important during the pandemic. Assemble your supplies and embark on a top-to-bottom cleaning. You can wash windows, clean out your refrigerator, and scrub your oven. Dust and vacuum all those spots you haven't gotten to in a while. Don't forget to wipe down your microwave. Frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, phones, keyboards, and other handheld gadgets should also be wiped down. Toss things in the laundry that usually don't get cleaned, such as your curtains, throw blankets, and pillows. Don't feel pressure to get everything done in a day; coming up with a calendar for different tasks may help make it less daunting. 


One easy way to obtain a fresh look is to move around furniture and other objects. Whether it's artwork, side tables, or larger pieces of furniture, rearranging items can open up space and transform a room. You can also look around your home and in storage spaces to see if you have any pieces of furniture, lamps, or artwork that could work better in another room or area.


Another easy The Martha Manualchange is to swap out plain knobs and drawer pulls for styles with color or more character. You can look into vintage items or modern styles, considering the shape, material, and finish of each one. This simple step can instantly upgrade your cabinets and dressers. Little things really do go a long way when it comes to home decor. Getting a new shower curtain is one way to change up your bathroom. If you have been using plastic curtains, you may want to invest in a fabric style. A new, brightly colored area rug can change the feel of any room. You can also pick up (or make) some new wall art or add a mirror to open up a smaller room. A brightly colored set of dish towels in the kitchen can add some pop. The Martha Manual: How To Do (Almost) Everything can offer guidance.


Adding a new coat of paint can give your space an entirely different feel. And there are many options for painting projects. You can paint all the walls in a room, or just a single accent wall. You can use a similar shade of paint or try a complementary color. If you want a smaller project, try painting the trim along floors or windows, give your kitchen cabinets a new hue, or liven up your bathroom walls.


It's easy to forget about the lighting in our home, especially if it's been the same for a long time. The way you light up your home can be both practical and attractive, and is another arena to look at when you want to freshen up your space. You might want to try brighter bulbs for more light. A new lamp can add a decorative element to any room. Sometimes changing a lampshade may be provide the change you are looking for. If you don’t want to install anything new, you can invest in a standing lamp to brighten things up.


Homemade HouseplantsPlants add color and life to any room. They also detoxify the air and bring nature to you when you aren’t able to get outside as often as you would like. Even if you aren't a green thumb, there are many types of plants that will thrive without too much effort. Small succulents are easy to care for and can brighten up ledges, bedside tables, and bathroom counters. A large potted plant such as a palm plant adds a dramatic touch to any room. You can also start growing spices and herbs, even if you don’t have a backyard or outdoor space. Herbs such a rosemary and mint are easy to grow inside at home. Online sources such as The Sill and Bloomscape have a large selection of indoor plants. Or you can get started with paper plants as a fun alternative to houseplants. Get started with Handmade Houseplants: Remarkably Realistic Plants You Can Make with Paper.

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