When you want a "new look" but don't have the time, money or inclination to pull out the stops and completely redesign an entire home, or even a single room, there are things you can do to find that new look quickly, inexpensively and easily. Think incrementally, not innovatively. The new look is hidden within the old.
When it comes to doing a simple room update there are several opportunities for updating the look and feel of a space.
Just swapping out the toss pillows on your sofa can make a hugh visual impact. And you may not need new pillows at all; maybe just a new fabric on the ones you already have. Change the entire mood of a small space with a new lampshade.
A stealth approach to updating a space is to simply rearrange your art. There is viturally no cost, but it can make a big difference in the overall look. Sometimes you'll want to change groupings of artwork, but sometimes it makes sense to move things from one room to another. Friends will know something is different, but they'll be hard pressed to know what you did. Sneaky, but fun!
When you want to update the whole house, follow the same process but look for the flow between rooms and other spaces (e.g., hallways, the foyer, a loft). Perhaps you could replicate the new color on a new fabric in the living room into a new throw rug in an adjacent hallway. Think in terms of well-coordinated, minor changes.
Remember: Little hinges swing big doors.
-Alexander Interiors, McLean, VA