5 Simple Purchases That Can Transform Any Room

Quick Review

If you’ve ever looked at a room and thought, “there’s just something missing, but I don’t know where to start,” this episode is for you. If you’ve ever had limited resources (time, money, knowledge) but wanted to make a high impact change to a room, this episode is for you. Every room has unique needs. Yes, sometimes your house IS worse than a needy boyfriend or girlfriend, but here are the FIVE THINGS we recommend STARTING with to make a big impact in your space.

5 Simple Purchases That Can Transform Any Room

Chandler’s Decorating Pet Peeve

“Before we get started, can we just take a quick minute to talk about budgeting for a room? I feel like I sometimes hear people say, “I’m on a really tight budget and can’t afford to spend much money on this room.” And then they go to Target and buy $200 buying knick-knacks and small accessories. Trust me, I believe in the power of accessories (and love Target and accessories), but if you have limited budget, consider spending it on one or two higher quality high impact purchases instead of a bunch of cheap small things.”

1. Paint

This goes beyond just a “purchase” because it also requires doing a little work. It’s pretty obvious that painting a room can make a HUGE impact. We won’t spend too long here (hopefully we can go into detail on another episode about picking paint colors and color theory), but suffice it to say that paint makes a huge difference. Paint your walls, paint your trim, paint your doors. Paint it all!!

If you are struggling to know what color to paint, your safest bet is to start with something fairly neutral. Here is a list of our favorite neutral paint colors:

2. Rugs

Oh man, we LOVE adding rugs to a room! Rugs on hardwood, on tile, on carpet – all great. Rugs are the perfect opportunity to inject texture, color, and personality into a room. Sometimes, on a very tight budget, it’s ok to go cheap with a rug choice. BUT if you have a little bit extra to spend, rugs are one place where quality is noticeable. I especially love a vintage Turkish or Persian rugs, and while there are plenty of knockoffs out there, nothing quite compares to the real thing. 

When shopping for rugs, take a close look at materials and do a little research on the type of rug that will serve your family and your room well. Also, don’t skimp too much on size. A rug that is too small will make a room feel awkward, but the right size automatically grounds the room. You can also LAYER rugs to make a high impact! For instance, we found a vintage rug that we LOVE from Apple and Oak Nashville, but it wasn’t big enough to fit our living room. So instead of giving up on it, we took a large jute rug that we already had that DID fit the room and layer the beautiful vintage rug on top. We think it works great and can be a really good solution for you too. Check out the picture below!

We also pulled together a list of tips for online rug shopping. Be sure to click the pic below to check that out if you’re starting to look for a rug for your space!

Apple and Oak Vintage Rug, Nashville, Layering Rugs

3. Lighting

Lighting is one of those things that can feel intimidating to swap, but once you do, you will be SO glad. It makes such a difference! Really any room can benefit from changing out lighting fixtures – kitchen pendants, dining room chandeliers, exterior lights, foyer, bathroom vanity lighting, bedrooms, dated ceiling fans can ALL be switched out for maximum impact. It’s worth the investment, not only because updated lighting makes such a difference but also because it can actually improve the AMOUNT of light a room gets.

On our blog, we recently posted about our favorite kitchen pendant lights for all budgets. If you’re wanting to update your kitchen pendants, be sure to check out this post! (click below)



4. Curtains

I think a patterned curtain can be AMAZING; however, if you feel stumped or overwhelmed by picking curtains, just start with a simple white or cream colored curtain. Go with a thick linen, lined curtain if you can. If you’re in a pinch, shop at IKEA.

PRO TIP: Hang ‘em high and hang ‘em wide. 

Do yourself a favor and don’t hang the rod right at the top of the window. Go up a lot higher. Then hang the rod out about 12 inches on either side if you can so that your curtains can hang high and wide and give the illusion that your windows are larger than they are. This also gives you the chance to open them all the way up so you aren’t blocking natural light during the day. 

5. Art

Art can be one of the most confusing things for people to purchase, but if you keep a few things in mind, it can turn into one of the most fun! First of all, I want you to brainstorm art options that TAKE UP A LOT OF WALL SPACE. If you have a big area above a sofa, for example, you either need an extra-large piece of art or something that is designed to fill a lot of space like a gallery wall or an art ledge. Don’t go to Target and buy one canvas that is 16×20 and think you’ve done it. 

Secondly, set a decent budget to fill your walls and don’t allow it to be an afterthought. The art and photographs you use to fill the spaces can make a huge difference! A few personal favorite things that I love to look for are VINTAGE OIL PAINTINGS (I have a whole wall of these in our office), interesting ARCHITECTURAL PIECES like old windows, and GALLERY WALLS of matching frames in a grid.

Oil Painting Gallery Wall

Black and White Gallery Wall

Honorable Mention: Architectural Accent Trim

Because we had a hard time narrowing this down to five, we have a bonus that isn’t exactly a PURCHASE but is a high impact choice you can make for a room – ARCHITECTURAL ACCENT TRIM. Think wainscoting wall, board and batten, shiplap, etc. If your space is feeling lackluster, I honestly think one of the easiest ways to make a big impact is by creating an interesting trim installment.

Board and Batten

Wainscoting Grid Wall

Things We’re Loving

Chandler – I’m loving my Apple Airpods! I was honestly unsure at first, but now that I have them I think they’re amazing. Just the fact that you don’t have to be physically connected to your phone is a huge benefit. And they sound pretty good too!

Jeremy – I’m loving the Mitzi Nightstands from West Elm that we just put in our guest room! It may be becaue that’s the only thing that I picked 🙂

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Links and Extra Resources

To see how we decided to make a high impact in our guest room, CLICK HERE