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Imaginative Interior: Use These 8 Simple & Cheap DIY Design Swaps And Updates For Your Home!

by Lou-Ann Jordan May 13, 2019

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What to splurge on and what to save on when decorating?

Take a good look at your living space.  Are you happy with it?  Do you feel the need for change but you’re clueless about how to start?

Yello! You’ve come to the right place.

Although the cable networks are replete with interior designing shows it can still be daunting trying to translate their tips into your reality.  Plus, some of the fixtures shown may not be accessible or may prove to be expensive.

We consulted interior designer Chante Ferdinand of Chante Ariel Designs (CA Designs) we’ve got the perfect series for you.  In this new quarterly series, Chante will share designing tips to help you spruce up your place.

Based on the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Chante has carved a definitive niche for herself in the interior designing industry as an up and coming designer.  CA Designs offers a range of interior design services from full-scale and to simple upgrades.

Get excited about the possibility of transforming your space.

Here are Chante’s eight simple upgrades that include small but impactful DIYs, simple design swaps, and cost-effective updates:

 

Rearrange your furniture

If your space allows it, try switching the position of your sofa, side chairs or any occasional tables or larger décor items. Rearranging existing furniture is an easy way to make your living area feel renewed and refreshed at no additional cost to you.

Photo courtesy Annie Schlecter

These minor changes may even inspire you to get new pieces.  Plus, it opens up space for some exciting possibilities. The new perspective on the room will provide ideas or inspiration for further changes that appeal to you or enhance your space.

Photo courtesy Tuckrbox Decors

 

Do a paint job

Generally, paint is the most instantly gratifying way to give a room an overall fresh look and feel.  Also, it is definitely one of the most cost-effective.

Photo Courtesy HHD

You can opt to paint the room in an entirely different colour.  Defining a feature or accent wall is another possibility.  Exercise a bit of creativity, and patience by painting or applying geometric designs, stripes or using stencils. The options are limitless!

Photo courtesy Beth Bourque Design Studio

 

Quick paint selection tips:

Consider foot traffic and daily activity – Use Eggshell, Semi-Gloss, Satin or Low Luster finish for high traffic areas.  Paint choices will affect how well you can clean surfaces. Over time it will be easier to remove smudges and fingerprints.

Photo courtesy Nest Seekers

 

Match mood to colour – Think about the mood and feel you want to achieve with a colour change. Light tones tend to make rooms feel brighter and larger, whereas dark or visually heavier hues tend to make a room feel smaller and more intimate.  Darker shades are better suited for an accent wall or trim and not necessarily an entire space.

 

Create a gallery wall

Gallery walls can become a dynamic focal point in a room. They serve as an incredible way to infuse an array of colour, lines, patterns and personal elements into your home.

Photo courtesy MelanieJade Designs

A great gallery wall can be symmetrical with pictures, art or prints in similar frames for a clean uniformed look. If you choose, it can be even more expressive.

 

Include mirrors

Mirrors aren’t solely designed to be a reflective surface.  Use them to your advantage—to add a decorative touch to an interior.   Also, they can serve as an integral and interesting part of a gallery wall.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Beeler

Hanging a mirror across from or near a window will instantly give your room the added benefit of making it appear larger while reflecting the natural light.

 

Incorporate throw pillows

Throw pillows are one of the most popular ways to add a new vibe or introduce colour or texture to a room. They serve both aesthetic and functional purposes.

Photo courtesy CA Designs

Decorative pillows are commonly used in groups of varying patterns and materials to bring attention to certain aspects in the room or décor. They are often used to echo colours, textures or motifs in areas rugs, walls and drapes. Additionally, in terms of function, pillows on a sofa provide neck and back support.

Photo courtesy drivenbydecor

Overall, by utilising throw pillows and blankets and taking advantage of the impact they create, you can add character and give your room a fresh new look, one that’s quick and easy to change or update for seasonal décor.

 

Install floating or wall-mounted shelves

Floating shelves are the ultimate space saver!  Not only a great storage and organisational solution, but floating shelves are also an excellent way to display your personality.  Use them to showcase your favourite things, and to utilise available wall space in a meaningful way.

Photo courtesy Boutique Rugs

Alternatively installing floating shelves is a very quick and effective means of creating a feature wall. It also adds the flexibility of changing your display on a whim.

 

Utilise plants and greenery

When on the quest to bring more life to a space, always consider bringing part of the outside in. Plants can improve the mood of a room and help to purify the air.

Photo courtesy MDH Posh Interiors & Design

For a more dramatic appeal, go with palm fronds or banana leaves, both of which reflect our natural landscapes.

Opting to add even a small touch of the outdoors can be ideal for any living space. Potted plants can be accommodated in any area with a natural light source.

Quick plant selection tip:

Choose a low-maintenance plant – Plants are a terrific dual-purposed interior designing option.  Unobtrusive, they redefine space and clean the air.  Some plants even require very low maintenance for those among us who may not possess the green-thumb that others may have.

Photo courtesy CA Designs

To get started, why not try the Snake plant or ‘Mother-in-law Tongue.’  It’s an easy and natural purifier.

 

Choose to upcycle and repurpose

Imagine a world where your furniture lived forever. Are you’re finding it hard to part with your favourite chair that after years of rigorous use has seemingly reached the end of its loyal life?  Then don’t.  Here’s an idea.  Instead of tossing it to furniture purgatory where it will be unceremoniously sentenced to slow decay, breathe new life into it.  How?  By investing half of the cost of what it will take to replace them.   Simply have the worn parts of it stripped off and replaced with new material and fittings.

Photo courtesy Erin Spain

Also, you can spray or paint an existing piece of furniture such as a side table, chair or sideboard for an instant, new look.  And, for an added touch of modernity and overall makeover you can update the hardware (handles or pulls).

Photo courtesy Evolution of Style

The truth is we all crave a beautiful space especially in the hearth of our homes, but sometimes we’re deterred because we don’t know where to start, and are not prepared for an entire overhaul.

But, these upgrades are straightforward enough to get you started.

Lastly, above all remember to have fun transforming your space.

Stay tuned for our next issue of Imaginative Spaces in June 2019.

Special thanks to designer Chante Ferdinand for sharing her eight recommendations on how to spruce up the home.

To learn more about Chante and her work, visit CA Design’s Facebook page.