Whatever your resolutions are for 2021, refreshing the space in your home can help lift your spirits and even change your outlook. We consulted with the experts at Stock & Trade Design Co. — a furniture store with locations in Atlanta, Birmingham, Destin, Nashville, and Spanish Fort — for tips on where to start.
“Our initial approach is always to keep it clean and simple,” said Barbara Williams, Director of Corporate Projects and Senior Buyer at Stock & Trade. “We start by choosing furnishings with clean lines that are elegant and timeless — pieces that complement the client’s existing furnishings.”
Beyond new furnishings, Stock & Trade shared these tips for anyone seeking to start their new year with a new look.
“A fresh coat of paint is a great way to give a space a fresh look, and even create visual drama,” said Christopher Rankin, Stock & Trade’s VP of Brand and Product Development. “Ceilings painted in bold or contrasting colors, as well as high gloss or metallic finishes, can instantly transform a space.”
Rankin said that even a single monochromatic palette — using one paint color with the tint varying from wall to trim to ceiling — can create an understated elegant change in the way it reflects light and creates subtle contrast. If you’re unsure about what color to paint your space, Rankin recommends sticking to soft neutrals. There are classic choices like creams, taupes, and greys, but Rankin said that shades of blue and green can also be fairly neutral.
“Neutrals are just so much easier to work with,’ added Williams. “They give you a clean palette and you can add in your personality as you go.”
“When choosing art, our first suggestion is to choose pieces that you love and that speak to you,” Rankin said.
“Where space allows, large oversized pieces or groupings of several pieces can give a space some much-needed wow factor.”
When creating a gallery wall, Rankin suggested using the exact same or similar frames to create a cohesive look. If the art you’ve chosen already has a common feel or theme, the frames don’t necessarily need to be the same. Williams noted that some of the best gallery walls she’s seen haven’t been matchy-matchy, featuring art of different sizes and mediums. “They look more curated and acquired over time,” she said.
Throw pillows are an inexpensive way to update your space using color and texture. As an added bonus, they can easily be changed out if you want your space to reflect the current season or upcoming holidays. Mixing and matching throw pillows that vary in size, color, and texture can add even more visual interest to your space.
A word of warning though: there’s definitely such a thing as too many throw pillows.
“You need to be able to sit on the furniture,” Rankin said. Williams recommends no more than four throw pillows on a sofa, although that number can change depending on the size of your sofa. “You don’t want to have to pull them off and throw them on the floor to sit down comfortably.”
Rankin and Williams both agree that lighting is one of the most important features in any room, as it sets the mood. Changing an outdated ceiling or wall fixture can profoundly transform your space.
“Good lighting can give a room a beautiful focal point,” said Rankin. “It’s also a great way to add a little bling to an otherwise subtle space.”
This can take the form of a stunning pendant in the foyer, or a chandelier over your dining room table. “New lamps are also a great way to update a room, and can be used to add a pop of color,” said Williams.
For overhead lights, use dimmers wherever possible, as this allows you to control the softness and intensity of the light. “We also recommend consulting professionals and educating yourself on the various options regarding light bulbs, especially when using LED bulbs,” said Rankin. “Choosing the wrong bulbs can create intense, harsh lighting and cause paint and upholstery to appear to change color.”
In addition to offering practical functions such as buffering sound and keeping your neighbors from being able to see straight into your house, window treatments, like curtains and blinds, can also serve an aesthetic purpose.
If your home has Low ceilings, Rankin recommends mounting the hardware for your drapes as high as possible. “It will draw the eye up, which gives the illusion that your ceilings are taller than they really are,” he said. “When it comes to drapery hardware, we prefer to keep it simple and understated.”