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.
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.”