There’s aging gracefully and then there’s just…getting old, but even if your tired old rooms are saying “yes please” to a total makeover your bank account may beg to differ. Don’t despair! There are still plenty of tweaks in your toolbox that can pay big style dividends. Let’s call it “cosmetic intervention.”
Start by thinking through how you really use your home. When was the last time you really loved spending time in that formal living room? Has your bedroom become an obstacle course filled with exercise equipment and office supplies? Have your family’s needs (or size!) changed over the years? Is your dining room cramping your entertaining style? Don’t let yourself be limited by labels and don’t give up valuable floor space to outdated definitions.
• Remap: Throw out the old roadmap. Turn that under-used guest room into a home office or an exercise room--or both. Put the dining table at one end of the living room and use the former dining room (when was the last time you “dined” in there anyway?) to start your Etsy empire. Pull the sofa away from the wall and float it in the middle of the room.
• Balance: Sometimes a room simply needs a little rebalancing to feel more welcoming. Watch for tell-tale signs of imbalance: sofas and chairs that hover beyond the edge of an area rug or heavy furniture bunched together on one side of the room. Remember that balance is not the same as matchy- matchy. That tall chest of drawers, for instance, doesn’t need another tall chest of drawers for the room to feel balanced. Instead position a table with some chunky candlesticks and a killer mirror on the other side of the room and you’ll feel the room breathe a sigh of relief.
• Shop your house: That perfect end table you’ve been looking for? Hiding in plain sight in your bedroom disguised as a nightstand. That pretty chair that never gets sat on in the front hall may be just the thing to soften the hard edges of your home office. Play with the unexpected.
• The light touch: Floor or table lamps create warm pools of light that help to define an area—simply moving lamps around can dramatically change the way a room feels. And while you’re at it throw out those old lampshades and get some in more contemporary shapes and colors.
· Think like a curator: Museums don’t put everything they own on display and neither should you—rotate your favorite accessories regularly. And don’t forget “white space”: in the same way a mat shows off a beautiful picture, space around your favorite collectibles will help them stand out.