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4 Quick, Simple + Cheap Ways to Update Your Space (with Before + Afters)

Once in a while, I’ll look into the abyss of a room in our home and think – “something needs to change.” Actually, I lied. I do it all the time. Angelo and I will be sitting down eating dinner and I’ll begin staring into the living room.

“What are you looking at??”

“Something’s not right”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you think I need to layer this cowhide rug with the ivory rug we have downstairs?”

*ignores me*

“Have I told you about Feng Shui?”

*ignores me harder*

Can anyone else relate to this feeling? No, not being ignored by your husband – I’m talking about craving a change. Luckily, there are a ton of things you can do to update your space. I want to talk about a few of my recent and absolute favorite go-to’s for when I need a quick, simple and cheap room update.

Before and after, Home decor , Interior design, Interior decor, Gray Paint, Sherwin Williams , Glam Decor, Redesign, Interior, Interior design, Home inspo, Decor inspo

1. Paint

I mentioned in this post that the first thing I wanted to do when we bought our house was paint everything. My new-homeowner naive self even googled “can I paint the kitchen counter” (you actually can, but decided to hold off on this one).

Angelo didn’t really understand why I became so obsessed with wanting to paint every room in the house immediately. I tried to explain to him that painting is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to update a room. It’s like an instant facelift. He was like “alright, go crazy” and so I (literally) did.

I lost clumps of hair trying to choose the perfect light gray to compliment our wood floors and Sherwin Williams associates around northern NJ eventually knew me by first name. After painting my kitchen three times (third times a charm), I eventually found Repose Gray, the perfect light gray, and I now understand the science behind paint colors. Yes, there’s a science behind paint colors and understanding it can make or break how you want your room to look. Ever hear of Light Reflective Value? It means that light can change the appearance of any given color.

LRV kept me up at night.

Here are some before + after pics of the rooms we painted:

Before and after, Home decor, Interior design, Interior decor, Gray Paint, Sherwin Williams, Glam Decor, Redesign, Interior, Interior design, Home inspo, Decor inspo

When I painted Angelo’s future office from Barney purple to medium gray, *all of a sudden* he understood why I was so intently focused on paint. Oh, now you get it, honey.

Before and after, Home decor, Interior design, Interior decor, Gray Paint, Sherwin Williams, Glam Decor, Redesign, Interior, Interior design, Home inspo, Decor inspo

My now office, painted in Repose Gray

Before and after, Home decor, Interior design, Interior decor, Gray Paint, Sherwin Williams, Glam Decor, Redesign, Interior, Interior design, Home inspo, Decor inspo

The living room (also painted in Repose Gray)

Hallway (you guessed it – Repose Gray)

Downstairs AKA Lounge Area (Agreeable Gray, a warmer gray that we loved and is also the current color of our bedroom)

And of course, my personal favorite

Before and after, Home decor, Interior design, Interior decor, Gray Paint, Sherwin Williams, Glam Decor, Redesign, Interior, Interior design, Home inspo, Decor inspo, cabinet transformation

To sum up my word vom…go grab some paint and get to work.

3. Swap out lightbulbs

Guys. Lighting is EVERYTHING. Let me repeat – everything.

Another thing that totally drove me crazy around the time I was obsessed with painting was lighting. I’m not talking about light fixtures, I’m talking about light bulbs. There’s also a science to light bulbs (science needs to stop effing with my house) and the color temperature of light bulbs can make or break how you want your room to look.

I guess at one point in history some guy named Kelvin discovered color temperature. Color temperature is measured in Kelvins (K) and Kelvin wanted to let you know that there are two things you need to remember when you’re choosing light bulbs:

High Color Temperature = Cool Light

Low Color Temperature = Warm Light 

Higher color temperatures of 4700K and above, have a cool, or blue color. Lower color temperatures, in between 2700K and 3000K, give off warmer colors that appear yellow, orange, or red. This may be hard to grasp at first but don’t worry – 99% of the time Kelvins are listed on the packaging.

The perfect example of this color temperature concept – my kitchen (after I painted it the second time).

Before: Bulbs were cooler/wayyy too high on the Kelvin scale (about 5000K), making the kitchen look too bluish for my liking. It reminded me of a hospital.

After: Bulbs were warmer/much lower on the Kelvin scale (about 2700K), making the kitchen look like the perfect, neutral gray!

Can you guys see the difference?

If you’re looking for the appearance of your room to change without putting in much work, swap out those bulbs!

2. Add fresh flowers or plants

Before and after, Home decor, Interior design, Interior decor, Gray Paint, Sherwin Williams, Glam Decor, Redesign, Interior, Interior design, Home inspo, Decor inspo

You know like, a casual wedding centerpiece (before our centerpiece flowers died I had to get a pic of them somewhere in my house). Flowers are such a simple way to brighten and add life your space! I don’t have a green thumb, but when I find a nice bouquet or plant that I stumble upon, I’ll buy it. I envy people who live close to a Trader Joes because they have beautiful flowers for like, $5. Succulents are great too – they are easier to keep alive and my favorite succulent, aloe (which has air cleansing properties), has been chillin’ on my kitchen windowsill for months.

4. Redesign

My personal favorite – I’m writing an entire post on this soon because this one is HUGE.

Redesigning can mean many things, but I’ll personally be referring to redesigning as taking what you already have and moving it around or utilizing it somewhere else. AKA if you hone in on your creative side, you can literally go on a shopping spree in your own home. This was challenging for me up until recently. When we purchased our house all I had at the time to decorate with was a candle and some faux flowers. But thanks to my new found interiors obsession and shopping addiction, we managed to decorate/furnish our entire second floor over the course of 6 months or so, so now redesigning is easy and exhilarating. I now have a large storage bin (and maybe a closet) filled with decorative accessories that I can dig into when I’m craving something new. It’s kinda like…finding $10 in your pocket.

Sneak peek of part of my living room redesign that I’ll be posting about soon!

You can redesign by rearranging furniture, swapping out chairs, nesting tables, and lamps. Use an existing bar cart as a side table. Move around the items on your shelves. Fill a storage bin (or closet) with decorative accessories like candles, coffee table books, and faux flowers to pull from when you need a quick change. Go crazy and be creative!

Hope you guys enjoyed this post! What’s your go-to method for changing up your space?

Talk soon!

xo

Alisa

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12 Comments

  1. Aleeha
    7 months ago

    I actually REALLY want to paint my room light grey…. It’s such a gorgeous chic colour!
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.co.uk/

    Reply
    1. aglassofbovino
      7 months ago

      Hi Aleena – it’s such a popular color right now! I definitely recommend doing your research to choose the right color first 🙂

      Reply
  2. Lisa Autumn
    6 months ago

    WOWWWW! This looks amazing!

    xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

    Reply
  3. Ellen
    6 months ago

    Your house looks incredible you have done a fantastic job! Definitely going to take some inspiration from this post.

    Loving your blog,

    http://www.ellenpaige.co.uk/

    Reply
    1. aglassofbovino
      6 months ago

      Thank you so much Ellen! 😊

      Reply
  4. Jessica
    6 months ago

    Wow, you’re doing some great work in there! Looks so pretty!

    http://www.jessicabroyles.com

    Reply
    1. aglassofbovino
      6 months ago

      Thank you Jessica!

      Reply
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