A green chair with a zebra print pillow and a white table.

3 Top Tips for Your Best Area Refresh

You don’t have to refresh the entire room!

By Laura Carson Miller

You’ve likely heard of the room refresh, which is great when a total home interior makeover is not in your timeline, budget or frankly, capacity for sanity.  But what if I suggested the area refresh can be even more visually impactful,  and offer you a lasting bang for your buck?

By concentrating your efforts on one area of a room, especially if it is a high traffic area used daily, some simple tweaks can not only serve you and yours in a functional capacity but also go a long way as a pick me up visually. And let’s face it, for many of us a pleasing new visual – that may involve using something we already have – as we approach those every day spaces can go a long way toward making home a place you really want to be.

Here are some great options …

Add or Switch Up Storage 

We recently added two floating shelves in our kitchen above our freestanding coffee station, which happens to be a gold toned bar cart I purchased during Covid. It holds the coffee maker, coffee, Peligrino, and various teas and tinctures in a stylish and compact storage option. I stocked the floating shelves with my favorite everyday white mugs and a neon green Devil’s Ivy Pothos plant on the end of one shelf, which will trail down beautifully as it grows. The new shelves add interest, giving a hint of a modern look to the kitchen. It’s also super cool to just reach up, grab a mug and pour yourself a hot steaming cup of happiness. I have used this very bar cart for storing and displaying items in our living room, sunroom and now in the kitchen. It’s a very versatile piece and available in many styles and price ranges. Remember, bar carts aren’t just for alcohol! It can be a key player in your area refresh stories now and for many years to come.

Go Cordless

A wise and wonderful way to embrace an area refresh is by bringing in a few cordless lamps. There are many design situations where a lamp is lovely, but like me, I bet many of you find the cords unsightly and off putting. Cords: BLAH. Right?? A few places cordless lamps are pure gold include your fireplace mantle,

your kitchen counter, your office desk or on any nightstand or console table. With lamps that are completely mobile and void of any annoying cords, you can and will create the vignettes of your Pinterest dreams, have extra light for reading and crafting, working at your desk, applying makeup,  spending time on your deck or patio at night or illuminating the contents of your walk in closet. You’ll also avail yourself of the ease of refreshing any area by popping in a lamp and perhaps an orchid, a few favorite books or a beautiful geode. A pair of cordless lamps look chic together or use them in area refreshes with other lamps or flameless candles for a more eclectic decor vibe.

Swap Art for Mirrors and Vice Versa

Sight lines mean everything to me. While that may sound like a wild, overly dramatic statement, think about the places you sit in your home every day and how your eyes focus on the same areas over and over. Use the opportunity to move wall accent pieces around in your home or office to enliven sight lines and give your eyes some new candy! If you’re staring at a mirror find a painting or framed print in a comparable size, or try two in a smaller size, to swap in for an easy option to revive an area. Does your foyer feature a table or piece of furniture with art hung above? Swap in a mirror and behold how different the area looks and feels. On or over your fireplace mantle is another ideal spot to perform the art/mirror swap.  A small or mid sized art piece or mirror on one end and a cordless lamp on the other make for a magazine worthy area refresh! Plus, hanging something on the wall is not forever, my friends.  You can experiment with as many art/mirror combinations as you want until you hit on the desired ambiance for the particular area.

Employ those damage free wall hooks we all love so much! Do so with wild abandon knowing your walls are safe. Trial and error is a big part of the fun. Use what you already have!!

The simple and highly impactful art of the area refresh is totally customizable and allows you to use items you already own and/or bring in new items. I am a big believer that everything doesn’t have to be new to be spectacular. It’s all in how you put things together and how you infuse your personality into your surroundings – and how your surroundings continually support, nourish, comfort and inspire you and your family. 

Why Not Live Beautifully Each Day?