Design Lesson
Feb 23, 2011

Refresh your home in 30 days

By: Lonelle Selbo

Refresh your home in 30 days Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson
Feb 23, 2011

Refresh your home in 30 days

By: Lonelle Selbo
30 days is an ample amount of time to complete a dramatic cosmetic house-lift without the downtime and expense of renovating. With our weekday tasks and weekend projects, your home can feel fresh and fabulous in a month's time. And don’t forget to take before and after photos—you won’t believe the change!

1 Switch up your bedding.
After a long day at the office or night on the town, your bed can be the most welcoming sight in the world. Transform your sanctuary with something as simple as new bedding. Choose colours and fabrics that conjure the best parts of the season—soft fleeces in lavender or mossy greens are wonderful in winter, while spring suggests bright, airy fabrics. 

Photography by Donna Griffith


2 Jazz up your windows with valances.
Even the most insignificant of windows will look gorgeous with the addition of a valance. You can match the fabric to your drapes, or mix it up with a solid. This is a project that will take a little longer than the others, so make sure you tackle it on the weekend.

Photography by Michael Graydon


3 Add some stripes to a powder room
Painting your bathroom a cozy colour can make your first port of call on those cold mornings so much more bearable. Why not be a little daring with stripes, two-tones, stenciling or a faux finish? In a small room, this won’t be an overwhelming project and can be reversed or updated pretty painlessly.

Photography by Stacey Brandford 4 Introduce colour with new cushion covers
Colourful toss pillows or even new cushion covers can update the look of your living room in an instant. Tip: Go to your favourite furniture or design store and ask for their discontinued fabric samples. These often come in sizes that make for easy-to-sew slipcovers, and you can mix and match patterns for original and reversible options.

Photography by Janis Nicolay


5 Organize the contents of your fridge.
The key to an orderly fridge is to keep big items in the back, condiments in the door and perishable goods close to the front so you don’t forget they’re there. See through containers let you make snap decisions about what to have, while dry-erase markers let you decide when to have it by.

Photography by Donna Griffith


6 Update an accent chair with a fab fabric.
First turn the chair upside down and undo the screws to remove the seat pad. You’ll need a piece of material about the size of the old seat pad, adding an extra three to four inches on all sides. Place the fabric pretty side facing down and put the old seat pad on top with the bottom face up. Pull the fabric over the edge and staple several times—first on the right side, then left, top then bottom, pulling as taut as possible. Finally, fold the corners into clean simple creases, then staple underneath using diagonal corners.

Photography by Angus Fergusson


7 Clear out your closet each season
Be ruthless. It doesn’t matter how much you love a piece of clothing -- if you know you'll never have a chance to wear it, donate it to charity. And when you can find your clothes more easily, it’ll feel like you have twice as many.

Photography by Stacey Brandford


8 Hang some new artwork on the walls.
Whether you’re at the poster, print, or original artwork stage of your life, what’s on the walls gives your home its real personality. Blow up your favourite photographs of family or travel for an instant original piece, or pick up beautiful old paintings at an antique fair and get them reframed.

Photography by Michael Graydon


9 Shuffle through your storage.
After years of stockpiling, you may not even recall the gems you have stored away. Perhaps some of your past loves or old heirlooms have come back into style. Reorganize your storage areas and linen closets to rejuvenate your look—in with the old, out with the new!

Photography by Michael Graydon


10 Repurpose books as art.
Buy a coffee table book on a theme (a book on ships, for example, would be great in your nautical living room) then cut out the ten best images. Buy a variety of interesting salvage frames from antique or flea markets to accommodate the different shapes and sizes of the photos.

Photography by Virginia Macdonald


11 Paint your front door.
When choosing a colour, think about your home’s architecture style, colour of brick or siding and even drapery or blinds that are visible from the outside. Postbox red is cheery and classic, black is dramatic and versatile, and blue-greens remind us of a lake house or beach retreat. Tip: Take off the hardware before you begin and if you’re painting a totally different colour and remember to prime first and keep the door ajar for a few hours when you’re done so the paint has time to fully dry.

Photography by Robin Stubbert


12 Organize your kitchen.
Drawer, counter and cupboard organizers can totally revolutionize the landscape of your space and put all your day-to-day needs at your fingertips. Few other home improvement undertakings will increase your everyday happiness more than this—so don’t skip this step. If you think typical organizers are sterile, why not be creative? Woven baskets and vintage boxes are attractive and versatile.

Photography by Michael Graydon


13 Wallpaper a feature wall.
The key to wallpapering is to internalize the simple instructions, measure twice, cut once, and exercise a few simple tips. Cut two lengths the first time, making sure to match the pattern, then put up the first piece. Cut the third to match the second before you put up the next one—and so on. Tip: Add four inches to the length (2 top and 2 bottom) for easy handling and cut the excess with a craft knife when the whole job is done.

Photography by Stacey Brandford


14 Add a throw rug to your kitchen.
Do you spend half your time entertaining in the kitchen? Consider putting a few throw carpets on a ceramic floor to create a warmer, more social atmosphere. Persian rugs in the kitchen are so chic and classic with most décor.

Photography by Andreas Trauttmansdorff


15 Rearrange your kitchen's real estate.
Put the trusty sandwich griller away and take out the multi-faceted stand mixer. Switching up your small appliances will not only change the look of your counter space, it may also remind you of foods you love to make (pound cake, anyone?).

Photography by Donna Griffith


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Design Lesson

Refresh your home in 30 days