We’re living in strange times: that’s a fact we’ve all accepted. Luckily, spending more time at home has its benefits: we can sleep in a little before making the commute from bed to home office, we can get a little more experimental with our skin-care regime and we can regrow the eyebrows that were overplucked in high school without judgment. The downside? Being "stuck" inside tends to bring all of the things you don’t love about your abode front of mind. While it’s tempting (and too easy) to fill up that online cart with things to help you complete projects and upgrades, it can be equally nice to appreciate what you’ve already got. Below, some low-cost or free ways to upgrade your space and help you enjoy being at home just a little bit more while we’re all still social distancing:
freshen up the air in your home. This easy step comes in three parts. First, open your windows—yes, even if it’s still a bit chilly outside for an open-door policy at home. Even if you can only bear it for 10 or 15 minutes, it really helps so much with helping your space feel fresh and clean. Second, light your favourite candle, put on your diffuser or create a simmer pot on your stove. If you’re not sure what a simmer pot is, a quick Pinterest search will get you there—but, essentially, it’s just simmering things you’ve already got, like lemons, limes, oranges or cinnamon, to add a nice scent to your home. Third, take dryer sheets and insert them into all of your accent pillows and sofa cushions—it’s a great way to make your sofa (that’s likely working overtime at the moment) smell fresh and clean when you sit down.
add some greenery. If you’ve got the budget, place an order with a floral shop (shout out to locals like The Wild Bunch, Blossom & Vine and Celsia Florist); you’ll be surprised how fresh flowers will lift your mood and the way you feel about your space. If you’re working with a tight budget, kill two birds with one stone: go for a walk in your neighborhood and while you’re at it, clip a few things to bring home. No, we’re not saying you should ransack your neighbour’s yard, but a few tiny sprigs from here and there can add so much to your kitchen, dining table or coffee table.
shop your home to refresh your accessories. Choose a spot that could use a refresh (a bookshelf, credenza, coffee table or nightstand) and remove all items currently on it. Then, walk around your home and see if there are any forgotten things you think might look nice there. At this point, don’t worry about the spaces you’re stealing the item from. You might be surprised at how much you love this new arrangement! One easy way to get started: take some accent pillows from your living room and swap them with ones from your bedroom, or vice versa!
download some digital art prints. A quick and typically inexpensive way to update your home is to purchase some digital prints to download. This does require you to have a printer, but it is a great low-cost way to update your art. There are tonnes of great options on Etsy, with art of almost every style, but another favourite is Juniper Print Shop. Digital prints typically cost between $5 and $40 and can be printed right at home.
pull out your nice glassware. Maybe you are only drinking water or tea these days, but that’s not an excuse to keep your favourite cups, mugs, glasses or goblets hidden away. Even without guests, it can be fun to set the table properly, pull out the good stuff and treat yourself (and your quarantine buddy) to a nice meal.
get creative about the items you already have. Wishing you had a new tray, or vase or decorative bowl? Try looking inside your kitchen cupboards for something that might find its perfect home in another area in your, well, home. Fancy ribbed drinking glasses can become vases while cheese boards and dinner plates double as trays. Try it! You might be surprised by what is lurking on your shelves.
There are many more things you can do to refresh your home, but this is a great starting point. If you have any questions about home-related things, or just want to say "Hi!" you can find me on Instagram. Happy refreshing! —Madison Hope Veitch, Style and Such