Easy Ways to Reinvent Your Living Space While You’re Stuck at Home

From adding pops of color to redesigning your shelves, local designers offer tips to make your home look new—and you might not even need to spend a dollar.

If you’re practicing social distancing and self-quarantining at home right now (as you should be!), chances are you’ve probably started to create a mental list of all the things you’d like to change about your interior design. 

Whether you’re sick of staring at that same old piece of art above the fireplace or wishing you would’ve painted your kitchen cabinets, our homes and how we live in them are top of mind right now. 

The good news is, when it comes to amping up your interior style, a little bit can go a long way.

“For sanity’s sake, I would recommend focusing on small DIY and decluttering projects right now,” says Natalie Troyer, a home designer at local building company, Emergent Group. “No need to add more stress to your life by upheaving your haven.” 

Preach, sister. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

To get some advice on how to refresh your living space during quarantine, I turned to the experts. Here’s what Jaimie Rae of James Rae Designs, a local design firm specializing in home staging, and Natalie Troyer had to share about a few relatively simple projects that will make a big impact on your home.

Brighten up your walls with a fresh coat of paint

Nothing spruces up the interior of a home quite like a new coat of paint. If choosing the perfect color feels overwhelming, know that you really can’t go wrong with neutrals, especially if you ever decide to put your home on the market.

According to Jaimie Rae, grays are out and whites are in.

“We are loving pure, bright, clean whites. Our personal favorite is Behr Marquee in Ultra Pure White,” says Jaimie.

If bold colors are more your thing, try painting a bathroom, office, or an accent wall to add a little pizazz without overdoing it.

Add a pop of color

If painting is out of the question right now, there are lots of other ways to add pops of color to your living spaces.

“You can always add a fun piece of furniture as your pop of color,” says Jaimie. “Scared to do something as bold as a velvet pink couch? Start with fun throw pillows in different colors, patterns and textures.”

On a personal note, I am the proud owner of a pink velvet couch and have never been more in love with my living room. It feels pretty darn fabulous.

That said, if spending money on furniture or throw pillows isn’t in the budget right now, Rae suggests changing things up by rearranging what you already own.

“Move your couch to a different wall and a chair to a new corner,” says Jaimie. “Swap out rugs from different rooms, restyle your bookshelves, and get creative.”

Redesign your shelves

Now is a great time to not only declutter any shelving you have, but redesign it. Not sure where to begin? Well, Natalie makes it easy by recommending a complete fresh start.

“Start over! Take everything off your shelves, then shop in your own home. Lay everything out on the floor and begin to edit,” says Natalie. “If you have a specific style or look you’re going for, start to group things together that go together and edit out anything that doesn’t work.” 

Whether you’re working with books, art, knick-knacks, or all of the above, the key is to mix and match shapes and textures to give things what Natalie calls the “collected over time” vibe.

“Your shelves are a small way you can show who you are and display things that are important to you,” Natalie says. “Have some fun with it.”

Bring the outdoors inside with house plants

Lush, green plants are like a breath of fresh air to your home. In the real estate world, nothing makes a vacant house feel more welcoming than a little (or a lot of) greenery.

“It’s hands down our favorite way to make any stage feel like a home,” says Jaimie.

If you have trouble keeping your new green friends alive, trust me, you’re not alone. Follow Meredith of Houseplant Designs for lots of helpful tips and tricks on how to keep your plants growing and thriving all year around.

Create dimension with mirrors

If you’ve ever watched HGTV, you already know that mirrors can help make spaces look bigger. But to really enhance your space, there’s a little more styling to be done than just simply hanging a mirror on the wall.

“The real trick of the trade is to build out a mirror,” says Jaimie. “Add a bench, chair, an old trunk, or a bar cart underneath it.” And remember those plants you just bought? Grab one and place it nearby.

The more texture and dimension, the better. Building out your mirror, as Jaimie calls it, will give your space vibrancy and life. “The key is to pull everything together––taking a cold space and really boost it to the next level,” says Jaimie.

Make a list of projects for later

If now’s not the time for you to tackle any of these projects, we totally get it. No need to rush into a home improvement project if you’re not feeling up for it.

Another option is to spend some time planning, prioritizing, and budgeting for the projects you want to do when quarantine is over.

“People are spending so much time in their homes now they can really see what’s working and what needs addressed,” says Natalie. “Make a list of fun projects you want to do at a later date.”

Whether you’re wanting to take the DIY route or hire a professional, now is a great time to map out your wish list. It could also be a good time to schedule phone calls or virtual meetings with any service providers you’re considering working with to get a better sense of costs, timelines and project details.

“When things are back to normal, call all of those talented local designers, stylists, specialists, and builders,” says Natalie. “Hiring them for a project will help support this amazing community that will for sure need help rebuilding after this pandemic.”

It will be so nice when things are back to normal––when walking into the hardware store doesn’t feel so stressful and all of our local home decor shops are once again open to the public.

Until then, I hope these tips for refreshing your home bring you a little extra joy and cheer. Stay home, stay safe, and be well, mavens.

James Rae Designs is an Indy Maven partner. 

Ally Denton is a local Realtor who loves to swoon over gorgeous design. She writes about real estate and home ownership on her website, Indy Home Guide.


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