Living With Style: Big Design Impact from Small Changes

By Sasha Witte
Gazette Columnist
Apr 7, 2018 

Sometimes a full remodel is just the thing. 

But there are times when small changes can really improve the look, feel and livability of a space.  Here are a few ideas to consider to achieve just that.


Update A Light Fixture and change the feel of an entry or dining room completely!  Choose something fun and interesting and a little bit unexpected and it’ll become a special focal point.

Awkward Corner Updates can be as simple as filling a large container with branches and lighting it from behind with an inexpensive up-light.  This can cast a fabulous layer of fun shadows at the corner and onto the ceiling.

Living With Style: Paint

Paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways of updating a room.

—Gazette Photo by Sasha Witte

Paint One Wall or repaint one room.  Paint is of course one of the easiest and least expensive ways of giving new life to a space! 

If your room can handle an accent wall, voila!  Project made easy.  Or consider repainting a small room such as the foyer in order to change the experience of friends and family when they enter into the home.

Organize with Trays:  Sometimes a living room or family room can begin to look messy with the many items that lay around on a table or ottoman.  Corral things like your TV remotes, stacks of books and candles onto an attractive tray atop your cocktail table.

Liquor bottles, glasses and bar accessories also look well put together on a tray at your dining room or service area!

Cleaning up the look of clutter in a way that is both beautiful and purposeful is always a good thing!

Living With Style: Switch it up

New bedside tables can update the look of your bedroom.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Replace One Item of furniture and change the feel and flow of the space.  For instance, a new bedside table can really update the look of a bedroom.  Likewise, a new and interesting coffee table can change the feel of the family room.

Consider something bold that will offer more visual change to the space than something similar to what you already are used to.  For instance, in the bedroom you might select a bedside table with inlay mirror to offer a reflective quality or a chest of drawers in a bright lacquer finish. 

In the family room, you might want to consider an oval table instead of the rectangular table you are used to and it’ll change the flow of the space.

Living With Style: Change the Rug

Change out the rug and dramatically change the feel of the space.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Change Out The Rug and you can dramatically change the look and feel of any space!  If you’ve been used to a solid area rug, consider changing it out for one with more dramatic pattern and color to really take the room to a whole new level.

A Mirror In the Right Place can make a big difference.  Consider using one on a wall without windows opposite a wall that has windows - in order to balance out the feeling of lightness and brightness in the room.

Update Lamp Shades:  Any of your lamps still have great bases but could use a spruce up on top?  Replace just the shade and the lamp will feel brand new! 

This is also a great way to impact the light and color in a space by adding a shade that has texture, pattern or color to it!

Living With Style: Artwork

Artwork moved to a new location is a great way to see it in a fresh context.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Artwork Moved to a new location is a great way to see the art once again in a fresh way in a new context! 

Consider featuring several of your smaller pieces on one wall together – this way their stories and colors will play off of each other.

Also consider updating your matting or framing on a favourite piece of artwork to better bring out its best features.

Textiles are an easy and inexpensive way to make a bedroom in particular feel brand new.  Consider new drapery at the windows or all new bedding to dramatically change the feel of this space.

Or, consider changing out just the accent pillows at the bedroom and the pillows and throws at the living room to freshen up the look!

Be bold and surprise yourself!  Changing out something as small as pillows is an easy and inexpensive way to test out your desire to experiment with a new color!

Living With Style: Pop of Color

Add color to the back of your shelving to liven up your displays.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Add Color Pop to the back of your open shelving at the kitchen or living spaces.  This can be done with either paint or wallpaper.  It will also inspire you to rearrange your shelves!

You can also add a pop of color by putting together a collection of accessories that all feature one color palette.  For instance, clustering a collection of green glass vases or turquoise ceramic collectables can make for a bold color statement on a shelf, mantel or in the center of a table.

Refresh Your Bath with a new shower curtain and new accessories.  Try out a new color for the new season to completely change the experience of the space.  If your accessories and shower curtain for spring and summer were in white and blue, consider changing to warmer colors for fall and winter.

Also think about changing out the shower curtain rod for a curved rod making the inside of the shower feel more spacious while you shower.

Living With Syle: Sconces

Sconces on a dimmer are one of the best ways to control the atmosphere in a room.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Sconces in any room — but especially a bathroom or dining room — add a wonderful touch.  We all look better and see better when we have lighting sources from up high, at near face level and from down low.

Plus sconces can be a great opportunity to bring in a little extra visual interest to an otherwise overlooked wall.  And they look terrific framing a mirror or artwork!

Change Out Knobs at your kitchen or bath, or even your bedroom chest of drawers to add the sparkle of new jewellery to the space! 

Dimmers are one of my favourite finishing details for any space!  Give yourself the option to change your lighting from bright to romantic and subdued with the flick of a switch!  So easy and such a profound difference!

Living With Style: Reading Space

Create a space just for you to read and relax.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Create a Space Just for You by doing something as simple as setting up a chair, small table, ottoman and reading lamp near a favourite window.  Spruce up this area with some of your favourite photos and accessories so it is a nice place to take an adult “time out.”

I hope this gives you a few good ideas for your own home.  We are always happy to help any time you are looking for just the right item to make the difference in your space.

Sasha Witte can be reached at or (562) 434-8824.


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