Freshen up: Simple ways to update your rooms


Welcome the new year with fresh updates and simple remodeling tips to make your home feel oh-so 2012, but don’t start knocking out walls and pulling up carpet just yet. Check out these small-scale ideas to give your living space a renewed feeling of freshness.

Becky Mosby, allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers and owner of Edgevale Interiors in Mission, says “the number one thing you can do is to add color.”

In the winter, adding yellows (citron yellow continues to be a hot hue this year), reds and greens warm up a room, while grays, blues and purples tend to cool. Mosby likes to bring in different pillows and other accessories, such as candles, to update rooms. “Those are inexpensive, easy things to do.” 


Kitchens are the hubs of our homes, where we gather to cook, eat and socialize. If a total kitchen remodel isn’t in your plans, make smaller changes. 

Geri Higgins, principal and CEO of Portfolio Kitchen & Home, a premier kitchen, bath and home design center, says it’s essential to make the space functional. “The simplest way to get a cleaner, fresher look is to edit your kitchen.” Look around and decide what can be cleared off counter tops. Massive mixer eating up precious square footage? Stash it away and pull it out as needed. 

“You want to think of your kitchen as a still life,” Higgins says. “Look at it from every angle and make sure each (angle) is warm and inviting to you.”

 Move art into the kitchen. Personalize the space with one unique piece or a special collection that becomes a focal point. Try pots of herbs above the sink, a special hanging pendant or prop a small piece of art on the counter.

 Change knobs and pulls. Think of it as jewelry for your cabinets. With so many options and prices, it’s a simple way to change the look of your kitchen. 

 Install a custom panel on your dishwasher or refrigerator to make the kitchen appear bigger. “This makes a world of difference,” Higgins says. “Your eye sees a continuous line. It really changes the look of small kitchens.”

 Consider replacing countertops. Don’t assume granite or nothing; there are so many options. Higgins likes CeasarStone, a quartz surface that gives a “consistent look and is completely stain resistant.”

 Rethink paint colors. Don’t be afraid of grays, browns and other strong colors. Higgins suggests painting the kitchen and surrounding areas the same color. “Not only will it make the space look bigger, but it’ll have unity as it transitions from kitchen to living area.” Add a connecting element — curtains, accessories or paint color — so there is a “natural transition from living room to kitchen.”

 Add a new backsplash. It dramatically changes the look of your kitchen. Lots of options (mosaic, glass, stainless steel, large format tiles) help personalize the space. Higgins offers this advice: match the grout to the tile to give it a clean look.


How to update the smallest room in your house? Jan Duncan, owner of Synergy Construction Company Inc., says customers want an open floor plan in their bathroom, just like the rest of their house. “A more open bathroom doesn’t feel as confined and gives you more room.”

Install frameless glass for the shower door. This provides the illusion of more space. Bonus: no tracks to clean!

Consider replacing the sink. Duncan says furniture-style sinks — wooden tables fitted with under-mount sinks and topped with granite or other solid materials — are popular. 

 Replace fixtures. Duncan says chrome fittings are seeing a resurgence. “It’s more of a timeless, ageless finish,” he says.

 Paint tile if it’s not in the shower area or consider installing Onyx, a solid surfacing material. Plus, no grout seams and it comes in dozens of colors. 

Living Rooms/Bedrooms

Inject color into spaces with throw pillows, quilts or blankets. It’s an easy way to update and can be changed seasonally. 

 Rearrange furniture or even just accessories in a room. “It gives you a fresh look that doesn’t take a lot of work,” Mosby says.

 Add lamps. “A lot of spaces that are bright in the summer become darker in the winter,” she adds.

 Think green. “Bring the outdoors in with plants,” Mosby says. “It feels good to have greenery around you.”



lchic's picture

I love all these suggestions on how to freshen up the look and feel of your home. I would like to add something about updating the kitchen though. I was just recently updating my kitchen, and I added some kitchen under cabinet lighting. This made my cabinets really pop, and that is exactly what I was looking for. The under cabinet lighting is a kit of LED strip lights that go under your cabinet. They are really easy to install, and can make your kitchen really stand out. Thanks for all the tips!

its_me's picture

We mostly do not put much of an effort on the bathroom area. So we keep ignoring it when it comes to designing. But with a proper planning we could easily transform the look of our bathroom. You could install modern bathroom sinks and vanities and change the color of bathroom it would sure look different.

imwilliam's picture

These are cool ideas. We could do little things to make our house look better every now and then we should try doing something to jazz up the look of our house. But the key to having a nice house is to go for regular cleaning. Make sure your house is clutter free and most importantly pests free.

its_me's picture

Updating your house could be easily done if you plan well. Sometimes we have to make small changes to our house like we have to repaint it, or buy some new furniture. You could make great changes to any room like kids room this way; go for new Kids Beds they will love it and it would also change the look of the room.

lindaray4u's picture

Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips.This house looks to be beautiful in the picture.A bathroom is an important part of a House.I want a luxury bathrooms that can give me a spa like feeling.If you are also looking for matching Fast shipping on sofabed mattresses.please check this link.

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timtim's picture

If you are talking about a grant to repair or improve your own home, here are a couple of ideas: 1) contact your local government (city or county usually) to see if they have any home repair grant programs, and whether or not you qualify.

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Nice tips about decorate the room.I need an advise if the color of my curtains are orange then what color suits to wall.
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These ways are indeed simple but no doubt these are highly effective. To give a fresh look to your house or any particular room, you do not have to make elaborate arrangements. Just concentrate on the thing you want to change for instance in your kitchen, and work on it.

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crazysony's picture

This is a great post!My husband has recently decided to update our house and he changed the walls' color.He also bought some new furniture and built a new stairway.Our house looks better now and I am very proud of my husband.

crazysony's picture

This is a great post!I've recently renovated my house and I decorated my small bathroom in Feng Shui style.It look great and fancy.

It is not possible to change the look of your home each new year but occasionally you should consider bring some changes to your home decor that are affordable. The most important area of our home always remain neglected, the bathroom, if you can not remodel it at least change the bathroom toilet after some years.

williamson's picture

Welcome the new year with fresh updates and simple remodeling tips to make your home feel oh-so 2012, but don’t start knocking out walls and pulling up carpet just yet. Check out these small-scale ideas to give your living space a renewed feeling of here , here

For the holidays you have to bring some new ideas home and you have to keep the look interesting. But when you are busy decorating your entire house do not forget to decorate your bathroom as it usually needs more attention.

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rdokoye's picture

I definitely need to renovate my place, haven't done it in a while and things are starting to look rather placid, which can be a good thing, and a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

We could indeed create a fresh look by making simple changes in the house. But you need to make sure that it is clean also keep you do not want to have dirty carpet and mites in the home.

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