Designers' Simple Tricks to Breathe Life Into Stale Rooms

Zillow digs white living room with water view
Zillow Diggs"The most important design feature of a room is functionality.... Ask yourself, 'What is going to go on in here?'"

By Tali Wee

Whether you're a new home buyer or longtime homeowner you're likely familiar with the lackluster ambiance of an outdated room. It's challenging to determine which interior design element causes that undesirable feeling. Is the space insufficiently lit, overwhelmed by hardwood accents, flooded by a dusty odor or cloaked in an old-fashioned color scheme?

We asked design bloggers for their best do-it-yourself advice to refresh drab interiors. Here are their recommendations.

Giving Old Rooms New Life
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Designers' Simple Tricks to Breathe Life Into Stale Rooms
"I think that the best way to update an outdated room is with paint. A fresh coat of paint on the walls can really set the tone for a room. Don't be afraid to paint outdated furniture, either. I've been made to feel bad about painting over wood tones before. But the truth is, if I don't even like it, and a new color or finish will make me love it again, why not?  I'm all about trying to use what you have to save on cost." — Corey Willis
"I redecorate my home quite often, but it's mainly because I'm a designer and enjoy change. My suggestion is to decorate your home for the holidays, and that will give you the diversity you might be looking for. I've noticed that after the holidays are over and I take down my holiday decor, I fall in love with my old decor all over again!" — Amy Walton

"The most important design feature of a room is functionality. Don't get me wrong, I am all about detail and finishing touches, but if a room does not function well, all the vignettes in the world are not going to make it a happy place. So, I would start with determining how that room needs to function. Ask yourself, "What is going to go on in here?" Then decide how to furnish the room. From a purely design sense, every room, no matter what the function, will benefit from beautiful molding. Molding is also relatively inexpensive to install. The impact it makes when done right is definitely worth the minimal cost." — Kelly Wilkniss

"We are huge fans of statement lighting, so we often use a great light fixture to set the tone of the room. The most important thing is not that one element draws the focus, but they all work well and complement each other." — Kristy Harvey & Beth Woodson

"Opening windows should be done as much as the weather permits! Nothing is better than the smell of fresh air! Aside from that, I do my best to keep the floors vacuumed and cleaned. I also have a scented candle that does the trick." — Alison Royer

"Reducing clutter makes your space more open and clean, and infinitely more appealing. If you have a hard time getting rid of stuff, but you don't like the clutter, buy some storage containers and some labels; tuck the items away in a closet. Next, infuse your space with color through paint, colorful rugs, painting a piece of furniture or adding vibrant curtains. Artwork will definitely add flair to your space. Paintings, photos, vases, pottery or any other type of accessories will help create a beautiful design scheme and pull your room together. Personalize your space with small and unique touches. Get inspired by something you are passionate about, such as travel. You could decorate a space such as your home office with maps as inexpensive wallpaper, or frame some maps to display on your wall." — Lori Smith


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