21 quick ways to freshen up your home in 2021

Supported by Tempur

Ahhhh… feel that? It’s the end of 2020 and the hope that the world will soon return to some level of normalcy. We hope!

At the start of every new year, we like to hit the reset button around the home and make small changes to welcome in the new year β€” and it’s never felt more appropriate than now! It’s time to let go of the old, set new goals and welcome new opportunities… in life and around the home.

Here are 21 quick ways to freshen up your home in 2021…

Related article: Top 10 ways to create a sophisticated master bedroom
Related article: Five mantras to get you in the mood to declutter

1. Create a vignette you love

How’s the top of your sideboard, dresser or bedside table looking? If you do an eye roll every time you look at one of those spaces, why not turn it into a vignette you love?!

It’s super simple to create a vignette (aka a styled arrangement) and I share my top tips in the video above.

Some easy things to remember:

  • Use a base of some kind to anchor the arrangement (in the pic below I used a stack of books or you could use a trivet or tray)
  • Mix up the height and scale of the objects on top, such as the taller and wider glass cloche and the smaller crystal
  • Play with materials, I’ve used glass, metal, crystal and books
  • Use an odd number of objects, clusters of 3, 5 or 7 look best
  • Introduce a pop of life, such as the devil’s ivy plant πŸ˜‰
Cement pot

2. Rearrange furniture

After the festive season, our wallets can feel a little stretched but freshening up your home doesn’t have to cost money.

Simply rearranging furniture β€” or shopping your home as we like to call it β€” can have major impact. Consider switching side tables or occasional chairs between rooms, or trying a different furniture layout within the one room. At the very least, we suggest pulling furniture away from walls to give breathing space to a room.

3. Introduce a new colour palette

Colour affects our emotions and moods and we delve into colour theory in this article. Introducing a new colour palette to a room makes a dramatic difference to the way we feel in the space β€” and you don’t have to go overboard!

Simply using 3-5 pops of your colour palette across a room is enough. An easy way to introduce colour is to select two colours and one neutral, and then use a ratio of 60:30:10 where 60% of the space is one of those colours, 30% is another colour and 10% is your accent colour. This is an effortless and fool-proof way to introduce a colour palette that feels harmonious.

Of course, if you feel bold, you could go BIG and paint some accent walls. We share all our tips on how to paint like a pro in this article.

Green interior
Styling by Julia Green, photography by Armelle Habib and paint from Haymes

4. Out with the old

You know how in the intro we said the start of the new year is a time to let go of the old? Well around the home that means decluttering in a big way!

If you don’t love it or haven’t used it in the past 12 months, it’s a sign you may just be able to let it go.

Decluttering can actually be a good opportunity to sell items you no longer want or need to make money to buy that piece you’ve always wanted. Check out these top decluttering tips to help you get started.

5. Replace your mattress

They say we spend a third of our lives in bed so we better make it a comfortable one! If you notice your mattress doesn’t support your body, is lumpy or just uncomfortable, it’s time to upgrade. A new mattress can make a world of difference to our health β€” particularly if you suffer from insomnia or pain.

You may have read Gina’s product review of a Tempur Sensation Elite mattress with Cooltouch. She did a lot of research when it was time to upgrade their mattress β€” especially as her husband suffers sever back pain β€” and ultimately decided to make the investment into a Tempur. Not just a brand name, Tempur is a unique material that was first developed by NASA to support astronauts during lift-off. It offers the ultimate comfort and support, and she’s joined the thousands of others who give it a 5/5 star rating. Discover the Tempur range of mattresses here.

Tempur mattress

6. Give your bathroom a quick style

The first room we go to in the morning and often the last room we’re in before we go to bed at night is our bathroom. Yet, this is one room that often gets overlooked in the styling stakes.

Treating yourself to some beautiful bath products, fresh towels and an indoor plant is all it takes to create a more inviting space.

7. Restore an old piece of furniture

Impress yourself with an upcycle project! If you’ve got a drab piece of furniture that’s still got good bones, you could get crafty and give it a new look.

From reupholstering to repainting, there are thousands of DIY tutorials you can check out online for inspiration. This dresser upcycle is one idea of what can be done.

Dresser upcycle

8. Introduce more greenery

Indoor plants are always a good idea! From ferns to succulents, cactus to palms, there is an endless choice of plants you could choose but here are our top 20 hard to kill indoor plants.

9. Hang some new wall art

As Julia Green says “Art doesn’t always have to be behind glass” so when looking for new wall art, consider sculptural pieces or wall hangings as well.

