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Quick Changes for an Instant Room Update

Redo a Room in an Afternoon With These Ideas

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Quick Changes for an Instant Room Update Photo © Rob Daly/Getty

These ideas for quick changes for a fast room redo will help you update a room or interior space for a only few dollars ... or less! And all of these projects can be completed in one day or less.

Choose one (or more) of these project ideas for an instant room update, as well as instant gratification! Click on the links for how-tos and more ideas to complete your project.


1. Paint a ceiling.
Putting color or a design onto a ceiling can make an amazing difference in the look of your room. And since you are painting only one wall instead of four, decorating a ceiling makes for a fast room update. Choose a once shade lighter than the walls, or go with a bold shade and make it a feature of your space. Stencils and decals can also work wonderfully well on the ceiling.

2. Decorate the dining table.
The dining table is a great place to add seasonal decor. Forgo your finest china, especially if you have young children in your home, and opt for colorful items that you can change out often. Decorating with painted dollar store plates, fun fabrics and other inexpensive decor will add a fresh new look to your dining room or kitchen.

3. Add an extra layer of lighting.
I’m always amazed at how many homeowners live solely with overhead lighting. By adding a few other layers of lighting, like accent lighting over a bookshelf or piece of art and a table and floor lamp, you can completely transform a room and add warmth and character to your home.

4. Hang a mirror.
You rarely get more bang for your decorating buck than by hanging a mirror. Mirrors are very inexpensive and can add loads of light and energy to a room. Mirrored furniture along with glass and reflective metals like chrome and polished steel work the same way, so mix a few of these elements into your space to achieve a quick room update.

5. Hang an interior curtain… anywhere!
Curtains aren’t just for windows. I will often cover an entire wall in curtains to create a focal point. Curtains can also be used to separate a larger room to create a cozy space for reading or meditation, or to surround a bed to create a canopy, or to cover a drafty door, or… well, you get the idea.

6. Create a feature wall.
Every room needs a bit of wow factor, and a feature wall is a great way to achieve it without spending much (or any) money. Don’t know which wall to choose? Pay attention to the first wall you see when you enter a room, or look at where the lines of your furniture or lines of the room merge together. That area is probably the natural focal point, so feature it!

7. Slipcover a sofa or chair.
Neutrals are a wonderful thing and should be the basis of any design scheme, but every room needs a pop of color or pattern and a chair is a great place to add it. If you choose to slipcover your sofa, white or cream is a great color. It goes with almost anything and the light color will help wake up a tired room. Add color with accent pillows or a textured throw for an instant room update.

8. Frame or hang a collection.
Frames can hold just about anything, so take advantage of it. Too many knickknacks on a shelf look cluttered, but framing them or grouping them on a wall can show off your collection in a whole new light. If you don’t have a collection, search the web for free printables or other inexpensive prints that will make a nice wall grouping, then frame and hang for quick room redo.

9. Add something vintage or antique.
I believe that every room needs a touch of vintage or handmade to feel unique and to keep it from looking like a generic catalog showroom. Spend an hour scouring the local flea market for a unique piece to freshen up your space.

10. Go green with living art.
Adding a plant or two adds a vibrant aspect to a space that can’t often be achieved with anything else. And plants are very inexpensive to buy and care for. If you can’t bear the thought of watering and annual repotting, craft or hang a succulent to add a bit of green to your space.
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