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New fabrics, furniture stain, paint, and black accents transformed this room by Margaret Skinner. Photo by Jeff Garland

Michigan Design Center: Quick Changes for a Big Impact

Michigan Design Center // January 2021

Getting a fresh start in the new year starts in our own homes. Rooms can be revitalized with a minimum of time and, in many cases, improvements don’t have to cost a great deal. Four top design pros offer some great advice on how to quickly perk up a tired space.

MARGARET SKINNER, OWNER OF BIRMINGHAM-BASED MARGEAUX INTERIORS, says there are several ways to refresh a space, and they don’t have to be time-consuming. Here are her suggestions:

  • Quality, classic furniture may be comfortable, but the fabrics can wear and become dated. Reupholstery and painting/staining can be a quick fix.
  • Powder rooms are one of the easiest spaces to transform by adding wallpaper, changing lighting, faucets, and mirrors. A simple weekend project.
  • Painting the interior of window frames, doors, railings or trim black adds a fresh architectural element.
  • Accessorize, accessorize, yet declutter, declutter. Less is more; group complementary items together, leaving space to breathe.
  • A simple transformation can be as easy as moving accessories, lamps, rugs, even a furniture piece from one room to the other.
  • Go shopping in your own closet and storage cabinets for those forgotten accessories that may now add interest and revive a space.
  • Get on that wall! Artwork always adds that last layer of depth to finish a room.

Margaret tells the steps she took to transform a living room in the above photo. “The fine-quality furniture pieces were revitalized by reupholstering with fresh fabrics and stains, as well as repurposing a vintage rug. A new water-jet marble mosaic tile revitalizes the fireplace. Fresh paint and black accents anchor the comfortable and cozy living room.”

In the photo of a powder room below, Margaret explains how she freshened up the space. “Wallpaper added interest to the existing powder room, along with painting the vanity black, jewelry pulls, new quartz countertops, faucet, sink, sconces, and mirror, which instantly updated the space."