There’s a huge range of affordable wall prints on the market today and if you really want to treat yourself, you could commission an original artwork from a fave artist.

Sideboard and artwork
Image via Fenton & Fenton

10. Light up your space

Like colour, lighting plays a big part in affecting how we feel in our home. If all the lighting in your home is from the ceiling, you may want to look at investing in some floor lamps or table lamps to introduce softer and more ambient lighting. Check out this post for all you need to know about creating a winning lighting plan.

11. Redress your bed

Fall in love with your bedroom again by giving your bed a hot new look. Select a quilt cover that ties into your new colour palette or fits with the new direction you want to take your interiors in 2021 and find a few cushions to complement the look. Finish with a throw. Check out this short video to learn how to style your bed like a pro.

Style your bed quick ways to freshen up your home
Of all the quick ways to freshen up your home, a newly styled bed is a MUST

12. Window treatments

Window treatments looking more drab than fab? Make it a goal to replace them in 2021!

With the growing range of online stores, it is possible to replace your window treatments without completely blowing the budget and it’s one of the best quick ways to freshen up your home. Check out our guide on how to choose the right window treatment.

13. Invest in a rug

You often hear us harp on about rugs and recently we posted a detailed guide on how to select the right rug.

β€œIt will give your room more warmth and create the sense of a zone. Having defined spaces will make you feel like the layout of your home works better,” says Amy from The Real Estate Stylist.

Image via Greenhouse Interiors
Image via Greenhouse Interiors

14. Start using candles or a diffuser

Most of us have candles in our home as a decor piece but how often do you burn them? Life is short, burn the candles! Scent works on a subconscious level and creates ambience in our home in a way few other things can.

If candles aren’t your thing, perhaps picking up a diffuser or diffusing essential oils is an idea to try. We share a guide to essential oils here.

15. Display photos

Personalise your interiors by putting your happiest memories on display. Too often in this digital age, we take photos but don’t make the time to print and frame them. Check out our 5 stylish ways to display photos around your home.

Introduce more photos quick ways to freshen up your home

16. Replace your cushions

When it comes to instant, low-cost updates in the home, there’s nothing better than simply replacing your cushions! Get a luxe look for less by switching foam inserts with feature cushions.

Adairs, Bonnie and Neil and Bambury are just some of our faves (and yes, we’re aware we have a cushion addiction!).

17. Set up a new space to support your goal

What goals have you set yourself this year? Whether it’s to kick butt in business or take more time to relax and unwind, look at where you can create a dedicated space in your home to support this goal.

A little cozy nook or stylish office can be the reminder we need to keep working at those goals.

Workspace to achieve goals quick ways to freshen up your home

18. Keep on top of your house cleaning

Few people find house cleaning fun but we all know it’s the secret to keeping our homes feeling fresh, inviting and stylish.

We created a free cleaning checklist that breaks down all your daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks so you can keep your home in ‘clean enough’ state for longer (oh, and you’ll also find some of our favourite cleaning hacks in there too!).

19. Switch cupboard handles

Perhaps you’d like to makeover your laundry, kitchen or bathroom buuuuut it’s just so expensive that you need to save for a bit longer?

Rapid Renovation Expert, Naomi Findlay, swears by the impact of new handles. She included this suggestion in ways to update your kitchen for less and 5 best cosmetic bathroom upgrades. You can find our round up of the best places to shop for new handles here.

20. Buy fresh flowers and open up the windows

If nothing else, give your home the quickest freshen up of all by treating yourself to a beautiful bunch of flowers and opening up the windows.

A fresh breeze, sunshine and the sweet scent of flowers will be sure to boost your spirits. And make your freshly cut flowers last longer by following these tips.

Use flowers in the home quick ways to freshen up your home
Flowers are one of our favourite quick ways to freshen up your home

21. Give your garden some TLC

Finally, one of the best quick ways to freshen up your home is actually outside. Your garden is the first impression to your home so if it’s looking unruly or just a bit neglected, why not pop on the gardening gloves and get stuck in. Defining gardening beds, topping up mulch and filling in sparse areas are a few easy ways to get big impact. We share everything to do in the garden by season in our gardening guides here.

If you don’t have a garden, perhaps starting a herb garden on your balcony or creating a more inviting front entrance could be ideas to try.

Will you use any of our quick ways to freshen up your home? Or do you have other ways to refresh the home? We’d love you to share them in the comments below!

More styling ideas

This article was first published in January 2017 and continues to be updated with latest styling tips and images.

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