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A Living Room Refresh and The Power of Tiny Changes

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I have had the same phenomenon come up again and again in my work with clients and friends – tell me if it sounds familiar: You’re waiting to implement big changes in your home until you have enough time, money and energy to fully tackle the big projects all at once. In the meantime, you surrender to the status quo and stop putting effort into improving your surroundings.

Example: I have a friend who has been waiting for years to be able to embark on a massive kitchen renovation, but in the meantime she has not allowed herself to upgrade the dishes she hates, or to replace the water damaged cutting board that she chops on every day. While I agree that being frugal and saving most of her resources for the big future project makes good sense, I would argue that hating every aspect of your space for years until you can redo everything is not the way to go.

So, what to do? Time to employ the magic of tiny changes!

tiny changes

Tiny changes are about being intentional, taking action, and creating more of what you want – and they don’t have to cost a lot of money. Recently, I was feeling restless about our living room (again). Our couch is not actually that comfortable, our coffee table had seen better days, and I’ve never really loved the stain of our wood floors. Buying a new couch and refinishing all of our flooring would cost a fortune, and I don’t really have the bandwidth for a major project right now anyway. But, the thought of leaving things as-is felt sad.

So, here’s what I did. I sold our coffee table on Craigslist and got a new, much nicer table from one of our favorite local shops, Saffron and Poe – one of those magical places where everything is beautiful and ethical and sustainable and handmade by artisans from all over the world. While I was there I treated myself to a few little accessories I loved that would give the space some new energy – a woven tray, some tasseled wooden beads, a pretty scented candle. Side note – one of my favorite design hacks is to find a single shop that does all of the curation for you.

living room refresh

As a finishing touch, I splurged on a bouquet of fresh flowers from my favorite local florist and swapped out a few pillow covers that I found for a steal on Etsy. While the room was not completely transformed, and while I do still plan to make larger changes one day, these tiny shifts had the desired effect – the room feels refreshed, and I got a little creative boost from the mini makeover. The new coffee table is much larger and sturdier than our old one, so we have been spending more time in the space as a family – playing games, watching movies, and just kicking up our feet and relaxing.

living room

Want to employ the power of tiny changes in your own space? Here are a few ideas you can try:

Pick ONE Investment Piece to Splurge On

If you want to redesign an entire room but don’t have the budget to do it all at once, build slowly and invest in one high quality piece at a time.

Swap Textiles

It’s easy to transform a room just by swapping out throw pillows, blankets, and rugs. Don’t forget to shop your own home – you may be able to just rotate items from one room to another to create a new look without spending a dime.

Engage Your Senses

A diffuser, candle, or room spray can brighten up the air around you and help your space feel refreshed.

Go Green

Nothing like a plant, some garden clippings, or a bouquet of wild flowers to elevate a space without breaking the bank. Let there be life!

What tiny changes can you implement today to help you feel better about your space?

Photography Credit: Vivian Johnson 

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