Updated: Dec 16, 2020

In these long days stuck in quarantine, we have all become quite familiar with our homes. With this familiarity, sometimes comes the impulse to change things up. These are my top 5 must haves to easily spruce up your home life!

I know I am not the only one sitting in my home - a studio apartment - looking at the same decor and furniture everyday, wondering what I can do to make it more beautiful, cozy, clean, personal, and be somewhere that I WANT to spend all my time. So, I started doing what I do, mentally redesigning my space. I created mood boards, online shopped, had a whole plan in my head to completely update everything in my little home. But then I realized, that all my online carts were full, but I didn't have all the money in the world to spend on redesigning my apartment.

I decided to figure out what I could do to make the biggest visual impact on my space, while still being frugal and trying to support small businesses and artist as much as possible.

Here are the changes I decided made the biggest visual impact in my space, and made my space feel fresh, new and a place I wanted to spend my time in!

1. Rug

One of the biggest and most impactful elements in a room is the floor. If you think about it, the floor in your home is a larger area then any furniture or decor. Therefore, changing it up will provide a huge impact in the way your space looks and is precieved. A rug can change the way the size, feeling, aesthetic and lighting of a room is perceived. In my 500 sq ft apartment, I had a 8'x10' rectangular shag rug that basically took up the entire space! It was just a plain cream colored rug, so I never thought much about it. But one day, as I was cleaning and considering how to reinvent my space, I rolled up the rug and set it off to the side of the room. This was the first time since I moved in that I had seen my apartment without that rug! I was in shock of what a difference it made just removing it. The room suddenly seemed so much larger. It immediately brought in more light and felt more open and airy. Although just removing the rug made a huge impact on my space, I didn't want to leave my hardwood floors completely bare. I wanted my space to feel light, bright and airy, but also cozy and have a little texture and warmth on the floor. I began looking for a rug that was smaller, had more dimension and interest to it, and that was also affordable.

I began looking at faux cowhide rugs for a few reasons. First, the shape was perfect for what I was looking for. I wanted something different then just a rectangle. Something that had more visual interest. A shape that added more dimension to my space, instead of just boxing it in. Second, I love the various neutral colors and organic patterns of cowhide. I also love that it can still be cozy and warm, with out being basic carpeting.

I found this Faux Cowhide Rug on Overstock. The size was perfect for my space, because it is still large and makes a big impact, but doesn't swallow the room. I love the neutral gray and cream colors and it is soft and cozy to walk on. I was looking for a faux rug, so I was happy to find this one that is affordable and doesn't look or feel unauthentic!

Alexander Home Faux Cowhide Silver Grey Area Rug 6'2"x 8'

2. Mirrors

Adding a mirror or multiple mirrors to any space can transform the way you perceive it. This is especially true for small spaces, or spaces with limited natural light. Mirrors can act as a window, adding more depth, light and dimension to a room. Fortunately, my studio apartment has many windows that bring in loads of natural light - that is one of the main reasons I chose it actually. Still, adding mirrors to my small space that reflect the windows, completely transformed the way my home felt. If you know me, you know I am in love with Rococo style. I also love adding vintage pieces into every design to give it more soul and personality. I went on a search for the perfect Rococo inspired mirror, and of course I found the PERFECT one at Anthropology that was way out of my budget. The Gleaming Primrose Mirror that comes in multiple sizes, priced from $500 - $1,500.

This mirror is perfect, and if I could get the 7' tall one in gold, I would in a heart beat! But instead, I began my search for the affordable version of this beautiful mirror. I spent a long time searching, until one day at Value Village, I saw it waiting for me! I literally guarded it till my mom came around with a cart to be able to move it. I was not letting that beauty out of my site. The gold Rococo mirror I found at Value Village is 3' x 4' and rung up at $30. The money you can save is well worth the time it takes to find the perfect piece for your space! While you're stuck in quarantine, shop around on Etsy, FB Marketplace, Ebay, Craigslist, etc.

3. Art

Art is probably the EASIEST way to transform your space! Simply displaying art in your home can give your space soul, personality, style and interest. It is a great way to show who YOU are through your home interior. Plus, it is probably one of the easiest transformations you could do during quarantine because there are SO many artist you can find online, who would greatly appreciate your support!

Search on Etsy and Instagram to find art that intrigues you. If you are drawn to it, then it will most likely work perfectly in your space and add a personal element. Etsy and Instagram have hundreds of artist selling prints, framed artwork, paintings, sculptures, wall hangings, photos, quotes, etc.

I really love to search etsy for antique pottery. This is a great way to bring some soul into your space with art. They are perfect to display branches in or just decorate with on their own.

Line Art Wall Hanging

Pressed Flower Framed Art

Antique Clay Vessel

4. Bring the Nature In

It is a bummer to have to stay home and spend most of our time indoors, but that is the time we are living in. We can't control that fact, but what we can control is how our interiors make us feel! Bringing nature inside our homes can benefit our psyche, our air quality and the beauty of our home. It is also another easy way to transform our interiors during quarantine.

My favorite way to do this is to pick flowers or trim branches on my daily walks around my neighborhood. Then you can practice your flower arrangement skills. Recently, I have found myself very interested in the Japanese art of flower arranging, Ikebana. Quarantine is a perfect time to learn new things, and I have been enjoying researching Ikebana and trying to make my own arrangements using what I find on my walks.

Another way to bring nature inside, is to support your local florist. Farmers Markets are beginning to open, using social distancing protocols, and this is the perfect opportunity to support these local businesses that are struggling. If you are able, put on your masks and gloves and head out to buy a bouquet of flowers from your local farmers.

If you are not able to leave the house at all, you don't need to! One of my favorite addition to any design is Pampas Grass, which I love to order on Etsy. There are many vendors selling beautiful Pampas Grass in various sizes and colors. These branches really are the perfect addition to any room.

Pampas Grass

Beautiful wild flowers found in my neighborhood.

5. Paint

If you are scared of painting you're home... just do it! I promise you, it will make the BIGGEST impact on your space. Plus, it is easy to order paint to be delivered right to your door. Not only can hardware stores, like Home Depot, ship paint. There are also new paint companies, like ECOS AND CLARE, that that deliver low VOC, non toxic, oder free paint! Which is great when you want to paint, and stay inside your home. Color can completely transform how a room looks and feels. You can use color to show your personality in a space. You can use it to create a neutral canvas for the rest of your decor to shine. You can make a room look larger, bring more light in, feel more cozy, more relaxing... Color is the magic that really can transform your space into exactly what you desire.

So, what color should you go with?

My go to is, of course, a creamy warm white. When all of your walls are a rich, perfect shade of white, your room transforms into a bright, airy, clean canvas for all of your lovely decor to shine in. It's pretty incredible what a few layers of white paint on your walls can do! My favorite whites are Benjamin Moores, Simply White and China White.

A deep, dark, rich color is great way to create more depth and interest in a room. It can make a room feel larger, and the contrast can add a lot of personality to a space. These dark colors can be intimidating, but I have never regretted the choice to paint a wall almost black! Often times, both my client and I are left wondering why we didn't do it sooner! My favorite color to go with is After Midnight by Benjamin Moore.

You can never go wrong with a monochromatic look. My favorite is a mixture of terracotta and rose tones. This color combination can make a space feel cohesive, bright, happy and you will never want to leave. Boho decor, plants and leaves look great with this look.

Warm white walls are a perfect canvas for art and colorful decor.

Rich, dark colors can add contrast, dimension and personality to a space.

Using a monochrome color scheme can make a space look cohesive, chic and cool.

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