Freshen Up

“Why don’t you go with turquoise?” The sales clerk stood with one hand on her hip while the other propped up her chin.

I sighed. “I don’t know, but maybe gray might look better.”

After several minutes of indecision, I chose purple and turquoise for my throw pillows. I’ve never regretted it, even after living with them for years. The reason I was able to make a sound choice? I have loved those two colors together since childhood.

The new season is calling to me this year to update colors in a different room. What’s “in” for interior design right now, and how much does that influence me? There might be some interesting new color pairings trending that would inspire me. I might discover a furniture style that speaks to me. But the most important element will be what I like.

Lucky for all of us right now, the design world seems to agree that our personality is what should dictate our choices. Here are some questions you can ask yourself that might help if you’re considering an update.

  1. What colors to you tend to gravite to when you window-shop or see things on-line?
  2. Is there a design show on TV that highlights a particular look you love?
  3. Which Pinterest interior design boards draw your eye?
  4. Do you have a fond memory that revolves around any certain colors? (The reason I’ve loved turquoise and purple is a wedding I attended as a young teen.)
  5. Do you prefer brighter/bolder colors, or neutrals?

My current room under consideration is the living room. I don’t really like brown, but for some reason, I allowed a lot of brown into that room.

I chose brown curtains when I had a green sofa. Then I bought a leather sofa because I’d always dreamed of owning one–and it’s brown. We decided to pull up the carpet in our living and dining rooms and lay wood flooring. Of course, the wood is brown. It didn’t happen all at once. But I failed to realized the brown migration until it was all in place.

This summer I decided to lighten up the decor with pops of turquoise on a few sofa pillows and a new center arrangement on the coffee table. It helps, but now I’m on a mission. I might not even keep the coffee table. After all, it’s brown.

Is there a room in your house or apartment that makes you feel down or depressed when you enter it? What can you do to make it express your personality?

  1.  Start with a few accessories or a rug. It can be surprising what a little additional color and style will do for a space.
  2. Try a different window treatment.
  3. If you can, paint the room a new color. Or paint just one wall.
  4. If the space is small, add mirrors. A grouping of small, framed mirrors instead of a large piece of artwork can open up an otherwise cramped room. Try to place the mirror(s) opposite a window for added light.
  5. Add lighting. A new lamp in a previously dark corner can make all the difference.

Stick with one predominant color and one or two accent colors for cohesion. My choice of turquoise pairs well with the existing brown. Plenty of cream lightens the heavier tones as well.

You don’t have to do it all at once. Choose one budget-friendly change and then wait until you can afford it to make another. Part of the fun of decorating is searching for just the right piece. So don’t rush the process–savor it instead.

As I sip my coffee with lots of cream on the cooler evenings of autumn, I’ll be dreaming of what my “new” living room will look like when the re-do is finished. I’ll keep my leather sofa and wood floors, but everything else is negotiable.

Which room will you choose to update? What is the first thing you’ll do?