Image: Donna Griffith
Liven up your living space with these easy decor updates that will take anywhere from a day to a week.
When it comes to remodelling a home, we often can’t help but dream big – because who doesn’t want a walk-in glass shower, marble backsplash and ample storage space? But before you let your design vision overwhelm you, allow it to inspire you to make tiny tweaks that still have a big impact.
Whether you’re tight on time or worried about stretching your budget too thin, we’ve compiled a list of affordable home makeover ideas that can be done on any schedule – from a day, to a weekend, to one week. It’s time to set your decor hesitations to the curb along with that outdated side table, and read on.
For an instant refresh, switch up a space’s furniture placement. Think seasonally: Make your fireplace the focal point in winter and reposition pieces in summer depending on how the light streams in. Don’t be afraid to think beyond a room itself either – that armchair in your living room might look even better in your home office.
Lend a bright new look to your home by displaying eye-catching accessories. Uplift your sofa with playfully patterned toss cushions or scope out a stylish area rug to add comfort and texture to your space.
Think of bookshelves as fanciful art displays that should be carefully curated. Spend a quiet Sunday afternoon arranging your paperbacks by colour or wrapping unsightly book covers in pretty paper. Showcase decorative objets and prints for extra visual appeal. See here for more shelf-styling tips and tricks.
Don’t have time to paint an entire room? Create an accent wall instead to achieve the same decorative punch. Paint the wall a vivid hue or select a graphic wallpaper pattern that demands to be seen. Learn how to design a show-stopping feature wall here.
Wake up tired furniture with a fresh coat of paint. Whether you want to refresh dated cabinets or revamp a dull dresser, new-and-improved furniture pieces will cheer up a room without breaking the bank. Find out how to make this DIY dresser makeover here.
While creating an accent wall can be completed in a day, devoting a weekend to the task affords you the opportunity to be more creative, and you’ll have time to update a few walls. Try your hand at colour blocking or brighten a bedroom with intricate stencils and wall decals like these ones. Urban Walls, $71.66, etsy.com.
You don’t have to rely on marble or glass mosaic backsplash tiles to achieve a timeless look in your kitchen (cue the sighs of relief). Instead, try self-adhesive wall tiles like Smart Tiles. The budget-friendly alternative is simple to install and will still give your space an effortlessly elegant feel. Mosaic Decorative Wall Tile Peel and Stick in Subway White, The Home Depot, $8.97.
Sometimes purging your pad can have just as dramatic an impact as redecorating it. Release yourself from constant clutter by editing every area in your home. Toss tattered items, corral products in stylish baskets and bins and opt for multi-functional furniture. Find 99 more easy organizing tips here.
First impressions are lasting, so spend a few days improving your home’s porch area. Start by painting the front door an energizing hue that suits the exterior (here’s how to choose a front door colour). To enhance the look further, dress up your porch with planters and replace your mailbox, doormat and number signs with more modern styles.
Bedeck your living room with a DIY gallery wall comprised of well-loved prints. Hang art pieces that range in size and shape for added dimension, and choose stylish frames (whether vintage or modern) that complement each other. Once all is said and done, you’ll earn some serious bragging rights. Follow our steps for creating a DIY gallery wall here.
Making a few slight changes to your kitchen and bath will have big payoff. Begin by trading in timeworn hardware for sleek knobs and pulls, and paint your kitchen cabinets if they’re looking a little worse for wear (here’s how). Give yourself time to update other fixtures too, such as the faucets and vanity mirror.
Enhance the look of your dining or family room by adding decorative moulding. It’s an architectural accent that will instantly uplift your space and lend it more character. Now is also the time to consider reupholstering old furniture (get inspired here) and revamping your floors, whether that means refinishing your hardwood (read: sand and stain) or installing new tiles.
Take your bedroom from boring to beautiful with a few creative upgrades. Get crafty by upholstering your own headboard, which creates an eye-catching focal point. For an even easier hack, use a bedsheet as the fabric like we did here. Boost your room’s comfort factor further by adding an area rug, buying new bedding and installing drapery.
Once the weather warms up, our attention quickly shifts to the outdoors. Make your yard more inviting this year with a gorgeous garden path or walkway (materials like natural stone, brick and concrete all work well). Don’t stop there. Take the time to paint your home’s exterior – or at least the trim! – as well as the fence. Other easy tasks include washing the windows, staining the deck and painting outdoor furniture.
Traditional style home is given an industrial vibe a la Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton flips this Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles house into an industrial-style home and it's on the market.
