Sometimes you just need a change! After staring at the same dated wallpaper for years, you might be ready to step into a new era with a completely transformed room. But what about that expensive dining set you saved for ages to buy, or that vintage heirloom that was passed down from your grandparents? If you’ve already got the perfect furniture, you can still redo the room and create something new and modern. Check out our tips on how to give your room a refresh without switching out the furniture.

Add an Accent Wall

Adding an accent wall is an easy and cost-efficient way to change the visual interest of your space. You can use the accent wall to draw attention to an architectural feature like a fireplace, or to play around with bold colours and textures without overwhelming the space.

Painting is the easiest (and most cost-efficient!) way to add an accent wall. Choose a colour that works well with the other colours in the space. For example, if the room is all warm-toned, choose another warm-toned shade. Get more tips on picking the perfect paint colour over here.

If you’re feeling more creative, you can use a wall stencil to create a patterned wall! Stenciling is a great way to create a custom or unique look. You can do a design with a big colour contrast or stick to two similar shades for a timeless and muted look.

Wallpaper is another way to create a fun accent wall. If you want to test out different designs or patterns, you can even opt for temporary wallpaper – it’s removable and easy to apply, so you can try a stylish look without having to commit! Geometric and Moroccan inspired prints are always a popular choice, or you can try a faux-wood accent wall.

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Paint the Ceiling

You’d be surprised how much difference a painted ceiling can make! You may have been living with the standard off-white ceiling for years, but a quick coat of paint can really change the entire look and feel of a room.

One way to spruce up your ceiling is by painting it to match the walls. You can try colour blocking by using a different shade of a similar hue, like mint green walls and a hunter green ceiling or a pale blue ceiling to match navy walls. If you’d rather keep it similar without matching entirely, you can create a custom shade by mixing a few drops of your wall colour into white paint. Of course, painting the ceiling to match the walls is also an option! This creates an enveloping look, that can be especially striking if you have a monochromatic colour scheme in the room.

But who says it has to be the same colour? If you’re really feeling bold, you can add an entirely different shade to the ceiling, like you would an accent wall! A white room can brighten with a pop of blue or yellow, while a dark coloured ceiling can make a room have depth.

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Switch Up the Lighting

Nothing sets the mood of a room quite like lighting! Each room should have three sources of light: general (overhead or pendant), specific (task or table), and ambient (sconces or decorative). If you find your room isn’t setting the right mood, you might need to switch up a light source. Need to know where to hang them? Check out our installation guide.

Think about the size and scale of your room. If you’ve got a big space without a focal point, you might want to swap out a simple overhead light for a dramatic chandelier or over-sized pendant. If the room feels too bright (or too dull) when you’re using a lamp, you might want to try a new shade! White lampshades let the most light through, but often cast a cool tone, while coloured lampshades can tint the light.

Choosing new lighting fixtures can also help you transition the room’s style: a dated ceiling fan can be replaced with something more modern with additional sleek sconces to create a contemporary look.

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Bring in An Accent Chair

No matter what room you’re trying to overhaul, an accent chair can add colour and personality to the space. These chairs can be decorative or functional, adding extra seating or just a focal point. It’s also a great way to make the whole room look new, even if it’s just one piece!

While accent chairs seem like an obvious addition to the living room, you can actually utilize them in just about any room of the house. A dining room can have a pair of upholstered chairs at either end of the table for a comfortable and contemporary look, while a cozy lounger or rocking chair can add style and seating to your bedroom. Don't forget to add some throw pillows!

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Change What’s Hanging on Your Walls

Bare walls make a room feel empty! Add some personality to your space by adding some wall decor.

A large-scale piece, like an over-sized painting or framed photograph, commands attention and draws the eye, while a gallery wall can be the perfect way to show off a collection of smaller pieces. Opt for similar frames in a simple style to create cohesion. Feeling crafty? You can even make your own picture frames.

A large mirror is another way to fill the wall and the room! Mirrors naturally reflect light and make a room feel bigger and brighter. This is especially good for small rooms, as it tricks the eye into thinking the space is bigger than it really is. You can hang one larger mirror or create a unique effect by hanging several, different sized mirrors on one wall. For example, a dining room could look elegant with a large round mirror flanked by small round mirrors.

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Use Rugs for Colour and Texture

An area rug is a great addition to your room as it can add colour, texture and visual interest. Area rugs compliment a space and, to paraphrase The Big Lebowski, can really tie a room together.

You can use an area rug to define or separate different areas, for example an open concept living and dining room. You might want to use an area rug in one part of the room and leave the hardwood floors on display in another, or pair two separate but complimentary rugs in each part of the room. Similar sized rugs can cut the room in two, so try to use different sized rugs to create a sense of variety.

When shopping for a rug, keep your existing (or desired!) colour palette in mind. If your room is already has bright colours or an ornate wallpaper, you might want to opt for a more subtle pattern with a colour that ties into the room, while more neutral spaces can benefit from a bold rug.

When shopping for an area rug, make sure to get the right size for your room. Check out our area rug buying guide for more tips!

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