New Year, New Beginnings: 4 Easy Home Decor Refresh Ideas

Change is good — and we don’t mean the kind of upheaval we went through in 2020. We’re talking about the little tweaks and updates that help improve something about ourselves or our immediate environment.

After spending nearly a year of your free time at home, you’re probably ready to give each room in your house a facelift. Here are some budget-friendly home decor refresh ideas that interior designers recommend to their clients.

1. The Wall Is Your Canvas 

Use wallpaper to make a visual statement - New Year, New Beginnings: 4 Easy Home Decor Refresh Ideas - LightsOnline Blog

If you’ve been following style influencers in the design community, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the trend for using one or more walls as a visual statement. Some designers accomplish this by applying decorative wallpaper, while others create focal points through the bold use of artwork, paint color, framed mirrors, open shelving, and wall sconces.

Putting the focus on a wall is an easy way to distract from something else, such as a small room size or drab furniture. Remember, light always attracts the eye. Installing a lighting fixture on the far wall can make a room appear bigger. You can achieve the same effect by placing a floor lamp in a back corner, a table lamp on an available shelf or mantle, or installing a plug-in wall sconce at eye height. If there is artwork on the wall, a picture light (there are battery-powered as well as plug-in and hardwire versions) will draw attention by enhancing the colors and texture of the artwork, providing depth to the space.

Floor lamp recommendations: Uttermost Cielo, House of Troy Brandon, Mitzi Bailee

Table lamp recommendations: Hudson Valley Archer, Currey & Company Thompson, Uttermost Felipe

Plug-in sconce recommendations: Savoy House Owen, Crystorama Morgan, Trade Winds Jonathan

Picture light recommendations: House of Troy Advent, House of Troy Contemporary, Mitzi Holly

2. Accentuate At-Home Entertaining

Accentuate at-home entertaining with elegance - New Year, New Beginnings: 4 Easy Home Decor Refresh Ideas - LightsOnline Blog

Limitations on the typical social spots such as bars and restaurants over the past year have led to a keen interest in creating a safe, healthy “bubble” for extended family, neighbors, and friends to gather in a comfortable, and yet socially distant, way at home.

In an updated twist to the retro bar units that anchored many a basement and rec room in the 1970s, the enjoyment of entertaining friends and family at home has resurfaced during the pandemic — but it’s taken on a classic elegance that evokes the glamour of vintage Hollywood or the refined simplicity of midcentury modern. The rise in retail sales of nostalgic bar carts and the popularity of allocating a portion of kitchen counter space to a chic bar area indicate this trend will have staying power throughout 2021 and beyond.

Bar cart recommendations: Cyan Design Molly, Uttermost Zafina, Cyan Design Revival

3. Expand Your Outdoor Living Space

Expand your outdoor living spaces - New Year, New Beginnings: 4 Easy Home Decor Refresh Ideas - LightsOnline Blog

Even before the pandemic hit, Americans have been spending more time outside with their family and friends. The popularity of firepits and chimineas has expanded to include outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, and the growth of what is now referred to as “the outdoor living room.”

Years ago, patio, pool, and deck furniture had a look and feel that was inferior to their indoor counterparts. Thanks to technology, manufacturers have been able to upgrade their offerings to satisfy the desire for beautiful furniture, lighting, rugs, and ceiling fans hardy enough to hold up to nature’s elements.    

When searching for the ideal lighting, ceiling fans, furniture, and rugs for your outdoor area look for the words “damp” and “wet” in the application guide. “Damp” refers to a product designed for use in a covered area such as a porch, where water will not be in direct contact. “Wet” refers to products that can be safely left out and operated in the rain. There are lighting fixtures and ceiling fans that are UL-listed for “damp” as well as those for “wet” locations; be sure to check the wording regarding the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Outdoor lighting recommendations: Savoy House Inman, Trade Winds Highland, Kuzco Steeple

Outdoor ceiling fan recommendations: Hunter Key Biscayne, Savoy House Alsace, Minka-Aire Java

Outdoor decor recommendations: Cyan Design Coliseum planter, Uttermost Scottia rug, Uttermost Teak Root multi-use cube

4. Upgrade Your Lighting

Upgrade your lighting - New Year, New Beginnings: 4 Easy Home Decor Refresh Ideas - LightsOnline Blog

Just by its nature – emanating light – changing out a lighting fixture immediately attracts attention. Not only will replacing a chandelier most likely improve the light quality in your room, it can instantly refresh the interior’s overall look. 

Most living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms can greatly benefit from updated lighting. If you haven’t already replaced your incandescent bulbs with energy-saving LED versions, now is the perfect time. In addition to saving money, LED bulbs will last for several years — which means less time and inconvenience of needing to grab a ladder to replace a burned-out bulb in a foyer fixture or on the ceiling.

Today’s new chandeliers, pendants, and even flush and semi-flush mount lighting fixtures are available in a wide variety of decorative styles that can either seamlessly enhance your décor or can make a bold visual statement on their own. There is virtually no downside to updating your lighting, especially if you have splurged on new furniture. What better way is there to enhance the beauty of your new furnishings than putting them in the best possible light? 

Finally, putting all of your lighting on dimmer controls is a very affordable update that provides flexibility in enjoying each space as you can brighten or darken the light level to accommodate whatever mood you wish to set — from bright light for reading or cleaning tasks to a lower, warmer level for relaxing. If you have switched from incandescent bulbs to LED, just make sure the dimmers you buy are compatible so you can achieve the best results.

Create your home decor refresh this year with the selection of lights, ceiling fans and decor at!

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