Do you remember the story of about the cobbler’s children? They had the worst shoes in town because their father the shoemaker was too busy to make anything for his own family. A couple of months ago, I realized that my family is like that—except with our house instead of our shoes.
My husband and I both work in the home improvement industry. (He’s an architect specializing in residential remodels, and I edit shelter magazines.) Yet, our house had become a poster child for “10 Signs You’re Ready for a Home Makeover.”
Here’s a list that may help you spot those places in your house that you’ve become immune to, but that are crying for a refresh!
- You haven’t painted since you moved in. If you signed the paperwork on this place more than 5 years ago, your walls are due for a refresh.
Solution: Give neutral gray a try—or one of the new fresh minty hues.
- You are using a Sharpie marker to color in the bare spots on your dining room rug.
Solution: Try a rug with a contemporary twist, even if the rest of your house is a tad traditional. I dig this brown geometric rug from Hayneedle.
- Your bathroom mirror covers most of the wall above your sink.
Solution: Swap it out for a more contemporary version in a frame, like this one from Bed Bath & Beyond. Or, add a frame from Mirror Mate around your existing mirror.
- Your shower curtain has been deemed a science experiment for mold growth patterns.
Solution: Just buy a new one—finally. Fun to try: Ringo from Target or the Birdcage from Urban Outfitters.
- Shiny brass accessories. Gold finishes are coming back, but your hardware from the ’80s will still look dated.
Solution: Replace your cabinet handles and doorknobs; it only takes a screwdriver. These examples are from Amerock.
- Your toilet is a water hog. If it has been ten years or more since you’ve replaced yours, it’s probably using too much water.
Solution: New models use way less water.
- You’ve had the same living room lamp since before “American Idol” debuted.
Solution: Shop for something colorful and shapely, like this beauty from Kichler.
- There’s a wallpaper border featuring apples or sailboats anywhere in your house.
Solution: Ditch it, then consider a geometric print (like these from Target) on an accent wall or inside a bookcase.
- Your furniture has been in the same place for so long it may have grown roots.
Solution: Try swapping pieces from room to room. Could that living room chair work in your office? What if the bedroom rug moved to the family room?
- In your bedroom, the only thing more tired than you is your comforter.
Solution: Hit the clearance shelf and find something that will put a smile on your face as you fall asleep, like this fresh set from Horchow.
What spaces in your home are in need of a makeover? I hope these tips have inspired you to mix things up this weekend.
-Karman Hotchkiss, Deputy Content Core Director
I love the look of this vintage-inspired bedroom – the use of bold color paired with great pattern and the traditional bones of the room make for an interesting and eye-catching twist. Add a vintage family portrait, or even more fun hang a flea-market find and make up your own story about it. Dressing up a new or thrifted chandelier adds a bit of whimsy, too. Soft cosy touches make it perfect for a guest room where you can really capture your imagination, get as creative as you like and make the room welcoming for any house guests you’ve got coming.
get this cozy guest room look: 1. how about a vintage visitor sign as a reminder for the guest room. 2. have lots of cosy quilts on hand to keep guests warm – this pinwheel quilt from serena & lily is bright and cheerful; 3. hang a found vintage portrait — tell them it’s your great auntie anne, the matriarch of the family who made world famous pies known throughout the county; 4. a few decorative ikat pillows make the space even more homey; 5. add pretty touches like this vase from anthropologie and be sure and add some fresh flowers; 6. i like these striped curtains mixed with all this pattern for some unexpected window treatments; 7. don’t forget the candle votives too. nothing warms up a room like candlelight; 8. pottery barn’s camilla chandelier is a pretty option for lighting up your guest room, and keeping it soft and romantic.