House Projects to Start Now
With COVID-19 keeping so many of us at home for the past year looking at the same walls and furnishings even when we were “at work,” a lot of women are looking at their homes with an eye toward making changes. Some might have their 2020 busted travel budget to put toward those changes, while others might simply go for inexpensive upgrades that give their eyes something new and pleasant to focus on. Katie Perri, a local interior designer, DIY guru, and owner of Katie Perri Design, shares some of her ideas for how to renew one’s home.
Inexpensive Ways to Liven Things Up
Katie says one of the best ways to make a home feel new is to move furnishings around. The etagere that has been sitting in the bedroom for years might be all it takes to perk up a living room. Or maybe an overstuffed chair in the bedroom deserves new life in the basement family room.
If the size and shape of rooms make it difficult to maneuver furniture in new ways, the best bet might be to add some smaller decor items to your rooms. “My personal favorite is adding plants, faux trees, [and] smaller potted greenery. When I’m styling shelves that is something I always use,” Katie says. She says it adds a homey and warm feel.
One thing she often sees is builder grade materials in homes that can easily be added or swapped out for very little cost. “A lot of the windows I see have zero trim. Adding a few pieces of wood is a custom look. It can make all of the difference,” she says. Another idea is to remove cheap lighting fixtures (think “boob” lights). Not every light in the house has to be replaced at the same time; slowly changing out light fixtures room-by-room can be a simple way to add a spark of interest to the spaces we’ve been looking at constantly this past year.
Of course, there is always a can of paint that can change the entire feel of a room for under $50. “The power of paint is insane,” Katie says.
Where to Spend More
Katie is a fan of doing built-ins to really customize a space and make it something the homeowner will use. This could be adding a bar area to a basement or a huge entertainment center with shelving to cover a large expanse of wall.
Some homeowners may be hesitant to spend money on built-ins because if they ever move, they can’t take it with them. As a woman who built a custom playhouse in her basement for her daughters, Katie says she doesn’t worry about resale. While a family with older teens might not like that playhouse feature in her home should she and her husband ever sell, there are plenty of families with young children who would love it. “This is our home; we shouldn’t worry about who is going to live here after us. If this makes us happy, that’s what we’re going to do,” she says. She conveys that same advice
to others: “If this is what makes them happy and love being in their home,
then go for it.”
The white and gray palette has been everywhere the last several years, but Katie thinks that darker muted shades of plums, greens, sages, and mustards are going to appear in paints and furnishings. “Sometimes with all white everything, it can fall flat. I personally will be happy to see some color thrown in there,” she says.
Don’t Be Scared to DIY
While Katie is largely self-taught, she encourages other women to push themselves a little out of their comfort zones to try DIY projects. Perhaps the most simple DIY project Katie recommends is to purchase fabric you love and some adhesive tape and make new covers for your throw pillows.
Finding Inspiration Online
Instagram is a great source of ideas and inspiration for those of us who don’t feel 100 percent confident in our design choices. Designers like Katie (@katieperridesign) not only showcase projects they’ve done but often share other designers’ ideas that have inspired them. Katie posts her professional work as well as the efforts she has made to personalize her own family’s home in Sellersburg, Indiana.