You’ve got a room that’s a little meh. Drab. Just doesn’t “spark joy”. But you can’t discard a room like you would a blouse or golf clubs. You can turn it into something fresh and new without using any paint. That’s right. You heard it here first! Well… you heard it hear. Whether you have plans of selling soon or you just need to spark some dang Joy in a particular room, these are a few updates you can use to breathe life into an old, worn out space.

Hanging Shelves

Depending on the type of room you have and what your needs are from it, hanging shelves can be used for decor or purpose. In a laundry room, hang drying racks on hinges to your walls for easy access that can be used and put out of the way just as easily. Got a small living room that could use some love? Hang shelves up near the ceiling to take over the job of bulky bookcases eating up floor space. It will draw the eyes up and make the room feel bigger without moving a single wall. For an office space, hang your desk and small shelves for filing/organization above for a quaint workspace.


Curtains offer a benefit other than pure aesthetic. Sheer curtains can provide a little privacy without blocking the natural light from getting in. Thick, opaque curtains can block the sun more effectively and help in keeping the heat at bay on a hot summer day. But yes, they also provide an opportunity to shake things up in a design aspect.


Area rugs are another clever way to implement a little more comfort and design. Rugs provide a rich texture, especially in rooms that lean more on the minimalist side. Patterns and colors of rugs really make a room pop. They also break up spaces and make the room feel bigger.

Lighting Fixtures

Replace your outdated lighting fixtures with new artisan chandeliers or shades. Geometric shapes are in this year and perfect for lighting any room in your house. To open up a room, instead of overhead lighting, lamps placed throughout the room flood the space with light better. This route gives you the chance to play with color, texture, style, and size.

Statement Plants

If your room is lacking life, inject it with some actual life. Plants in any room lift the mood, improve air quality, and add that extra pop of color that compliments any style. One of the biggest trends in design this year is that of Statement pieces; furniture, artwork and plants. You can make a statement with a beautiful fern, common dracaena tree, or elephant ear plant. Small plants have their place too. Just like hanging shelves, you can also hang a succulent garden on your walls. Bring the Pantone color of the year, Living Coral, into your rooms with fresh roses or tulips in corally hues.

Given the amount of money and effort you want to put into updating your room, you can do any number or mixture of these things. You can still paint a room to give it a facelift. But if you want to stick with neutrals or work on a minimalist black, gray, white scale – or just save a little money – any or all of these ideas together will flip that frown upside down into a room you love without ever even picking up a paint swatch.

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