Something's gotta give and it's this Pacific Palisades home, which was just flipped by Diane Keaton, Oscar-winning actress and interior design lover.
The property sits at just over 10,000 sq. ft. with the home itself at 7,800 sq. ft.
With an edgy and industrial vibe, this traditional style home has 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a gorgeous pool and a home theatre. And it can all be yours for $6,995,000!
If you can't wait to move in, check out the details and listing here:
The simple exterior of this home is no match for what's inside.
Large block numbers identify the house, even from the road, and also divide the greenery and brick to create a welcoming entrance to the house.
Because of ample natural lighting the foyer has a calm, relaxing vibe.
The dining room features large, industrial-style chandeliers.
The black and white palette seems to be a predominant theme in this home - and we're not complaining!
The furniture throughout the house has a rustic, lived-in feel while dark wooden floors are featured in every room.
With a large kitchen island and lots of counter space, hosting and cooking in this kitchen would be a dream.
Paired with white walls the dark hardwood floors definitely stand out in this home.
The modern fireplace in this master suite fades into the background while still creating a cozy feeling in this space.
Jars and baskets help keep your bathroom organized and counters clutter-free.
Another pop of bold lettering stands out in this bright and airy guest room. The space is one of the few rooms featuring lighter floors.
The vanity in this bathroom has built for storage and the details make it a fun bathroom for children and teens.
Large typography prints are found all over this home, even in the large wine cellar.
Red furniture and dim walls replicate the perfect home theatre. Add some throw pillows and a bag of popcorn and you won't even realize you're still at home.
Throughout the house bold numbers, letters and typography are featured. This has created a constant industrial vibe to most rooms. Keep one bold colour, a fun pattern or special message carried through each room for optimal flow.
This office space is great if you're looking for inspiration. The metallic accents in the room make the space edgy and will have you itching to get in there and work on your projects.
The backyard is green, gorgeous and features a large pool. More lettering adds a hotel-feel to the yard, making this the perfect hosting spot during summer months.
Stylish kid-friendly living
20 homes featured in <i>Style at Home</i> that prove kid-friendly design can be just as stylish as it is fun and functional.
While some may define a kid-friendly home as being one big spill-proof space that lacks hard corners and luxe fabrics, these homeowners prove you can, in fact, maintain your design style. Whether that style is colourful and whimsical, sleek and modern, or serene and neutral, these homes, apartments and cottages demonstrate thoughtful (and durable!) decorating ideas for family members of all ages.
No need to worry about spills here, thanks to the easy-wipe plastic chairs and hard-wearing fabric on the bench cushions. Tour the rest of the home here.
In lieu of a tiny kids’ desk, a large coffee table offers more space to spread out. The massive dispenser on top offers all the art paper an imaginative child could hope for. Tour the rest of the home here.
With little Hana in mind, designer Ami McKay relied on a combination of furnishings that would accommodate the needs of the young family and still offer beautiful ornamentation. This, of course, includes the furry bedroom stools in the master bedroom. Tour the rest of the home here.
With a comfy lounge and nook just off the kitchen, this kitchen overhaul created a functional hub for this family of five. Tour the rest of the home here.
Girlie girls may love pink, but their bedrooms don’t have to be saccharine. This design blogger created a little lady’s room that’s as mature and glamorous as it is sweet, and destined to suit her daughter’s style as she grows up. Tour the rest of the home here.
In the family room, an inexpensive sectional echoes a custom-made version that sits in the living room. Abstract artwork, toss cushions and colourful pouffes complete the easygoing design. The rug adds both texture and functionality: "It's key for acoustics, especially in a modern space," says designer Denise Ashmore. "And it's cozy enough for the kids to hang out on and read or do a puzzle." Tour the rest of the home here.
Beyond the oversized foyer with tons of storage to keep the kids’ sports gear and backpacks organized, the entire rear of the house is a huge informal family room/kitchen/dining room, where furnishings and built-ins define various areas, making each one cozy but not claustrophobic. Tour the rest of the home here.
Monika was careful about choosing pieces that could grow with her son. Practical decisions, such as using a dresser as a change table, mean that the room will work, with only a few minor alterations, as the baby boy grows up. This includes the easy-to-remove star decals (an affordable alternative to wallpaper). Tour the rest of the home here.
Mellow, modern and uncluttered, this family home provides plenty of floorspace for mom and daughters to spread out during their all-day drawing sessions. Tour the rest of the home here.
The kitchen's eating nook is stain resistant thanks to the kid-friendly laminated linen seat cushion on the banquette, which also stores the kids' toys and placements. Win-win! Tour the rest of the home here.
