It’s a new year, and I’m lying on my couch looking at my same old living room. The one that looks exactly like it did a year ago. I don’t even see the décor anymore. It feels boring and blah and the same. So, I jump off the couch and announce to my family, “Guess what, mom is gonna do a Room Refresh!” They’re so excited, they almost look up from their phones.

“What’s a Room Refresh?”

A Room Refresh is a creative way to give a room a fresh new look using décor and furniture you already own. If you have a room you’re not happy with, then read on to learn how to do your own Room Refresh.

Start by decluttering

Decluttering goes a long way toward freshening up a room. In our house, that means removing slimy dog toys from under the couch, reading material and random chargers from an end table, and the sad plant that I couldn’t bring back from the dead. Oh, also several pairs of shoes left right outside the closet—because it’s apparently too taxing to put them in the closet. My living room already looks better! (And now, my family is annoyed that I hid their shoes where they belong.)

Rearrange your furniture

Is your room too crowded? Too empty? Do you keep bumping into the same piece of furniture? Does the furniture arrangement just not feel right, but you’re not sure why? Get moving. In our living room, my husband’s favorite chair blocked my view of the trees. So, I moved it to the basement. (Not really, I just moved it a couple feet.) I also moved a badly positioned end table that threatened to break my toe whenever I walked past it. Try different arrangements until you find one that works, or until your back gives out. (Seriously, get help for this part.) Move pieces out if your room is too crowded, or bring in something from another room if it’s too empty. Even small adjustments will make a big difference.

A light bulb went off…

You might want to adjust your lighting. I realized I didn’t have a good reading spot in my living room. So I added a lamp next to the couch, and bingo, I now have a cozy place to read. Adding a lamp or two can make a room feel warm and inviting.

The fun part: “Shopping” your home for décor

Here’s a little test: Without looking, can you picture what décor is on your fireplace mantle or book shelves? It’s weird, but the longer you look at your décor in the same spot, the less you see it. So, move things around within the room, and swap in décor items from other rooms. I switched our mantle’s monochromatic black candle holders with–wait for it–monochromatic white vases. I made other small changes that had a remarkably big impact. Now I like what I see, and I actually see it. Moving objects around makes them go from invisible to visibly better.

The art of making your walls not boring

The next task is wall art. Do you love what you see? Or (again), do you not even see it anymore? Is the scale right? Are your walls too cluttered or too blank? Move artwork and photos around (or from other rooms) to have something “new” to look at. If you have several small pieces as a focal point over the couch or fireplace, try swapping in a single larger piece. And learn from my trial-and-error-mostly-error approach to picture-hanging: To hang several pictures together, position them on the floor to find the right layout before you start pounding nails into your wall.

Okay, I lied. You can spend money on a room refresh

Contrary to what I said in my clickbait headline, you can spend money on a Room Refresh if you want. And the biggest bang for your buck is paint. It’s a time commitment, but whether you paint your whole room, an accent wall, or a piece of furniture, paint can absolutely transform a space for relatively little money. You can also transform your space with a few new pillows, a cool lamp, or a new piece of artwork, without breaking the bank. Last week I bought a $25 vintage basket for firewood, and I’m in love. But again, it’s not necessary to spend money on your Room Refresh. So I guess I only half-lied.

The final step: sit down and enjoy your beautiful space

Then, immediately get up again and move things that still don’t feel right. Tweaking your room until you’re happy is part of the process. And the process is flexible; do as much or as little as you want. But whatever you do, I can promise that your efforts will turn your room into a beautiful, welcoming space…a room that makes you happy.

How to do a Room Refresh without lifting a finger (or a couch)

Does a Room Refresh sound great? Does doing it yourself sound terrible? We can do it for you. The Big Rocks Room Refresh design team has room planning tools, interior design expertise, and professional partners with strong backs.

We wrote the book on how to do a Room Refresh

Literally. In fact, we’ve written five digital Look Books for different design styles, and you get one free Look Book with a Room Refresh. We would be honored to make your room your happy place. To make an appointment or just learn more, click here!

The cover of The Look Book: Modern Minimal by Big Rocks Organzing The cover of The Look Book: Coastal Style by Big Rocks Organizing The cover of The Look Book: Boho Chic by Big Rocks Organizing




The cover of The Look Book: Tradition Forever by Big Rocks OrganizingThe cover of The Look Book: Farmhouse Fresh by Big Rocks Organizing

About Andrea Thompson

Andrea was an advertising copywriter/creative director for 40 years before retiring then unretiring to start a new career in organizing. She fully admits her new home is not 100% organized.