When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping – in your own home. That’s right – shop your own home. I’ve done it many times when I get tired of looking at the same old things in the same old places. What about you? Are you tired of your surroundings?
You can be your own interior designer for free! First, take a walk around your home. Make a list of some areas that need to be refreshed. Then take another walk around your home. What are some items that you could move to refresh another area? That’s the basic premise of shopping at home for free.
Here are a few ideas to help you think through your interior design process.
- Rearrange the furniture.
Critique the layout of the room in which you spend the most time. Is it serving you well for its purpose? What activities take place there? Try grouping furniture pieces according to their function. Create a reading nook. Or turn a couple of chairs toward the sofa to make a more inviting conversational area. Pull some furniture pieces away from the wall to make the arrangement more intimate.
- Redesign your bookshelves.
Take a hard look at all those bookshelves. Are they overflowing with books that are cramped together? Pare down. Remove about half of the books, putting some in a pile to donate and some you want to keep in storage. Consider friends and neighbors who might enjoy reading some of the books you are willing to donate. Post some as freebies on Facebook.
When you’ve decided which books you want to remain on the bookshelves, place them in small groups of 3-5 in an interesting arrangement. You could sort by color or size. Stack a few of the larger books with trinkets or memorabilia.
Go shopping in other rooms for items you love and put them on display. Create a collection of like items and arrange them in an interesting way among your books.
- Create an inviting outdoor area.
Get outside and create an inviting space to read or relax. Do you have an outdoor area that needs reviving? Or do you need to shop around the house for something to create a small outside area for a personal getaway? Be creative. A bucket turned upside down could be a small side table. Or a wooden crate with a pillow might make a comfortable seat.
Paint makes everything new again. My grandmother loved to freshen up rooms and porches in the spring with a new coat of paint. It was so much fun helping her liven things up when the weather turned warm.
Check to see if you have some leftover paint from another project. It only takes a small amount to cover a table or a chair. Look around for that special item that would brighten up an entire area with a bright new splash of color.
- Bring the outdoors in.
Are there flowers blooming in your yard? Create a simple arrangement to bring life to your den. Don’t have flowers? Cut some fresh greenery and put a few stems into a vase or mason jar. Something green can breathe new life into a room.
- Create interesting vignettes.
Do you have items you have collected through the years that have special meaning for you? Pick a few of your favorites to arrange in a simple vignette on a shelf or table. They should spark joy in an otherwise dull space.
What about mementos that you have tucked away under the bed or in a closet? Think of ways you could showcase similar items where you could enjoy the memories they evoke.
- Update family photos.
When was the last time you replaced family photos? Dig out some pictures that remind you of good times and special people. Add a mat to put a photo into a larger frame. Create a gallery ledge of special photos. Think about the mood you want to create and the photos that help you establish something special.
- Add fresh pillows.
Do you have winter and summer pillows? I do. And it gives me a spark of energy to bring out the spring or summer pillows and put the winter ones away. Take another walk around your home. Swap some pillows between rooms for a fresher look with what you already have. New color combinations can be refreshing.
If you have some leftover fabric, you can easily make an envelope pillow cover and slip it onto an old pillow for a fresh new look. I have several pillow covers that I use to create a different look, depending on the mood and season.
Think about it. You can go shopping for free in the comfort of your own home. With a few creative changes and rearrangements, you’ll have a fresh new look to give you a fresh new outlook. What can you do to spark some joy in your home?