For a long time I have considered how bizarre it is that we all focus so much on the spaces we go to spend time, events, lounges, any social experience really, and how focused we are on the 'vibe' or aesthetic a space has. Sometimes something as simple as venue/brand color scheme or poor lighting design can completely prejudice ever even going there. Somehow, despite this most of our homes or living spaces are entirely neglected; which is quite bizarre to me because our home is (or should be) our sanctuary. Our home, apartment, dorm room, whatever living space you are currently in is essentially a naked space when we move in. For most people I know, however, we set it up shortly after moving in is how it stays for years on end. It is easy to become complacent and just grow comfortable with how things are and view the idea of the redesign, or the concept of interior design in general to be a daunting task; either out of our depth of capability or beyond our financial means.
Here are four easy steps to reinvent your space at minimal cost and effort.
Lighting is probably the most important factor in establishing the tone of the space. I can't tell you how many times I have walked into somebody's home/living space and their only lights are the overhead light that comes standard in any space. This blows my mind. Good lighting can completely transform a space, bad lighting makes you feel like you are hanging out in a doctors office.
While lighting options vary drastically from price points as low at $15 up to the hundreds of thousands of dollars, there are still an incredible amount of lighting options that will truly redefine your space, and affordably! There is no need to purchase lighting that requires a major install, wiring, etc. There are plenty of lighting options that only require the light to be placed and plugged in.
To effectively light your living spaces with a bit of character (and depending on the size of the room) you can typically do this with just two lights.
Main Light source: An atmospheric light- Any light that effectively lights the general atmosphere of the room, is dimmable, multiple color lights are always a bonus because you can truly transform the vibe via the color options based on what's going on. The Popspace Vibe Strips are also an incredible atmospheric lighting option.
Decorative light: An interesting tabletop/shelf light or lamp that adds character - A neon word lamp, a levitating moon lamp, a pattern light, or even something as simple as an LED light string creatively strung along a shelf, or draped over a window frame. So many affordable options for this.
Outdoor lighting- Have a patio, garden, or any outdoor space you want to add some life and character too? All you need here is a few very affordable solar-powered pattern lights or portable solar-powered lanterns. This sustainable option requires no install. They even charge themselves during the day and automatically turn on as the sunsets. The beautiful shadow patterns instantly bring about a sense of magic and charm to your outdoor area, and are zero hassle; They're even water poof, so just set and forget.
Walls are literally an open canvas for you to be creative. It doesn't take thousands of dollars of expensive art to dress up a wall. Sometimes the only thing your wall needs is a sense of intention. Frame any posters you want to put up. The frame alone will instantly give even a $5 poster a sense of intention and make it look so much more desirable. Even putting up two or three empty frames playfully on your wall adds a fun touch. Hang something interesting on one of the walls in the room- Could be a macrame woven tapestry, or hanging flower planters. These small touches really add so much visual creativity to the room and will make the space that much more inviting.
Add a floating shelf - Something simple yet functional as adding a floating shelf with a creative design on one of your walls is a great interior design aesthetic addition as well.
Accent furniture is functional and necessary, but can also be visually appealing or different from the norm in even a subtle way to tie together an intentional design aesthetic. There is no need to purchase super expensive matching furniture sets to make your space have a warm appeal. If you set up your lighting and addressed your wall decor as mentioned above, then adding one piece of accent furniture can really tie together the room and truly set a warm intentional, inviting vibe. Wouldn't that be such a pleasure to come home to every day? It can be a rocking chair, an accent chair with a Parisian pattern, a low Japanese style floor table, even a vintage industrial stool can do wonders. Whatever it is the key here to find something that YOU like and that will lend its comfy functionality along with the visual appeal you are looking to tie together your space.
Bring it to life!
Lastly, really bring your space to life by adding at least one plant, or even plant imagery. Not only will this bring natural warmth to any space. Studies show that just the mere presence of plants in our environment (and what environment is more important than our home!?) noticeably reduces stress in those in the space. Even if you don't think you have a green thumb or travel a lot and can't take care of it, something as simple as plant imagery (artwork, photos, etc) or a plant wall decal provides the same benefits; and fake plants do as well! There is some part of our natural animal instinct that is comforted by natural elements like plants. Let's be honest with ourselves, most of us are surrounded by concrete jungles in the cities we live in, adding a plant in our home will literally be like a breathe of fresh air. Pair that with some of the other interior design and lighting ideas we have shared here and you will really make your home a place you love to spend time in.
Tie your room together with intention
The key to redesigning the interior of your home is intention. Get good adjustable lighting, have a secondary smaller light that is more for visual appeal, easily dress up your walls creatively (and affordably), get one piece of accent furniture for the room, and bring it all to life with a plant. With these four simple steps, your place will feel like yours. You deserve to have a space that is inviting, comforting, fun and an extension and expression of your personality.
Don;t get overwhelmed with tunnel vision on what your end goal is. Interior design is an expression of self, a lens into where you have traveled, what is important to you and how you take care of your self. Start your journey to redesign your living space with just a few items here and there and let it take on a life of its own.