"Family is really important. I always look for ways to facilitate togetherness in my designs." Tour the rest of the home here.
This family home is all about being happy and welcoming that features pops of colour and "layers of coziness" - clearly evident in Wren's fun and fab bedroom. Tour the rest of the home here.
While these homeowners wanted a glamorous organic look for their home, they knew it had to work with toddlers. With this in mind, they chose salvaged and reclaimed pieces, "which are beautiful precisely because they're weathered," making them the ideal choice because "they withstand the wear and tear of kids." Tour the rest of the home here.
During the home renovation, these homeowners knew they had a baby on the way, so in making their decor choices, they put "an emphasis on using soft, durable fabrics for all upholstered furniture." Tour the rest of the home here.
Requiring a home that would be just as kid-friendly as it is fabulous for entertaining, this homeowner knew the furniture needed to "stand up to sippy cups and red wine alike." So black leather sofas were changed out for a cozy grey one and an upholstered ottoman replaced a traditional coffee table. Tour the rest of the home here.
A country cottage getaway from the family must be, if nothing else, extra cozy. And this linen sofa with plush cushions looks like it hits the nail on the head. Tour the rest of the home here.
The tufted ottoman and upholstered pieces in this far-from-boring neutral home make this space extra toddler-friendly. Tour the rest of the home here.
This family bungalow adheres to the "trifecta of good living: barbecues, basking and beverages", so you can assume that the space is laid back and comfortable, with plenty of room for this family of five (plus a dog and a cat) to lounge together. Tour the rest of the home here.
This entrepreneurial mom designed her home studio with her three-year-old in mind, putting a table in the centre of the room where they can spend time together colouring and painting. Tour the rest of the home here.
With a toddler and twin boys, this home renovation started with the kids' rooms. And, thanks to a comfy sofa for three, the evenings tend to end there too, as the kids gather together to curl up and read before bed. Tour the rest of the home here.
Rustic-meets-refined condo design
Blogger and decorator Tim Lam adds his signature style to this 800-square-foot condo in Waterloo, Ont.
“Never underestimate the power of paint and fabric,” says decorator Tim Lam of the caned barrel-back chairs he upgraded from garage sale finds to favourite pieces in the living room. On the flip side, the sophisticated sofa is a Sarah Richardson original found on Kijiji that needed only a quick cleaning.
Where Chris is a little bit country, Tim is all city. “Chris likes rustic simplicity, and I gravitate to more polished and refined spaces,” says Tim. And who better to steer you in the right decorative direction than the one you love?
Tim insisted that the kitchen’s brown cabinetry, brown granite countertop and blue glass backsplash, which homeowner Chris Gabriel inherited with the condo, had to go. Though upgrading the countertop, replacing the marble backsplash, updating the faucet to a showpiece and adding the slide-in range was a bit of a splurge, the couple cut costs by simply repainting the existing cabinetry and applying a DIY barnboard treatment to the peninsula’s base.
Though country charm isn’t exactly in Tim’s wheelhouse, he wanted to indulge Chris’s style throughout the space – and that’s especially visible in the dining room, which doubles as an office. “That door is hands-down my favourite piece in the room,” says Tim, who found it at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for around $100. “And I got it just like that – I didn’t have to refinish it or anything.” He did, however, tape Alanna Cavanagh’s silk-screened artwork in the window to hide the stuff inside (which includes pantry and office staples).
The sideboard in the living room offers a nod to one of Chris’s desired elements: natural wood. Above it, the gallery wall displays artwork and travel mementoes the couple has amassed over time, including a quirky cuckoo clock that references the couple’s shared affinity for birds.
The bedroom’s soothing grey, yellow and white palette allowed Tim to play with pattern, from diamonds to stripes to polka dots. Asian-inspired elements like the faux bamboo nightstands and pagoda-shaped table lamps add elegance to the geometric look.
A tiny cheater ensuite with doors leading to both the living area and the bedroom left little wall space, so Tim had the bedroom door replaced with a wall, which now accommodates artwork and a towel bar. The builder-basic vanity was cleverly customized with a brass-coated toe kick for a floating effect, while the glitzy cream and gold bird wallpaper casts a glamorous glow.
The high-gloss dark grey wall paint in the bedroom acts as a luscious counterpoint to the suble texture of the grasscloth on the feature wall behind the bed. The herringbone throw is a souvenir from Chris’s hometown in Germany.
Chris (left) is from Germany and had planned to return there, but he met and fell in love with Tim and hasn’t looked back since.