Give a Room a New Look Today: Tips for Shopping Your Space Like a Pro

Give a Room a New Look Today: Tips for Shopping Your Space Like a Pro

Ashley Poskin
Sep 6, 2015
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Changing up the look of your home doesn't need to come with a hefty price tag or a trip to your favorite home decor store. A quick shopping trip around your home can be a fun and challenging way to mix things up without spending a dime. And it's a good opportunity to take inventory of what you've got — keep the rad, donate the bad!

This can be a great exercise to practice when you're feeling restless with your place. If you're feeling like you need to knock down a wall, or paint the entire room electric blue — try this first. It can also be a fun way to find out what you don't need or want in your home anymore (and help you declutter!).

Below find step-by-step instructions on how to shop the spaces around your home to gather and then create a new look, without spending a dime! The images in this post walk you through five different iterations of the same corner in my house as I tried out different ideas until I came up with the new look I love. Again, for free!


1. Pick the spot
Decide on an area you'd like to change up — a corner, a wall, a tabletop vignette, a nightstand — and assess what you like and don't like about the existing arrangement. Take away anything you're not feeling and set it to the side.

2. What function do you need?
Consider the function of the space you're making over. Make a mental note of everything you set aside that is crucial to the area you're working on. Did you take away a table but need a surface to use? Did you remove art work from the wall but still feel like that corner needs color? Would a chair or stool be a better fit for the area than the table that has been there? Make a list of the types of items you'll need to take around with you as you walk around shopping your space.

1. This photo is the starting point of this corner. The look is my "I'm getting antsy with this table, not even sure I still like it" look. I liked the color of the table but felt like it was too overwhelming. I knew art needed to be hung -- but we just had the plaster restored and I was terrified to make a single hole in the wall. The corner needed a refresh though.
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

3. Get inspired first
Before I set out "shopping" I like to take a gander through my Pinterest boards for inspiration (I'm also currently obsessed with Jae & Devin's house tour). Pay attention to how some of your favorite looks are layered and take notes as to how texture and color play out.

4. Take a tour
Start winding your way around the house, top to bottom (don't forget the storage areas!) and grab anything you think might work. This part can get messy; your room will probably get way worse before it gets better. Spread everything out across the floor so you can get a good look at it. Sometimes I find it's helpful to start making groupings of items that go together while it's still laid out on the floor. It seems to make the layering process go a bit faster.

2. This is the next look. I took a birdcage off the stand and replaced it with a mini piñata. Odd, yes, but sometimes odd is fun. While I liked it, I wasn't sold on it.
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

5. Build up
Begin to build up the area with your largest piece of furniture first, then work in the utilitarian pieces. After that, start adding in the fun stuff. Check out our post on making great tabletop vignettes here.

6. Experiment
Play around with height, grab a floor lamp or hang a large piece of artwork that will lead the eye up and around.

3. I had picked up this great vintage manicure table a few months ago and left it in the garage because I didn't really have a vision for it. Once I moved the table against the wall I knew I had to hang artwork. I went through my collection and found two Holga prints.
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

7. Don't forget to look down
Bring in any extra floor rugs you have —this trick can totally change up the overall look of a room.

8. Step back often
As you add the layers, stand back and inspect the area. I find it's helpful to take photos as I go, then I can take a look at the photo and see if I like the composition.

4. This look felt like it was heading in the right direction. Initially, I wasn't sure what to put on the far right side of the table, so I just started grabbing things. I knew I needed something that would fill in the gap between the table and lamp, so I grabbed a candle and put it on a pedestal? Didn't work. This is how the process goes -- stand back, look, peel the layer off and repeat. So I removed the candle/pedestal mash-up and tried a tiny cactus in its place. Too tiny.
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

9. Take the opportunity to declutter
After you've successfully re-styled your project, take the opportunity to go back through everything you pulled and try to get rid of a few things if you can't think of anywhere else to place them.

5. And then I remembered my medium sized vintage industrial fan. And boom! A "new" space, imagined from what I already had around the house, garage, and cupboards.
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

How often do you shop your house and change up the look of rooms in your home?

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