In the bedroom
This room might get the most use while you're sleeping but it can be easily elevated from drab to design-worthy with a few simple changes.
- Create a reading corner. All you need is a long-neck floor lamp and comfy chair to curl up in. If you have the space, add a small end-table for stacking your must-reads.
- Perk up your bed with a new duvet cover. Opt for a neutral color, then jazz it up with bright pillow shams.
- Add an accent wall. Choose a bold shade that complements the color you already have and cover one wall. A royal purple goes nicely with light gray, or try chocolate brown with off-white or beige. It makes a statement and takes much less time than painting the whole room.
- Find a streamlined laundry solution. Going to the trouble to make over your bedroom can be impeded by an overflowing plastic laundry hamper. Instead, put a hook on the wall or back of the door to hang a laundry bag to get it up off the floor and create more space.
In the home office
If your home office is a buried under a pile of paper, books and gadgets, it's time for an overhaul. Keeping the space stylish and functional is easier than you think.
- Separate your work space. If your home office is tucked into the corner of another room (bedroom or den, for instance), invest in a decorative dividing screen. From lattice to bamboo to antique, there are many styles to choose from.
- Tidy up. A messy work environment can hinder productivity. Go through the piles of paper on (and in) your desk and get rid of anything that isn't relevant. Ditto for pens that don't work, junk mail and gadgets you don't use or that have been replaced by newer models.
- Invest in a good chair. It will not only improve the look of your home office, it will make a world of difference in your comfort level and how long you can actually sit in it, doing work.
- Pretty up your accessories. From notebooks to pens to mouse pads, choose luxe-looking accessories in patterns and shades that pop. Display pens in glass vases and notebooks and other necessities in decorative baskets.
In the living room
While this room is meant for comfort, you'll enjoy it a lot more if it looks as good as it feels.
- Mount your TV on the wall if you can. It will save space, leaving room for a sleeker entertainment stand.
- Go for the green. If you have enough light, add plants. Not only do they work to clean the air, they instantly freshen up a room.
- Add stylish storage: Mount a floating shelf on the wall above the TV for added storage for DVDs and decorative accents and books.
- Jazz up your couch and loveseat. If it's in the budget, slipcovers go a long way to refresh, or simply add colorful pillows to brighten things up.
In the bathroom
You may not have the time or the budget for weekly trips to the spa but you can give your bathroom a calming, spa-like feel.
- Put dimmers on light fixtures. Softer lighting adds ambiance.
- Add interest to storage space. Dress up white or otherwise neutral cabinets by replacing handles with antique or glass pulls.
- Replace standard lighting with something different. If you've got the height and ceiling space, hang a chandelier for instant drama.
- Update accessories. Trade in your old bath mat, shower curtain and hand towels for new ones for an instant bathroom refresher. Choose colors that pop like tangerine (Pantone's color of the year), purple or royal blue, depending on your overall color scheme.
In the kitchen
Impress guests and perk up the most high-traffic room in the house with some easy but effective ideas.
- Repaint or reface your cabinets. It's a faster, more affordable alternative to replacing them and you still get a new, fresh look.
- If you don't use it, lose it. Take stock of the gadgets you actually use and store, toss or donate the ones you don't. we're looking at you, dust-covered bread maker.
- Out with the old. Replace tattered oven mitts, dish cloths, tea towels, etc. with new ones. It's easy to overlook the simple things, but you'll be surprised at how much difference it makes.
- Update your backsplash. Peel-and-stick Smart Tiles can be a quick and easy solution to upgrade a tired kitchen. Choose from countless colors and patterns, from mosaic to motif.
More from Decorating Diva
Top 4 home decor resolutions
5 Ways to brighten up your home this winter
7 Ways to customize a rental