January 10th, 2014 No Comments

quick tips for freshening up your home

Feel like making a fresh start in the new year? Here are some quick changes you can do to freshen up your home. Above, Invest in crisp white sheets for your bed, then layer in soft neutrals like grays or creams with your blankets and throw pillows. I have some beautiful Belgium linen duvet covers, pillow cases and blankets on my shop. If your bedroom feels too dark, try a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore’s China White for the walls- it’s a great neutral white with a bit of gray in it. Below, something as simple as treating yourself to a few beautiful bowls to place new soaps or even your jewelry can make your bath or bedside table feel fresh and clean.

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Other accessories like baskets to organize all those magazines, papers or laundry, or something as simple as a row of shells on your window sill or shelf can lift your spirits. I’m loving the home and bath items from Baileys Home.

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Even if you are in a rental home or apartment and can’t paint with colors or put many holes in the walls to hang things just go with it and keep it all neutral and light.  You can lean a large mirror against the wall to expand the space visually and bounce reflective light into the room. I try and find good looking large mirrors at flea markets. You might think that gold framed mirror is a bit dated, but a coat of fresh white paint on the frame (like you see below) can do wonders! Also, an armless chair is a smart investment in a neutral fabric. For small spaces it gives you a bit more room without the arms. And it’s easy to move it around from room to room as needed- in the bedroom, a guest room, living room etc..

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If you have an unsightly floor at the back door or entrance, paint it white and add a nice throw mat to catch dirt. Your local home store, hardware store or carpet store usually has great sales on remnants and small rugs in January! We love this vintage metal drawer to organize gloves, hats, garden supplies- whatever may collect at the back door. If you love this look but don’t have a lot of vintage resources in your own town head to Etsy.com to find some vintage furniture. And that collection of photos on your refrigerator, clean them off. You can paint cork squares from the office supply store white and make a large bulletin board to pin favorite snaps throughout the year like you see below. I delegate my snaps as “art” to a bulletin board in my laundry/pantry room. I’m in there everyday and it makes me smile when I’m doing daily tasks; But the clutter is out of my kitchen.

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Slipcovers! To keep your family room feeling fresh and clean all year (especially if you have kids and pets) slipcover your furniture so you can wash them as needed. Even if you can’t afford new furniture for your home and you have hand-me-down pieces or you pick up some things at the thrift store, just make sure to keep or look for furniture with good bones. Then later you can get them upholstered in a fabric you love when you have the time and extra money.  If you can’t find great slipcovers use white blankets to throw over your furniture for a casually chic look. The tip though is to keep them light and all the same like you see below. Love that blue door? Try Benjamin Moore’s  Jamestown Blue HC-148. It may seem dark on the paint chip but it comes out looking like this blue. -Lynn Butler Beling

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Note: Monday’s post had my suggestions for neutral white paints from Benjamin Moore. Here’s a reminder in case you’d like to freshen up a room with paint.

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Images via Little Emma English HomeDarryl Carter, Bailey’s Home & Garden, , Little Book of Secrets, Picasa Web, Purl Soho.