We all have a room in our home that could use a little bit if updating. But where to start? If updating a room seems overwhelming to you here here are 9 best tips to help you update a tired room. These are tried and true tips to help you freshen up a room. Let's update that tired room! You can do it!
One of the most asked questions here at StoneGable is, ” how do I update my out-of-date rooms”? I hear you! I think we all want to keep our homes comfortable and attractive and updated. I’ve been on a soft rant lately about the importance of keeping our homes as up-to-date as we are! Here are 9 tried and true to help you update a room.
Going from a wee bit tired or even frumpy to fabulous does not mean gutting everything in a room or your home but it does mean being aware of the “state of our homes” and keeping on top of any changes that need to be made. So, today I’m sharing simple ways to update a room to make it the best it can be.
Change is hard and often time the changes we need to make in a room to give it a fresh and updated look can seem overwhelming. Most of us can’t and don’t want to tackle changes all at once so let’s just agree that decorating is a process!
And it is often a bit of a slow process. So be patient with your room and yourself and be happy with each little improvement!
Here’s what to do when you feel a room could be updated a bit… or a lot!
Two Important Things To Know Before Updating A Room
There are two important things you must pay attention to before you begin updating any room in your home. These two things will go a long way to making your room update a success.
You must know your decorating style. Knowing your decorating style is like having a plan. Knowing your decorating style will help you make much better choices!
Everything you put in your room must be funneled through your decorating style. It’s a lot easier to update a room when you know what will and what won’t work!
The second thing to know before you start decorating is your color palette. Not necessarily the colors you are using in the room you want to update but the colors you want your updated room to be! A very important distinction!
Knowing your color palette will help everything in your room work together!
UPDATE A ROOM WITH PAINT IT
I am a huge fan of paint! Your paintbrush is a magical tool to update so many things in your home! Give your walls a fresh coat of paint and update the color! Painting a room is the one thing you can that will update your room the most. You won’t believe the difference!
Here at the Tanglewood house, we chose a soft white, Benjamin Moore Simply White, throughout the house. The open concept style of Tanglewood almost dictated using one color.
And I’m absolutely in love with white walls especially because our home is so open.
Update a tired room with paint will wake it right up!
UPCYCLE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE
The clock in the great room is an example of updating something with the magic of paint!
I’m forever extolling the virtues of paint! If you don’t like a tired mirror, paint it! A chipped chair, paint it. A clear vase, paint it! A little paint and a paintbrush are like a magic wand and pixie dust!
I get tons of comments asking me where I got the clock and I’m so thrilled I did not get rid of it but painted it instead.
Here is an old, old post with a tutorial about HOW TO UPSCALE AND UPDATE WITH PAINT. You can see the “before” pictures of the clock too! What a difference!
Learning how to paint things in your home will go a long way to give it a fresh, right-now look! And painting anything in your home is fun!
UPDATE A ROOM WITH FABRIC
I am the master of furniture disguise! It’s truly transformational to slipcover furniture or reupholsters it! I’ve slipcovered two sofas and two chairs and I am thrilled with their new look!
And I’ve reupholstered countless other chairs, a couple benches, and yet a third sofa sofa. Talk about a big update!!!! If any of your soft furnishings are dating your home I say cover them if you don’t want to get something new!!!!
Find a local seamstress in your area who knows how to slipcover or and someone who can reupholsters. Make friends with them!!!! I found my fabulous slipcover lady by googling… “slipcoverers in Lancaster Pa”. She is amazing!
Just a word of caution…
Go for a solid, neutral sofa that will be in style for years! Save patterns and colors for smaller accent decor.
Also, think about having cushions made for furnishings like wooden chairs and benches. One pretty cushion can add lots of new life to a room.
Update a room with fresh, new fabric.
UPDATE A ROOM WITH A HIGH/LOW LOOK
One of my favorite looks is what I call high/low. It’s all about mixing higher-end furnishings or high-end-looking designs with less expensive items.
This is such a friendly, pretty and reasonably priced way to decorate! Think of the word juxtaposition. It’s the idea of two things being placed together that create a contrast. And as a decorator, we want the juxtaposition to be very pleasing or interesting to the eye!
