Simple Fixes That Make a Big Impact

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on October 28, 2019

Like a swipe of red lipstick, it’s the small things that make a big impact on your overall look. Havenly senior designers Annie Mueller, Stacy Harwood, and Tracie Battle, spill their simple fixes for transforming a home. While all three designers agree that clearing clutter is among their go-to tips, these experts have some unique ideas to help upgrade your interiors. 

Hang your curtains carefully

“In order to make windows appear larger, I instruct clients to install the curtain rod six inches above their windows,” she says. This is tactic is especially useful for rooms low on natural light. Annie also suggests hanging curtains so they fall just a 1/2 inch above the floor.” 

Choose appropriately sized rugs

“Buying pieces that aren’t to scale will compromise a design,” Annie says. “I’m working on a master bedroom right now, and the existing rug is gorgeous, but it’s shoved under the bed and needs to be four feet wider on either side.” While Annie notes that it’s case-specific, she generally finds people choose rugs that are too small. “When in doubt, go larger,” she says. 


Shop your home

“First and foremost, I tell my clients to shop their home,” she says. “What I mean by that is un-style existing decor items. Gather everything in one place before choosing a new location for your things. Clients are usually amazed by how moving rearranging their decor items revitalizes their home.”

Replace hardware

“Replacing drawer pulls, knobs, and door handles is a great place to start,” Stacy says. “I can personally attest to this. I recently swapped out the very ‘90s, outdated hardware in my kitchen for sleek and simple black pulls and knobs. I feel like I completely renovated my kitchen for only $50!”


“Reupholstering your furniture can change its look entirely,” Stacy says. While this can be expensive, it allows you to extend the life of an investment piece like a sofa or chair. 

Choose a focal point, and style it up

“Home styling, be it a simple vignette or a full floor plan, is all about creating an arrangement that emphasizes your desired focal point. Identify your favorite pieces from each room and style around them.” 


You can also move items from one room to another, or collect pieces from throughout the house and put them in one spot. Ask yourself questions like, could the dresser in your spare room work in the hall with a new mirror over it? Could all that old artwork make for a fun gallery wall if paired with one or two new pieces?

Paint — and don’t forget the trim

“Over time, walls show wear like furniture does. Crisp, clean walls will elevate your space tremendously,” Tracie says. “Paint makes a huge difference, especially the trim color.”


Start small

“I encourage my clients to start with smaller decor pieces, as I think rugs and pillows speak volumes about the space as a whole,” Tracie says. “Smaller decor items can establish a whole new color palette and style, and they aren’t super-pricey pieces to incorporate.”

Change bulbs and fixtures 

“If your space feels dark and dreary and the light fixtures are super outdated, focus on lighting,” Tracie says. “If you’re set up for it, choose dimmable canned lighting. It’s a great way to control the ambiance and doesn’t require you to rely on lamps,” she says. You’ll also want to think about bulbs and color temperature. “Brighter bulbs emit cooler light. Bulbs labeled ‘cool white’ or ‘bright white’ will emulates natural daylight.”


In addition to these simple fixes, you can get more expert advice from Havenly. Get started today!

Words by Sara Watson