I’ve been going a little stir-crazy as of late, and as tempted as I am to book an AirBnB and get a much-needed change of scenery, I know the best thing to do right now is stay put. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t get that coveted change of scenery via a few easy home decor updates to my own space, right? While I’m not in the market for a full-on room renovation at the moment, I can afford to treat myself to some new wall art here, some fun bed sheets there. The key is choosing the right updates that will help my space look fresh and elevated, not cluttered with impulse-buys.
How to do this, you ask? I consulted a pro. Anyone who has taken the time to binge-watch Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot knows that Bobby Berk is a literal miracle-worker when it comes to redesigning a space, so I knew he’d have some useful tips on making mine look brand-new. I know I’m not the only one checking his lifestyle site for tips and tricks on the reg! If this man can turn a Queer Eye hero’s messy, cramped home into the kind of space I thought only existed on Pinterest, he can certainly shed some light on how to upgrade my outdated apartment.
So, what are Berk’s top recs? It turns out, small changes and incorporations of color and pattern can really elevate your pad—and no, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg in the process. Read on for his best suggestions for easy reno-free home decor updates, and get ready to feel like you just moved into a brand-new space.
1. Add Some New Art
It comes as no surprise that Berk’s first tip is to assess your space’s wall decor. “The art on your walls is something that can instantly change the look of your room, so you shouldn’t be afraid to swap it out if you are looking for a new look without a full-on reno,” he explains.
To make a change, you have two options: purchase some ready-make pieces, or frame your own. “There are so many great, affordable options out there now coming from big-box stores that allow you to play around with your art season after season,” says Berk. His go-to spot? “I love the gallery sets that are available at Target. They also offer overscale pieces to fill up an entire wall,” he shares.
These Project 62 Abstract Lines Framed Prints come in a set of two for an instantly curated look.
If you prefer abstract prints over realistic photography, the gorgeous Project 62 Mixed Shapes Wall Sign Print is a great buy.
If you’re looking to frame prints yourself, Berk has an entire blog post dedicated to affordable art and even printable pieces—just add frames. “If you are the type that loves to change things up more often than not, then grab some readymade frames from Target, Michaels or Ikea and use printed digitals to swap out the art anytime you want a new look,” says Berk. “There are so many artists out there selling digital versions of their prints that you can purchase for under $10, print any size you want and fill your frame with.”
Amazon has a ton of affordable framing options, and I love the natural-looking matboard on this AmazonBasics Gallery Wall Frame.
If you prefer all your frames to have the same finish, consider buying them in bulk. This Gold Metal Wall Photo Frame Collection is just under $40 for seven frames.
Not all frames are simple rectangles! A cool option when hanging larger prints and posters is to use something like this Wooden Frameless Hanger, which gives your walls a more minimalist look.
2. Spice Up Your Sheets
While I have dreams of one day splurging on a California King, for right now I’m making the most of my basic, full-size bed. If your own sleeping space feels a little lackluster, Berk suggests bringing in some colors and patterns via a fun fitted sheet.
“In my bedroom, I skip the flat sheet and just use a fitted sheet and a duvet,” says Berk. We stan a rule-breaker! “To mix things up in the bedroom, you can swap out your fitted sheet with a pattern or color, and then fold your duvet down to reveal just a pop of the sheet, which will give your bed a refresh with just one simple switch.”
I love the idea of letting the bold pattern on this Toile Sheet Set peak out from underneath a crisp white duvet.
Not sure what kind of patterned sheets would suit your space? Find a cheery print like the one on this Allover Peaches Sheet Set, and pair it with a solid-colored duvet that plays on one shade from the pattern. In this case, a poppy orange would look incredible!
3. Elevate Your Bathroom
So often, we only think about amping up our living rooms and bedrooms, but what about our smaller spaces? If I had to pick one room in my apartment I’d rather my friends not see, it would most definitely be my bathroom. No matter how many cute rugs or patterned shower curtains I swap in, I can’t get past the ugly, outdated tile on the floors.
Of course, Berk has some tips on how to elevate my space: “If you’re stuck with dingy tile that you don’t love in your bathroom, don’t be afraid to paint right over it,” he suggests. Turns out, it’s easier than one might expect. “Use a paint that is meant for tile and ceramics, like Rust-Oleum, and you can paint right over that tile for a brand-new look in just a few hours,” says Berk. “You could even bring in a contrasting color like black to create your own pattern in the room—just be sure to fully let it dry before you use the bathroom or shower again!”
Turns out, you can order Rust-Oleum on Amazon! I’ve already placed an order for a quart of Painter’s Touch Latex Paint in Dark Gray.
4. Try An Accent Wall
If Bobby Berk says accent walls are still alive and well, then I’ll be damned if I don’t order some peel-and-stick wallpaper this very afternoon. His only condition? Bold patterns only. “I love a graphic and bold pattern or moment in every room,” he says. TBH, who doesn’t? If it was easier to apply, I’d have fun walls in every single room—and according to Berk, it doesn’t have to be a difficult process. “Peel and stick can easily be installed by anyone. Since it’s temporary, you don’t have to worry about the commitment of traditional wallpaper, but you get all the benefits,” he says.
Where to put it, you ask? Berk’s recommendations include an accent wall in the bedroom, the risers of your stairs, or even the ceiling for an unexpected punch of pattern. Might I suggest picking your prints from Bobby Berk’s Tempaper collaboration?
I love the start black-and-white contrast of the Tempaper x Bobby Berk Wiggle Room Wallpaper. Straight-up stripes might’ve made too harsh an effect, but the wavy squiggle create the perfect balance.
5. Mix Old With New
Don’t think you need to buy out Target’s home decor section to give your space a refresh. In fact, adding something old can make it feel brand-new. “In every project, I love to bring something vintage into the space to give it soul and character,” says Berk. “Mixing the old with the new is a quick way to give your room some life.” In his own office, Berk contrasted a minimalist steel desk with a vintage credenza: “They help to balance each other out while creating an eclectic and one-of-a-kind look,” he explains.
Luckily, tracking down older elements isn’t all that different from your usual online shopping. “When looking for vintage pieces, browse through Craigslist, Ebay, Chairish, and even Facebook Marketplace for pieces with age and character.” says Berk. “Then, pair them with modern pieces to create an eclectic combo.” Opposites attract, people!
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