5 Small Changes with Big Impacts for Your Space (and Mind)

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

Fill 1Created with Sketch.

Published on January 16, 2020

You don’t have to throw out everything in a room to refresh its look. Oftentimes, the smallest adjustments can make the biggest difference, explains Havenly designer Lyndsi Lee, “Small changes are about just that—changes. This could mean adding something or taking something away.” 

Making tiny changes comes with its own set of benefits as well. These adjustments are oftentimes more affordable, time-saving, and less drastic than an entirely new design. “Generally speaking, a small change is something that takes little time and effort, and won’t break the bank to implement,” Lyndsi explains.

If you’re in the mood for a refresh of your space, read on to learn how a few small adjustments can make a big change in your home—and your life.

Due to daily wear and tear, you should be repainting your room every few years. High traffic spaces like bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms should be repainted every 2 to 4 years, and dining rooms and living rooms should get a new coat of paint every 5 to 7 years. 

If the paint in your room is well past its expiration date, consider trying a new shade—it can make a drastic difference in the space, making it feel smaller, larger, more welcoming, or even more spacious. 

Use warm and dark colors to make your cavernous living room feel small and cozy. Or opt for light and cool colors to make your room feel brighter and bigger. 

Looking for even less work? Consider an accent wall in your room. A dramatic color on a small wall can add dimension to rooms with a lighter color palette. Or, use an accent wall to draw the eye to a corner of your room.

dark curtains

Switching up the shades in your room can lead to a “lightbulb” moment in design. You might not even realize that harsh lighting in your room makes it feel drab or dated. Try one or more of these changes to refresh your room: 

  • Use three light sources.  Don’t rely on overhead lighting alone, even if it feels like enough. In addition to overhead lights, add specific fixtures, such as a table or floor lamp, in addition to decorative touches, like sconces and candles.
  • Try a statement piece on the ceiling. A sculptural fixture or natural fiber pendant light will draw the eyes to the ceiling and create a wow moment for visitors.
  • Bring light to the dark corners. You might not use the shelf in your living room much, but adding accent lighting, like LED strips, will make the space much more functional and inviting. You can also use metallic-finished objects, or a few mirrors to bounce the light throughout a room.

Something as simple as changing the faucet, doorknob, hooks, or cabinet hardware can make a huge impact in a room. With the mixed metal trend in full force, pair a few complementary hues together, like brass and chrome, to add dimension and tie a room together. Or go with a sleek and modern black matte finish.

Love your fixtures, but hate the finish? Try repainting them, something Lyndsi did in her last home; “I did not like our brass fireplace and got tired of looking at it every day. So I grabbed my paintbrush and changed it to black. It took thirty minutes, no money and changed the entire room’s aesthetic.”

You don’t always have to add something to make an impact, says Lyndsi, “people would be blown away by how much more open and airy their homes would feel if they removed the unnecessary clutter.” 

Before adding to a space, consider subtracting items that create clutter and confusion—that includes old papers and junk mail, as well as decorations that no longer suit your taste.


Lyndsi’s go-to move when refreshing her home is shopping her own accessories with a friend: “The idea is for each of you to gather up all the little accessories in your house… Then start choosing what you want to keep and start rearranging.”

From there, you can swap items with your friend to create new styling in your home. “Then, if you still have some areas that need a pick-me-up, you don’t feel bad about buying things for the space,” Lyndsi says. Below are some of Lyndsi’s go-to styling pieces under $30.


Your room doesn’t need a complete redesign to feel fresh. Sometimes, all it takes is a few small changes to make a big impact. 

Ready to get started? Try Havenly’s style quiz and see which design suits you.

Words by Emma Diehl