If your space is feeling drab or dated, tackling a giant design overhaul can feel impossible—especially if time, budget, or both are a problem. Luckily, we have good news. According to some of our favorite designers, there are tons of easy, quick fixes that can make a major impact on your space.
It only takes a small fix here or a quick project there to revitalize your home. When it comes to quick-but-noticeable fixes, here’s what the experts have to say.
Meet the Expert
- Peter Spalding is an interior designer and the co-founder/chief creative officer of Daniel House Club.
- Dan Mazzarini is the principal and creative Director of BHDM Design and ARCHIVE by Dan Mazzarini.
- Ami McKay is the president and principal designer of PURE Design.
- Kate Marker is an interior designer and founder of Kate Marker Interiors.
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Use the Same Light Bulbs Everywhere
Lighting plans are integral for your home. But, successful lighting design isn't just about fixture placement, it's also about types of bulbs, according to expert Peter Spalding of Daniel House Club. He encourages us to make sure all our light bulbs are the same temperature light—eliminating bulbs that are too cool will instantly add cohesion and warmth to a space.
Expert Dan Mazzarini of ARCHIVE by Dan Mazzarini agrees, noting that new bulbs plus dimmers are a combo to change the feel of your home.
“Swap out your bulbs and install dimmers for a quick, easy fix,” he says. “LED fixtures and Edison bulbs can cast a warm glow that instantly softens a space. You can then have an electrician swap out your switches or use sliding dimmers for plug-ins.”Continue to 2 of 12 below.
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Buy New Items in Pairs
Adding new elements to a space can definitely help make a noticeable difference—but you should be buying things mindfully. According to Spalding, this can be done well with symmetry in mind.
“Assess the symmetries and balances of your rooms and work to reinforce them,” Spalding says. “Try to create symmetry and balance where you find none. For me, this means buying things in pairs whenever possible—like lamps, chairs, side tables, and mirrors.”
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Include a Conversation Piece
One great way to inject some excitement into a space is to add something vintage or one-of-a-kind.
“An inspiring and different piece—one that’s not from a big box store—can bring more personality to a room,” Mazzarini says. “Pick one thing for a room that is not new. This could be a vintage lamp, vintage textile pillows, or art.”Continue to 4 of 12 below.
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Just Add Art
Whether you’re creating a full gallery wall or just hanging one or two pieces, Spalding says that well-placed art is an instant game changer in a space. The key is to hang art in relation to its surroundings.
“Art needs to feel engaged with something nearby—hang it so it will be read as a vignette with other furnishings in your room," Spalding says. He suggests hanging art at least six inches above the back of a sofa for the perfect placement.
Mazzarini feels the same, noting that art doesn’t have to mean a major expense in something original. “Pre-framed art is an easy, low-budget addition with a big impact," he says. "We’re loving affordable options lately and are always eyeing abstract pieces.”Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Swap Out Your Bedding
If you’re looking for an easy way to fix up your bedroom, Mazzarini tells us it’s all in the textiles. All-white bedding gives off a hotel-like experience, and by layering your blanket or tripling the duvet at the foot of the bed, you can instantly elevate your bedroom.Continue to 6 of 12 below.
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Change Up Your Staircase
If you’re thinking of zones that need a refresh, your staircase might be overlooked. And according to Ami McKay of PURE Design, this is a mistake.
“A beautiful way to update your home is to focus on a staircase,” she tells us. “You can add tiles to the risers, or we also love to find vintage Turkish rugs and use them as runners. It adds color and dimension.”
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Coordinate Your Hardware
Replacing drawer pulls is a popular tip for kitchens and bathrooms, but McKay says it’s all in the details when it comes to creating one, cohesive design. The key is to make sure everything matches with the same finish.
“You can even order new push buttons for your toilet to match the hardware,” she says. “This change will modernize the space.”Continue to 8 of 12 below.
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Add Pops of Color in Unexpected Places
A coat of paint sounds like an obvious way to change the atmosphere of a room––but McKay says you can make an even bigger difference depending on where you paint.
“You can change the feel of a room in a big way by painting the ceiling or wallpapering it with a captivating design,” she says. “Trust me, this will have an amazing effect on the whole main floor.”
Spalding had similar advice, noting that this can be an easy DIY project that doesn’t require tackling a whole wall.
“I often paint interior window sashes and doors a bold color and leave the walls much quieter,” he says. “This is a really crisp, focused way to bring in a punch of color and can leave your room feeling totally new and different.”Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Rotate Your Existing Decor
If you’re feeling stuck in a space, McKay says you can fix things up without buying anything at all—simply use what you already have.
“We all forget to move things around in our living spaces periodically,” she says. “It can be as small as changing up the vignette on your coffee table or rotating items and trying different groupings. It creates a whole new feel.”Continue to 10 of 12 below.
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Back-Paint Your Glass Cabinets
Painting your kitchen cabinets is great advice, but if your home has glass-front cabinetry, it might sound like this isn’t an option—though Spalding assures us to think again.
“If you have glass cabinet doors that you don’t want to see through anymore—maybe you buy loud cereal boxes like I do—paint the inside of the glass an opaque color,” he says. “You’ll still have the hi-gloss of the glass showing out so it will look very professional. Everyone will ask who did it for you.”Continue to 11 of 12 below.
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Consider Your Carpets
One of the quickest ways to change a room is by swapping out your floor coverings, says designer Kate Marker.
“Color, texture, and rug patterns can all be refreshed to make a space cozier, more cohesive, more luxe, or more casual," Marker says. "Rugs can be found in a very wide price range, so there are many appealing options depending on style and budget.”
This also doesn’t just apply to larger areas—rugs can be a huge help everywhere. “Don't overlook smaller spaces to introduce a rug,” she adds. “There are now so many durable, indoor/outdoor, and even pet-friendly options so hallways, foyers, and bathrooms can all be elevated with a new (or vintage) rug."Continue to 12 of 12 below.
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Add Fresh Florals and Greenery
Consider this bit of advice timeless and classic: when all else fails, just add greens.
“One thing that doesn't cost much and changes the energy in a room quickly is to add greenery,” McKay says. “I often just go outside with my clippers and cut huge branches and style them in a big heavy vase or vintage pot."
Mazzarini agrees, noting regular arrangements will make a major change. “Max out florals,” he says. “Pick out your favorite vase and refresh your space with new arrangements week to week for a bright, colorful expression in the home.”