It’s only natural to experience some design fatigue after living in the same space for a few years. You know, that irksome feeling you get when your once perfectly curated home feels stale, old, and uninspired?
Bobby Berk, interior designer and co-star of Netflix’s Queer Eye, is the master of transforming a space, and he shared his tips for curing a case of home design-itis. Turns out, hitting the refresh button is easier than you’d think.
1. Flip the Switch on Your Lights
When it comes to your lamps, any lightbulb will do, right? Not so fast.
“Make sure you use lightbulbs that best suit your fixtures,” says Berk. “Some [fixtures look] better with globe bulbs and others with a filament, depending on the look. This can massively change the character of your fixtures.”
Another thing to consider is the lightbulb’s color and temperature. Finding the perfect bulb for your fixture requires some trial and error, but Berk says cooler lighting—think blue undertones—generally look better in contemporary spaces, while traditional houses are usually best lit with warm, rosy lights.
2. Stick With Neutrals
We love bright colors and prints as much as the next person, but when it comes to picking out your furniture, opt for neutrals.
“If you’re on a budget, one of the tried and true designer tips is to stick with neutral pieces that you can build your decor around, Berk says. “This enables you to keep the expensive pieces for a long time, and change up everything else when you want to refresh.”
Once inspiration strikes, you can accessorize your furniture with fun throw pillows, blankets, and knick knacks.
3. Paint to Perfection
Want to spruce up your space? Often a good paint job will do the trick.
“Look at the pieces that you already own,” Berk recommends. “Can you repaint any of your wood furniture to give it a new life? Paint is by far the cheapest way to enliven and transform both your walls and your furniture.”
Sure, painting a chair or accent wall is by no means glamorous, but Berk urges you to look at the project more as an opportunity than a chore.
“When I begin putting ideas together, and dreaming up possibilities, that’s when I am most enjoying my job,” he explains. “It’s not work if you’re having fun.”
4. Shop Around
Turns out, a little bit of impulse shopping might cure your bout of design fatigue.
“Some designers I know change up their spaces seasonally, or are constantly collecting new things,” Berk says. “Sometimes they have closets, garages, or even storage units filled with things that they collect, or just can’t seem to get rid of.”
We’re not giving you free reign to blow your entire back account but if you see something you like that’s on sale, go ahead and add it to your cart.
5. Scale With Caution
Rejiggering a layout is a surefire way to revive any room but before you try your luck at feng shui or introduce some new pieces, pull out your measuring tape.
“Scale mistakes are the biggest mistakes I regularly see people make,” says Berk. “[Some people don’t] even bother to measure to make sure sofas would fit their apartments!”
Haphazardly redecorating and rearranging won’t cure your design rut. In fact, you’ll probably end up spending more time fixing your space.
“Measure twice, cut once,” Berk adds. “Or in this case, buy once.”