Number one thing that can devalue a home is clutter. Like tons of knickknacks, piles of books, and other miscellaneous items that should be tossed out.
No, you don’t need to go crazy but going through your rooms and getting rid of anything that doesn’t mesh with your personal style is a great first step toward transforming your home from average to exceptional.
Walk through each room of your home and edit items. Make some tough decisions. Sure, you love your grandma’s vintage Chinese vase, but does it really it mesh with the style you have taken on throughout the home. It might be time to store it or let it live in another room with similar family heirlooms.
Next step: Tackle any stuff that piles up—toys (if you have kids), shoes by the door, mail on the dining table. At the very least, find places for your stuff to live in a more organized way; an upgraded closet with beautifully sorted nooks and crannies looks neat and tidy.
2. ELIMINATE GRUNGE
You may not have time for a deep cleaning on a weekly basis, but a few times a year, deep clean is an easy way to make your home look far more fashionable. After all, you rarely see a mansion with dirty baseboards.
Go through your home and search for overlooked areas that have become dirty and downright gross. You’ll want to pay special attention to the grouting, showers, window ledges and tracks, entry door ways and back patio areas.
Having old tile cleaned and re-grouted makes a huge difference in having your bathroom look clean and fresh. The process is simple and quick.
3. ADD—OR REARRANGE—LIGHTING
Designers use lighting to define spaces and separate rooms, making a small space grand.
Think of your living room—where you might have a reading nook, sofas and chairs for company, and a television. Visually differentiate among the areas by using different kinds of lighting: Add a table lamp beside your cozy reading chair and sconces behind your couch for conversation. Consider a dimmer for overhead lights. Architects and lighting designers swear by them.
You may want to use warm-colored light bulbs. Cool tones are a sure-fire way to make your home look great. Daylight bulbs work best for reading nooks.
4. UPGRADE YOUR HARDWARE
Don’t have a kitchen renovation in the budget? You can get a similar effect for much less by changing out old, dated hardware for new.
Tired of your brushed-steel drawer pulls? Try gold, bronze, or even crystal—or try a local thrift/antique store for a vintage look.
It’s not hard to find attractive options in any decor style for next to nothing. A drawer pull, for instance, might start at just $3 or less.
Changing the counter top and faucets is another change that can make your home look like a “High End” home. If you have the budget, exchange your dated sink accessories for something fresh that matches your brand-new hardware.
There’s no simpler way to freshen a home than painting. Painting freshens up an old look and add a few bright colors to change the feel of it.
You can’t go wrong with stylish neutrals. DIY decorators might enjoy a tasteful, sandy tan tone, which pairs well with any number of woodsy colors.
Paint isn’t just for your walls: Add some color to your front door, window trims or a piece of furniture.
6. FOCUS ON THE DETAILS
Does your home feel a little Blah—and you’re not sure how to change it? Try changing just small items like vases, frames, and objects that add visual interest to an otherwise bland area—perhaps a shelf or console table.
Organize your small items around a theme so that the decor items tell a visual story. Go around your house and gather items you love that need a new home
For example, take that silver tray you’ve been wanting a use for, add a glass tumbler with a fresh flower, that postcard your parents sent from London, and a white bowl filled with colorful candy. You now have a magazine-worthy vignette!
Another way to go: Grouping together multiples of the same object (e.g., glass vases in the same color) is an instant update. Decorators often use odd numbers because they are said to be more appealing.