- My favorite, free quick-fix is to rearrange the furniture. Especially since it’s the season to focus more on the outdoors, consider moving the furniture arrangement so it doesn’t focus on the TV, but on the outside view – even if it’s only a patio. (We don’t watch as much TV in the summer, right?). Try an arrangment without a coffee table. It will visually open up the room; there will be one less place to collect clutter; the room will feel bigger and more airy for those summer gatherings.
- Change pillows (of course) and replace heavy colors or patterns with white or brights or natural fibers like cotton. Obvious, but I had to remind you.
- Take down your draperies. That alone will considerably lighten the mood of the room. If you still need privacy or light/heat control, install simple natural blinds. They’re available at your local home improvement store. However, if you’re willing to spend a little more, check out online sources. One I’ve used before is Smith + Noble – they have a huge array of textured blinds, with or without valances, bound edges, standard or custom sizes….lots of options and they’ll send you free samples before you decide. The best thing is being able to find a unique woven blind texture.
- Fresh flowers are so affordable and readily available, sometimes as close as your own garden. I was a florist for a number of years and still love the simplicity of a single type of flower mixed with some greens in a simple container. Talk about a spot of life and color! The easiest method for a quick arrangment using a typical store bunch is to cut the flowers in 3 lengths. 1 or 2 stems are the longest, the majority of stems about 1-2″ shorter, and finally 2-4 stems cut the shortest, about 2″ shorter than the mid size length. That will give you a graduated, round look in your vase. Then tuck in some greens – if they aren’t included in the bunch from the store, cut a couple of stems/branches from your yard – anything will do just to separate the blooms a little.
- Declutter. Take an hour or two and clear table tops, pick stuff up off the floor, etc. If you need access to the ‘stuff’, find attractive bins or baskets to put those remotes, movies, magazines and miscellaneous things out of sight. Doesn’t your room feel lighter?
This corner of a family room is clean, simple and tidy. The woven blinds keep the look light and airy and are a good balance of calm against those busy windows. The change I would make is to beef up the flower arrangement with color and a bigger flower head – those kind of disappear into the window background.
The thing to remember is that you’re looking for easy ways to make a noticeable change. Pretend you don’t live in the room and look at it with a critical eye. What can you eliminate to open up the space? What can you change to add a little new color? Have you tried a quick-change that turned out particularly well? Share it with us…….