Interior Design Tips from a Professional

4 Easy (And Affordable!) Ways To Update Your Space

Updating the look of a much-used space, whether it’s your bedroom, office, kitchen or laundry room can be overwhelming. But just a few smart updates can completely change the feeling of a room. Siba Interior Design Department Chair, Janelle Schrumpf, explains that with a little elbow grease and some small, thoughtful additions, you can transform a tired space in your home in just an afternoon. So why wait? You don’t have to be an interior designer in St. Louis to get started today!


“Perhaps one of the most transformative, but least expensive changes you can make is de-cluttering the space,” explains Schrumpf. “Start by sorting your items into four categories:

  1. items to keep that you use often;
  2.  items to keep that are less-frequently used;
  3.  items to donate; and
  4. items to throw away.”

Damaged items and/or things you have not used in a year should be tossed or donated. Once you determine what you’re keeping and whether it is a frequent-use, or non-frequent-use article, consider storage solutions. Things you use often should be kept within easy reach, but items you use infrequently can be tucked away in storage. Many storage solution stores, such as The Container Store, offer free design services.

Update your Lighting

Lighting has the power to completely change the vibe of a room. Start by considering the purpose of the space you're updating. For example, a bright overhead light may be great for a kitchen or work space, but a warm and soft light will likely be more appropriate for a bedroom or living room. When choosing a new fixture, think about the overall style you're going for. If you're looking for a statement piece, maybe a chandelier or a large pendant light is a good solution. For a more understated look, opt for a sleek and modern table lamp or wall sconce (keeping in mind that new wiring may be needed for sconces). Finally, consider the practical aspects of lighting. For example, if you frequently use a room for reading or working, you may want to invest in a task lamp that provides direct and focused light.

Break out a Paint Brush

“Painting is one of the quickest and most impactful ways to update a room. A new color on the walls can completely transform the look and feel of the space,” says Schrumpf.  When choosing a color, reflect on the other elements in the room, such as your furniture or existing artwork. If you're working with a neutral palette, consider adding a pop of color with a bold accent wall or a brightly colored piece of furniture. If you're starting from scratch, consider choosing a neutral color for the walls and using bold colors for your accessories. If you’re still unsure where to start, a color palette generator, can get the inspiration flowing. This one even lets you upload pictures!

Switch up your Accessories

Updating your accessories and décor is a quick and easy way to change a room. New pillows, artwork, curtains, and rugs can add texture, pattern, and color. Choose accessories that complement each other, such as a set of matching throw pillows or curtains in the same fabric. If you're more adventurous, a modern, curated look calls for a mix and match of different styles. This update doesn’t have to break the bank, either. Thrift stores are a great place to find treasures that bring a breath of fresh air to your space. Speaking of fresh air – adding some oxygenating greenery is a great way to update a room. Potted plants and indoor trees can really enhance the look of your room.

With these quick and easy updates, you can revitalize your space and bring a new energy to your home. And if you really love transforming spaces, maybe you should turn that passion into a career, like the students in Siba’s Interior Design program are doing, by enrolling in either the Associate of Applied Science or Bachelor’s degree program. Siba’s interior design alumnae have used their training and eye for great design to craft careers as successful interior designers in highly respected firms as well as starting their own firms.  Whether you’re interested in pursuing a degree or just trying to get your office in better shape, have fun and don't be afraid to experiment with different styles and colors to find what works best for you!

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