8 small tweaks that create a big impact in your home

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Tudors Down · the design column ·

On the occasions when you want to update your living spaces, sometimes you can't bring yourself to paint an entire room or buy new furniture. So, what do you do when you want a change but have little time or, commitment issues? Here are eight small changes that will make a big impact.

1) Change your fabrics. Whether you camouflage the throw pillows in your living room or purchase a new duvet cover, you can rotate fabrics to create something new and fresh. You'd be surprised how different new throw pillows can make a room look. Modern patterns can take a room from outdated to current. A busy space can be made calm with solid, cool colors. Buying a neutral couch and changing the pillows to match the trends is cheaper than to buy a patterned couch only to reupholster it when it's no longer current.

2) Re-hang your curtains. Most of us were told to hang our curtains and rods right around the window opening. Try hanging your curtains higher and wider than the actual window frame. This makes your space feel taller and lets in more light. Double bonus!

3) Add new hardware. Try changing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets or dressers. You don't have to spend a lot to get a new look. Places such as Ikea or Home Depot have high-quality, inexpensive hardware for anyone's taste.

4) Rethink your artwork. Too much? Not enough? Sometimes we get so used to the artwork we have (or lack thereof), and we might not realize we need a change. Try condensing your scattered photographs into a big gallery wall. Or fill a blank wall with a bright and colorful painting. Love your artwork as is? Switch out the frames for something new. New frames can add a new vibe to old art.

5) Add some greenery. Fresh flowers or live plants freshen up any room. Buy a bouquet of flowers, clip some from your garden or add a potted plant. Don't just stick to flowers: try leaves, branches and even weeds, such as Queen Anne's Lace.

6) Try a stencil. Even if you painstakingly selected your perfect wall color, you might think it looks a bit stale or bare. Buy a stencil or create your own for a quick, creative change. To create your own stencil, cut out an easily repeated design on cardboard and trace it on your wall. Paint over your lines for an instant faux wallpaper.

7) Rearrange your furniture. This is completely free and a totally reversible way to change the look of your room. Try pulling items away from walls or floating chairs by your sofa. Make something other than your television your focal point. Don't like the new look? Change it back anytime.

8) Let spray paint become your new best friend. Spray painting is an inexpensive and quick way to change almost anything. From door handles to pottery, light fixtures to furniture: almost anything can be spray-painted.

There you have it: simple, manageable, ideas to spruce up your home. Because sometimes the little things make us smile the most.


In October 2011, Sarah Meeks and her husband purchased their first house, a fixer-upper, which is located two doors down (hence, Tudors Down) from Sarah's childhood home. Besides blogging about home renovations and design, Meeks sells vintage home goods. For more design ideas, to purchase items from her Etsy shop and to watch her home transform from drab to fab, visit tudorsdownblog.com.