12 interior design ideas to freshen up your home without renovating

Spending a lot of time at home has activated a dormant decorating gene in many of us — and we’ve got the shelves and Pinterest boards to prove it. Still, even the most Instagramable room can benefit from a reboot from time to time to inject new energy into familiar surroundings. Luckily for renters and those of us who don’t have the time, budget, or skills with power tools needed for a full-scale makeover, there are plenty of no-demo decorating ideas for updating your space that won’t leave a dust trail left behind and can be easily toggled up should you be craving another change soon.

Rearranging your furniture, sprucing up your walls, adding dramatic accents (without drilling) and drawing attention to unused areas can change the flow of a room and result in a whole new look. Here are 12 simple ideas to refresh your living spaces.

Transform your walls

Install a (movable) mural

This highly rated mural is easy to apply – it’s backed with an adhesive that sticks smoothly to your wall and can later be removed in strips that won’t strip your paint. Designed to cover 81 square feet, the botanical landscape will bring a blank, boring wall to life, whether it’s in your bedroom or living room.

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Hang oversized artworks in pairs

Just changing the scale and symmetry of the artwork you are displaying can dramatically change the atmosphere of a room. Minted sells oversized prints in pairs, like this stunning set, along with others by independent artists that look great side by side.

Add a backsplash right away

This peel and stick backsplash has received over 1,000 reviews on Amazon for being easy to install and durable. It has a pressure-sensitive adhesive and water-resistant finish and comes in 12″ x 12″ sheets that you can cut to create the look of tiles in your kitchen or bathroom.

Change the scene with mirrors

Floor length mirrors reflect light into your room and make any room appear larger by creating the illusion of depth. Go for a curvy shape that adds a visual accent and contrasts with the straight lines of furniture and other pieces around you.

Turn on your lights

Hang plug-in tags in unexpected places

Ceiling pendants look beautiful and help define a space, but can be tricky to install on a whim. This plugin version of George Oliver solves this problem thanks to a swag hook so you can position it anywhere. Instead of placing the pendant light directly above a sofa or dining table, consider less conspicuous spots like the corners of a room or near the windows to create a reading or lounge area.

Cast an atmospheric glow

Inexpensive light projectors work remarkably well for bathing your surroundings in soft tones that really change the mood of a room (and make great Instagram shots). Available in three different hues (sunset red, dawn sky and rainbow purple), the Balkwan projector features a 90-degree rotating head for different lighting angles.

Conquer and share interior spaces

Opt for modular furniture that you can easily rearrange

This modular sofa is made up of pieces that can be pulled together or apart to create different seating arrangements that can change the direction – and flow – of your living or family room without having to buy multiple pieces of furniture.

Divide a room with bookshelves

When you can’t put up walls or hang sliding doors, a two-sided bookcase is a creative — and sculptural — way to visually divide a space and create separate zones (for eating, sleeping, studying).

Conceal artfully with space screens

Modem and cable wires, air conditioners, old radiators… a snazzy paneled screen hides what you don’t want to see in a room so you can focus on the more appealing aspects. Whilst you can find many cheaper options, the West Elm Cecilia Tiered Screen is well made and sturdy so it stands firmly in place and comes in a choice of beautiful fabrics.

Create a focal point with oversized greenery

Tall potted plants and trees draw the eye upwards, which can make a small space appear larger and more spacious. Nearly Natural’s Traveler Palms grow up to 2.5m tall (check out the giant version here) and look very realistic – to the point where guests will be asking how often you need to water your plants.

Beautify your floors

Repeat finishes with peel-and-stick tiles

Replacing your floors can be a huge investment and headache, but these peel and stick floor tiles are a smart alternative. Ideal for small spaces – like a bathroom, laundry room or entryway – the tiles are thick enough to hold up well over time and are easy to cut and install, earning them more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon brought in.

Stencil your floors

Of all the pandemic home projects that have populated Instagram, here’s one that doesn’t require professional skills and can be done in a weekend: Stenciling your tiles or floors adds a geometric accent that elevates your surroundings. This graphic pattern has been purchased more than 75,000 times on Etsy and gets high marks for being versatile enough to use on everything from kitchen floors to stair tops.

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