One of the most asked questions here at StoneGable is, ” how do I update my out-of-date rooms”?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! Today let’s talk about how to take our rooms from frumpy to fabulous!
Going from frumpy to fabulous does not mean gutting everything but it does mean being aware of the “state of our homes” and keeping on top of any changes that need to be done. So, today I’m sharing simple ways to update a room and take it from a bit tired to oh, so pretty!
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 them 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 for each little improvement!
Here’s what to do to when you feel a room could be updated a bit… or a lot!
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! This is my number ONE tip! You won’t believe the difference!
Here at the Tanglewood house, we went with a soft 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.
At our StoneGable home, our color palette was quite similar but the style of our home moved us to a soft beige and white color palette.
You can see THE PAINT COLORS OF STONEGABLE for soft neutral but not white walls.
In the last 6 years of living at StoneGable we totally painted the entire house to update it.
UPCYCLE WHAT YOU HAVE
Again, get that paintbrush out and paint something that is out-of-date! These 18th-century mahogany chairs were really dating my dining room until I painted them and put new fabric on their seats. What a difference.
They still have the gorgeous style but the painted finish is so right now! It was a long process but very easy!
If you like the painted look you can see a tutorial for this technique HERE.
The clock in the great room is an example of updating something with the magic of paint!
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 a 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!
Learning how to paint things in your home will go a long way to give it a fresh, right-now look!
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!!!!
Find a local seamstress in your area who knows how to slipcover or and a person who 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…
Reupholstering a sofa can sometimes be a lot more $$$ than buying a new one.
When it comes to covering a sofa go the slipcover route! And lucky us, slipcovers are a classic now!
Okay, let’s talk about fabric for a slipcovered sofa. Stay away from florals, little prints, plaids, and stripes. Any pattern really! They will make your sofa or chair look dated!
Go for a solid, neutral sofa that will be in style for years!
UPDATE A ROOM WITH A HIGH/LOW LOOK
One of my favorite looks is what I call high/low. It’s all about mixing high end or high end looking designs with chippy, vintage, and well-worn pieces.
This is such a friendly, always classic and updated look! 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 mirror in the dining room is one of the most expensive things we own. It is really gorgeous and took a long, long time to save for it decades ago. I really love it but it could make my dining room look very formal and even a little staid.
Pairing it with chippy shutters and chamber pot lids soften its formality and makes it look fresh and quite chic (if I do say so myself!).
It’s all about that high/low balance. It’s about that beautiful pricey pieces sitting side by side with things I found at Goodwill. And when styled right they look amazing together! This is decorating gold!
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 that decision. Go ahead and think it through. But don’t get “stuck”. So many home decor enthusiasts don’t update because they get stuck!!
Sometimes you just need to move ahead and move on!
Okay, I know some of you love to collect things. And they are very sentimental to you. This is a little hard for me to fully understand as I am not a collector at all.
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 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 ?)
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.
Take all those gorgeous platters you own and hang them on the wall. Use an old colander as a planter. Make a vintage milk can in the basement into a great lamp (I’m actually doing this!). Use a bedroom dresser as a cool bar or hang wire baskets in the kitchen to hold your cookbooks.
I forgot all about the saturated gold lumbar pillow that is now on my sofa. I found it rummaging around in the basement and thought a little bit of color might be nice in the living room for a change. Just something this small makes a big difference.
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 and more can add a personal touch of pizzaz to a room!
Like the fun burlap pillow above! It adds a big punch of pretty to my sunroom!
It’s an easy no-sew DIY! Even if you are not crafty you can make this NO-SEW FLOWER PILLOW.
Most of the time I keep my big ticket furniture items very classic but go a bit more on-trend with accessories.
Accessories that are update a room will change every few years, so remember to follow these three rules…
- use what you love
- buy inexpensive
- make it yourself
Can you think of one room in your home you would like to update? Just choose one! Then let’s get busy to change that room from frumpy to fabulous!