A vibrant coat of deep blue paint and an artistic wall display transform the atmosphere in this luxurious setting.
Recharge the hallway with a new stair runner. Leaving space on either side will make the steps feel wider.

“Wow, you look great,” exclaims a friend you haven’t seen for a while. “What have you done? Lost weight, joined a gym, got a new boyfriend?” she continues looking you up and down. Trying not to feel insulted, as these revelations seem to indicate that I wasn’t looking so good the last time we met, I reply that I’m not doing anything special but … I did get my hair cut. The explanation satisfies my friend, and I deal politely with the backhanded compliment. Just a haircut.

Rooms can suffer from the same malady. After months or years of looking the same, they appear tired or lacking interest. They could use a fresh spark. And it does not take much time or a big budget to make an impact. Here are some ideas that will have you and your rooms feeling renewed and energized.

Paint is an easy fix. Switch up the colour; even a subtle shift will change the mood. If you are feeling brave, think about creating a focal wall with a deep rich shade that spells drama or romance. Or colour block one wall. Position a striking photo or piece of art alone on the wall and you have a magnificent image that will draw you in. Or devise a gallery, combining photos and mirrors that connect by shape.

Move your furnishings around to change the room’s dynamics. Is it time for a new sofa? How about a funky coffee table that does double duty as extra seating or helps with storage? Enjoy seeing how one addition to the room gives everything a new look.

Don’t forget the ceiling. Give it a coat of paint that is slightly darker than the wall shade. Develop a tray ceiling by masking off a frame or two and filling in with different shades. Add a stencil detail that flows up the wall and onto some of the ceiling. In a sunroom this could be butterflies or ivy. Tropical fish and seaweed would enhance the bathroom

Carpets are a good investment. Make sure you select the appropriate size for your furniture arrangement. The carpet should sit under front legs of sofa and chairs, not just under the coffee table. If you have a stairway in your entrance hall, try a new runner. Seen as soon as you open the door, the stairway leads you into your home and this is where you begin your design story. Place a stylish lamp on the hall table. Hang a hat rack or hooks for guest coats. Is there room for a small seat?

Windows often get overlooked. A few panels of luscious fabric make a fitting frame for outdoor views and heighten the feeling of luxury when drawn. Change the textures that you touch. Whether it’s some velvet throw cushions on the sofa, or a soft cashmere blanket on your reading chair, a new tactile element is always welcome. Silky sheets on the bed, a new colour or pattern for the bath towels, even something as simple as a bright row of dishtowels … treat yourself. You’ll feel the difference (and your friends will wonder what you’ve done. Don’t tell them.)