• Joshua Allen Design Team

Creative Guide: Design With What You Have At Home!

The world is in a strange place these days, and a lot of us are at home, trying to stay healthy and safe. Although most of us have the easy job of staying home while healthcare workers and essentials are on the front lines, it’s still important to keep yourself busy and active! One of the most fun ways (in our humble opinion) to do this is to refresh your surroundings!

We may be biased as interior designers, but we truly believe it’s essential to enjoy the space you are spending so much time in! The psychological benefits of an organized and aesthetically pleasing space are scientifically proven, and feeling comfortable in your environment has an immense influence on your mood and how you think. So as we spend this extra time at home, let’s enjoy and appreciate it. Aesthetically speaking, there’s A LOT you can do to redesign your home without going out at all, or spending any money! Yes, trust us, it’s true.

Let’s take a look.

REARRANGE FURNISHINGS.

There are so many things you can rearrange in your home! Give your mind the opportunity to be creative, and just start moving furniture around; creating art is one of the best ways to reduce stress! Not to mention, moving stuff around extends the life of your flooring, carpet (and dents your furniture makes!), and leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment. A fun way to play with your furnishings is to exchange door knobs and drawer pulls. This can be done with virtually any knobs or pulls that you have at hand; think desks, nightstands, bathroom cupboards, dressers, etc. Just be sure you have enough knobs to replace what you're switching out!


By the way, we aren’t just talking about moving furniture, you can move your rugs, wall decor, and even lamps to create a totally different look that maybe you didn’t realize was possible!

CHANGE DECOR.

You don’t have to go out and buy new things in order to change the look and feel of your home! If you took our first suggestion and you’re rearranging some furniture and rugs, you’ll have to move some of that wall art, too! Find a new light (literally) to display family photos and your favorite artwork. Ah, so refreshing!


If you're looking to add some new artwork to your walls, but painting isn't your forte, try framing some fabric! We've talked about a similar idea before, in our blog on how to use wallpaper, and it applies to fabrics as well. If you're a crafter and you have scraps of fabric lying around, great! If not, you can still make art — just find a patterned blanket, old shirt, textured drapes, or any other fabric you like, the options are endless. All you've got to do is cut the fabric into roughly the shape of your frame and place it in the frame like you'd do with a photo. Just like that, you've got a new piece of framed art to decorate your home!


Another great idea is to fill up a glass vase or jar. Been drinking any wine lately? We sure have! Instead of recycling the corks, save them to use as filler for that vase or jar you've got collecting dust in your cabinet. Then find a new home for it; a shelf, your fireplace mantle, centerpiece on your dining room table — wherever it fits best. Make sure to group it with items of varying heights and sizes for maximum impact!


Once you've power-read through that stack of your favorite novels, consider turning them into decor rather than tucking them back away in the bottom of your closet. This goes for long forgotten books you have back there too. Colorful books make great coffee table decorations, and they also look fantastic grouped between two bookends or heavy objects on a shelf. Try to limit yourself to a few books in each stack, and group books of similar colors together for a more polished look. Pro tip: if you're feeling extra crafty, we love the idea of hollowing out the inside of an old book and using it to store your TV remotes out of sight but still within reach. You'll need an x-acto knife for this project, so be extra careful.


DECLUTTER & ORGANIZE.

While you’re moving all that furniture around, looking for similarly colored books, and sipping on your wine, now is the perfect time to clean and organize. When things are the same for so long, sometimes your rooms start to feel more like a storage unit, and less like your living space.

Get rid of stuff you don’t (and won't) use. Evaluate your possessions; what do you really need? Is there someone that could benefit from them? Donate your things to someone you know who may have a need for them, or local charitable organization, so you can feel good about giving back to your community.

Now that you have much more room from purging your space, it’s time to arrange all your things. After going through your clutter, you can easily group like things together and store them in an appropriate, organized location. Now it doesn’t seem like as much of a storage space does it? Don’t you feel like you can breathe a little better after cleaning, reorganizing, and changing up your furniture and décor? Too much? Maybe. But we think so!


BRING IN SPRING.

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to put away the winter blankets and snowflakes and bring out your spring, and yes, even summer décor. Fresh colors and patterns, fresh outlook right? Our last tip for you guys gets two birds with one stone. Grab some fresh air and improve your mood by going outside and picking some of the season’s first flower blossoms. Place your blooms in your favorite vase or bowl, a mason jar, or an empty glass bottle — whatever you like! Take these and use them as a fresh centerpiece or spread them throughout your house to bring that renewed spring feeling inside.



Remember, they don’t call it “cabin fever” for nothing. Staying in the same space day after day with the same surroundings can make you stir crazy, and a little (or very) irritated.So take these tips, get creative, change things up, and enjoy your time at home! Most importantly, stay safe and healthy during this time. We are all in this together!


As always, we appreciate any ideas, input, and feedback from our community and clients. So drop us a line in the comments below, chat with us on our Facebook page or email us at josh@joshuaallendesign.com!

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