You spend time poring over the gorgeous interiors on Houzz, but then life gets in the way of your making your own place look perfect. Sound familiar? Lack of money, energy and time can mean you never quite get around to your spruce-up paint job, that new flooring gets put on hold and you’re still lounging on that unloved old sofa. However, while you wait, there are small things you can do to cheer up your space, things that don’t require entire weekends spent constructing flat-packed furniture or prowling the DIY store. Whether it’s a messy desk or a grubby hall, take 10 minutes out to subtly improve them and you’ll feel much better.
Reboot your coffee table. Much of the art of creating a stylish home is about stopping to consider what you already have and how best to display it. So don’t leave your most beautiful books tucked away on high shelves. A pile of arty hardcover books on a coffee table might feel something of a cliché, but it can be a rather effective way of adding personality to a living space.
Here, the owners have created mini-book towers — on the main table, on a side table and on the floor. The interesting ceramics add another point of interest. This trick takes just minutes, and the items can be changed whenever you fancy a new selection of books to peruse.
Photo by Element Studios – Search eclectic kitchen pictures
Try the power of three. Three objects arranged in a small cluster are instantly interpreted by the eye as a carefully edited group display, rather than a random concoction — be they on a mantelpiece or a table. These two ceramic containers teamed with a simple glass bottle vase are a case in point. Try objects of subtly different lengths or widths for maximum effect.
Tip: A bunch of white blooms in a glass vase is another instant update that works pretty much anywhere.
Photo by Domus Nova – Discover eclectic dining room design inspiration
Space out your shelf display. It may be tempting to stuff your shelves full of books so you utilize every storage inch. But by reserving part of a shelf to display interesting objects, you not only create a sense of space in a room; you also turn what could have been a workaday piece of furniture into an eclectic style statement.
This brilliant blue unit is used for books as well as a variety of objects, including a teapot, a retro radio and jewel-like wineglasses. Try restyling your shelves for a similar effect; the impact on a room can be astounding. These owners have also loosely color coded the spines of the books to further tidy up the look.
Photo by simple thoughts – Discover home design design ideas
Frame your kids’ drawings. If you have a wall that’s looking dull or bare and you have young children, there’s really no need to spend a fortune on limited editions. Kids’ drawings are colorful and characterful, and can look lovely displayed en masse, as this gallery wall proves.
Mix tacked-up sketches with a few of your children’s favorite compositions in simple white frames. You’ll cherish them for years to come.
Photo by Paul Craig Photography – Browse home design ideas
Declutter your study. Is your home office a mess of torn envelopes, half-forgotten bills and old coupons? Take a few minutes to tidy, clean and polish your desk. If you don’t have a system, create one, assigning different drawers and trays for urgent and nonurgent paperwork. Gather stray pens together in an old can or a favorite mug if nothing else is at hand.