A messy bed simply looks sloppy. In the few minutes it takes to make the bed, you'll improve the vibe and feeling of the bedroom and ensure your space feels like the relaxing retreat it should. If the styling you've selected for your bed is too time-consuming or cumbersome to do every morning, simplify the look so you'll be more like to make your bed.
Stock Flower Vases
Very rarely are the floral shop vases that come with mail order arrangements attractive in their own right. If you find your only option for housing fresh flowers is the red frosted glass vase that your Valentine's Day roses came in, hit up your local craft or hobby store for affordable, clear glass vessels in classic shapes.
The bulky coordinating stands sold alongside new televisions may be convenient choices -- after all, you don't have to hunt for an additional piece of furniture -- but they are rarely attractive. A simple console or sleek shelf can still house your television and accompanying components but will look more deliberate and attractive than that basic stand.
Particularly in rentals, it can be difficult to avoid vertical blinds. While they are functional, there are more appealing ways to block incoming light and offer privacy. Since removing these eye sources can be cumbersome and costly, if your home's architecture allows, install a large box valance over your blind's valance or hang a rounded curtain rod from the ceiling. Push the blinds to the side and hang drapery panels over them. The curtains will offer necessary privacy when pulled over the window and are infinitely more attractive than your existing blinds.
If you've scored a sleek and simple inexpensive lamp, see about replacing the stock paper shade that it came with with a fabric option. Many times large retailers offer various shade options for slightly more money than the shade the lamp usually comes with. This simple swap will make a world of difference.
Dish Soap on the Counter
Keeping your dish soap on the counter for easy access is certainly understandable, but the plastic containers of most supermarket brand cleaners are far from attractive. Pour hand or dish soap into a simple glass bottles outfitted with a screw-on pump or pourer for a more attractive alternative.
Spotty windows and dirt streaks can make your entire home fall flat, even if the interiors within are gorgeous. Regularly clean windows and screens to keep things sparkling, fresh, and full of light. For a reminder on window washing techniques, read tips from our editor-at-large, interior designer Estee Stanley, here.
Unflattering light not only casts a harsh sheen on you and your guests, but makes your design look less than stellar as well. Switch out harsh bulbs with softer, warmer light to cast a flattering glow and make your space feel welcoming and homey.
Too much junk and "stuff" everywhere makes your space feel cluttered and cheapens the overall look of your home. Take some time -- say 10 minutes a day -- to straighten up the areas which tend to get the most crowded. Coffee tables, kitchen counters, entry consoles, and office desks are the best places to start.
Now that you know how to prevent bringing down the look of your home, read up on our tips for making your space look more expensive -- on the cheap.
Photographs: 1. Jon Oron photographed by Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer for Elle Decoration UK 2. Photographed by Bess Friday 3. Emily Henderson photographed by Ryan Liebe for Cup of Jo 4. Susan Greenleaf photographed by Bess Friday for Lonny 5. The Vault Files 6. Honey We're Home 7. Michelle Adams photographed by Patrick Cline for Lonny 8. Erin Williamson (designer and source) 9. Studio MRS (designer and source)