The image above is the perfect example of the high/low mix.
The spindle chair was an investment piece almost a decade ago. Because of its classic lines and neutral color, it still looks fresh and updated.
The other splurge in this room was the rug. In a neutral room texture and pattern create interest and when I saw the rug I knew it would work perfectly in my transitional style living room.
The pillows, lamp, candlesticks, vases, and faux plants were reasonably priced and some were downright cheap!
It’s all about that high/low balance. It’s about beautiful pricey pieces sitting side by side with things I find at Goodwill or on super sale or have had for years and years. And when styled right they look amazing together! This is decorating gold!
Also, work on developing an eye for beautiful things and try finding similar things at bargain prices. This is one of my decorating superpowers and it can be yours too with a little practice.
You might like to read Savvy Ways To Find Budget-Friendly Decor.
GET RID OF OUTDATED DECOR
Now, for a little bit of tough love!
Please understand that updating a room is a p-r-o-c-e-s-s and should not be done overnight! If you have something that is making your whole room look frumpy there may not be a way to cover, paint or upcycle it! It might be time to get rid of it!
You may need time to make this decision. Go ahead and think it through. But don’t get “stuck”. So many home decor enthusiasts don’t update their homes because they are stuck!! Stuck is a bad mindset!
Sometimes you just need to move ahead and move on!
If you are someone that tends to get bogged down in the decorating decision process or (horrors of all horrors) gets stuck, you should read What To Do When Your Feel Stuck With Your Decor. This is an excelent post to help you when you feel overwhelmed and are having a hard time moving forward to create a room you love.
And its companion read How To Live With Decor You Don’t Like.
I think these two posts will help you a lot!
Okay, I know most of us collect things. And they can be very sentimental to us. This is a little hard for me to fully understand as I am not a big collector. But I have loved one’s who collect figurines and cars and flamingos and more. And I know these collections add happiness to their lives.
So here is a little gentle tough love, my friend…
There is a point that collections turn into clutter. Sad, but true.
And most collections make our homes look very outdated. Instead of showing off your whole collection why not group 3 or 5 collectibles together and rotate them in and out of a room. Doing this one thing will update a room immediately!
BE BRAVE! Give it a try. You will see I’m right (sorry?)
A cousin of too many collectibles is just too much stuff in a room.
We tend to collect furnishings and accent decor and just keep adding it layer upon layer. What would be better in most rooms is beautifully curated furnishing and well-chosen accent pieces.
And this is such an easy fix! Get rid of the things you have accumulated in a room! This will instantly make a room look fresher and more updated.
The Overdecorating Dilemma is a must read!
BRING ONE NEW THING INTO A ROOM
I am a huge believer in repurposing furnishings. Give furniture or accessories a second life. Think about bringing decor from one part of your home and putting it in a different room.
Even the smallest new or (or new to that room) can make such a big difference in updating the whole look of a room.
These little containers of ferns found a new home on the white buffet. Although, they are not new they have found a new home! And they look fresh and add a bit of life to the buffet.
Make sure to give this tip a try today!
ADD UPDATED ACCENTS TO YOUR ROOM
Updated accessories will raise the trendy cred of a room. Accessories like pillows, trays, accent rugs, plants, architectural pieces, candles, lanters, and more can add a personal touch of pizzaz to a room!
Most of the time I keep my big-ticket furniture items very classic but I go a bit more on-trend with accessories.
Accessories that update a room will change every few years, so remember to follow these three rules…
- use what you love
- buy inexpensive
- make it yourself
And one other tip that can update a room. Do not let your accent decor sit in the same place for long! Move things around.
Come up with new ideas and ways to use accents in your home!
I do this all the time! One of my favorite pieces of accent decor are a pair of pottery lanterns. They have a pretty cut-out design and because they are white they work with all my decor. These lanterns are often used as a vase (with a waterproof insert) or lantern.
They find their way around many of the rooms in our home.
Find and use pieces of accent decor you can move around your home to give them a fresh look.
Can you think of one room in your home you would like to update? Just choose one! Then let’s get busy changing that room. Give it an updated look with these tips.