Five Quick Ways to Freshen up a Room

Your best friend’s coming for a visit. Or perhaps it’s a shot of summertime inspiration. Whatever the reason, you want to make some changes in your home but they need to be pretty quick and relatively easy.

I’ve got your fixes here.

And not one of them is “new throw pillows” because that’s obvious and I shoot for extra, not basic, advice here, people.

1) Change out your lampshades

Oh! You didn’t think I was going to talk about lampshades, did you? Because who thinks of lampshades? This guy does:

Miles Redd House Beautiful.jpg

That’s Miles Redd’s home. He’s a design genius, no big deal. Picture this room with standard off-white shades and it isn’t nearly the same.

Too much for you? What about the work of the handsome Nate Berkus? He uses black to punctuate the spaces. It’s subtle, but swap out the black for white or ivory and it isn’t the same.

Nate Berkus.jpg
Nate Berkus 2.jpg

2) Swap out old hardware for something new

Change the look of your stock bathroom vanity, your closet doors, your dresser—you name it. Instant update for not a lot of money.

3) Add a new light fixture or two

I am amazed at the way a great lighting fixture can transform a room. First, the presence of an additional lighting source can make a big difference in the space, whether it’s ambient lighting or task lighting. Want to make your space more modern, more glamorous or more romantic? Add sconces, a chandelier, a sculptural floor lamp or even a cool-looking flush mount, and see what a difference it makes. Just make sure the scale is right. If you’re not sure, usually it’s better to go slightly too big than too small.

4) Put fabric under glass tops

Find a fabric, cut it to size, and have a custom sized glass top made from your local glazier. Bonus: the glass tops help protect furniture. Just make sure the glass is large and heavy enough not to slide around on the fabric. Or secure everything with velcro pads and/or clear anti-skid material you can find at the hardware or fabric store. And use common sense — please don’t do this adjacent to, say, your toddler’s bed.

5) Add fretwork

I know of one company that makes decorative fretwork panel overlays to add to case goods, desks, mirrors, and other furnishings. It’s called O’verlays —and NO, they are not compensating me to mention them! There may be other businesses that offer similar products, or you could have a finish carpenter or woodworker make overlays for you. Anyway, here is the website I found:

They offer tutorials and lots of pictures. Apparently you can add the overlays to IKEA furniture to nice effect. No matter where you go to get these panels, isn’t it a great way to spruce up your existing furniture? I would like to try this on a decorative screen/room divider or in a powder room to spiff up an existing plain wood vanity.

Here are pics from their website:


Enjoy your summer and send me your pics if you try any of the above!