I have moved 21 times in my life. A few as a kid, a lot as an adult. I think a home is wherever you make it and that being in a place of refuge is important, especially in today's overwhelming and chaotic world of more, more, more & busy, busy, busy. I have created sanctuary's for myself no matter the rest of my surroundings. I have lived in gutted houses knee deep in "projects" and now in our current one-which will be renovated from top to bottom some day! These projects take time and money which causes us to live in a state of chaos for long periods of time. I create a cozy space for myself, and now for my family, no matter where I have lived and in what stage of life. I have been organizing spaces for myself and others almost my whole life and I love designing a clean, clutter free home.
I will go into more about how to live in a renovation and not lose your mind as I set out each day to write new posts, but here are some simple tips. The more I created these simple spaces for myself the more I have come to enjoy my life and relax a little on a regular basis. Something I have worked hard to be able to do, as silly as that sounds out loud.
#1. Use cheap accessories (or use spray paint!) to create a color scheme. Now everything big I own like furniture is all very neutral-lots of wood, neutral fabrics and leather. But simple items like pillows, a throw, a candle can create a cohesive theme throughout a room. When someone wants to create a pink little girls room or a very bright nursery I always suggest painting the room a very neutral color. I love gray! Classic, bany neutral will do and then using a few accessories to bring color and style in that way. Over the years, changing and updating a room as children grow is very easy if you only invested a few dollars in some throw pillows and a funky lamp. Add in a duvet cover for $20, poof, new room. Kids sleep better, (and adults too!) in a calming space. This doesn't have to cost a lot of money at all. One neutral bed, (skip the plastic toddler beds!) and a great wood dresser are all you need. And them same goes for your space.
#2. on to spray paint! My favorite tool for quick and easy DIY. Lots of trendy colors can be had in a simple bottle. Getting a great application can be easy and can add new life to old things. Have a bunch of different picture frames all about? Spray them all black for a classic look, or spray them a beautiful turquoise blue like I did for a few new accent pieces. You can spray 5, 10, 20 items depending on their size with one can of spray paint. Easiest DIY out there and almost fool proof. I love to re-spray these items a few years later in an all new color. $10, I'm sold.
* A few tips for spraying if you are new to it. Practice on a piece of cardboard first to get the hang of it. If you create a run of paint, leave it to dry, sand it smooth and spray again. I've learned hard lessons about trying to fix things when wet! It only makes it worse, once dry everything is easier to work with. Buy one good package of 200-450 Grit sandpaper and you'll be fine. Long term highly used items are not the best spray paint candidates but candle holders, accessories, lamps, frames and mirrors can look amazing spray painted. I did however spray my brown and rusty vent covers in this house a flat black and they look Aah-Mazing! They will need to be sprayed again in a few years, but for a couple bucks who cares! The metal ones I was looking at to replace them were $13+tx a piece x 10! We replaced them in our old house, and most of them broke where the plastic clips to the metal. For now, I am in love with them and it cost me approx. $3! I've sprayed all kinds of objects over the years-plant pots, outdoor lanterns, eccentric candle holders, Buddhas, office items like pen holders, letter trays, boxes & baskets. Doesn't matter, almost all of these items can be spray painted. Find something you love but it's ugly? Spray paint it.
#3. Add a few cozy things. A nice throw, or 3! can make your space feel warm. I have taken to wrapping myself up every night on my couch in the winter and I highly recommend! But a few, or 3! pillows and a warm throw create a cozy feeling. Add 2 candle holders with simple and super cheap tea lights and you're done. You can spend $10-$50 and have a beautiful, warm living room or bedroom. Add a few extra pillows to your kids bed and a warm, cuddly fleece blanket in winter and they will hopefully stay out of yours!
#4. Want a spa like bathroom? Step 1. Clear out everything. Scrub it out! Baking soda is amazing for cleaning sinks and tubs, although I don't recommend this for the acrylic pieces out now. Use vinegar water water to spray down your facets and mirror. Get rid of water stains. Now buy or re-use a beautiful shower curtain you love! 2 Thick and Cozy bath towels that match a color in the curtain. Add a shelf or a cupboard where you can. Gather bath supplies in 1 nice basket (a second hand store is a treasure trove of $2-3 baskets. If you get lucky and find 2 matching ones grab them both. Fold up face cloths into smaller one. Boom, spa bathroom. A beautiful area rug you also love will tie on the space and make it extra cozy.
#5 Decorated kitchen, head to a dollar store. Find one cool container for your utensils, buy a new set if you wish, add in a few tea towels to match. If you want to get a little crazy buy a few new coffee mugs in matching color. Simple, yet effective. If you want to go overboard de-clutter your kitchen to contain only the things you use daily. Take the once a year serving dishes and the juicer you bought for $250 and are someday going to use, and store it in a storage room, basement closet or if you are so lucky your walk in pantry. Put away as much crap as you can that you think some day you will use but just at least, store it all together. Even a rubbermaid will do. Just get it out of the way. I stick with white dishes for the most part and have all black utensils. It's not nearly as cluttered looking even if it's all on display. If you have crappy upper cabinets think about taking off the doors. Paint the cabinet, or paper the backs and use it like a display shelf.
I find, it's often what I take away, rather than add, that can take a dated space to modern upgrade. And it's the few accessories that take it from drab to cozy and none of that has to cost much money.
My little dollarstore owl was painted in a pretty turquoise color.