Our homes are our sanctuaries—now more than ever. These days, many of us are relying on them for inspiration, nourishment, productivity, and most of all, comfort. We asked interior designers how they’re re-imagining their homes to fit this new reality. Their DIY project ideas show that you don’t need a ton of time, money, or new stuff to give your space a quick and calming refresh.
1. Open up your pantry.
Zero-waste designer Laura Baross says this can be a time to make your kitchen more beautiful and functional. Step one? Open up some cabinets to display your prettiest flatware, mugs, and Mason jars. Here’s how it’s done:
- Decide which cabinets you want to open up and remove their doors using a drill or screwdriver. (Keep them someplace safe in case you want to reinstall them later.)
- Remove the old items from shelves and collect all the best-looking pieces you have in your kitchen.
- One by one, style them in a functional yet soothing way. Feel free to incorporate plants, vases, and other décor elements too.
“Since our eyes love to wander around and explore new things, the open cabinet look will bring excitement and spark joy,” says Baross. Check out what the finished cabinets can looks like here.Article continues below
2. Color-coordinate your favorite collections.
Interior stylist Emeli Ericsson is spending her days color-coordinating because she finds it “pleasing to the eyes and soothing to the mind.” You can do so with your books, tableware, linens, and shoes, but she’s been focusing mostly on her closet. After all, arranging clothes by color could make it easier to get dressed when we eventually need to start putting on more than pajamas. Ericsson has also turned her attention to her home’s sacred space and arranged her crystals by color and chakra (red/brown, orange/gold, yellow, green/pink, blue/turquoise, indigo/deep blue, and white/purple/rainbow-colored). Bonus: This quick project can be a meditation all its own.
3. Scrub down your walls.
Want to quickly refresh your walls but can’t commit to repainting? Interior designer and VP of style at Modsy Alessandra Wood, Ph.D., says all you need is a foam eraser: “Grab a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and scrub down the walls you and your family touch most,” Wood explains. “As you’re cleaning, you’ll notice your walls will start to look fresh again without having to paint them.” Places where this can make the most impact include baseboards, kitchen walls, and highly touched areas like around light switches and stairways.
4. Bring the outside in.
Tanya Meda, interior designer and mom of four, has been using this time to connect with nature and her family. “We have been forced to reorder our priorities, to appreciate life with simplicity and humility, which is not such a bad thing,” she says. “In our own homes, it’s about a thoughtful and intentional aesthetic. So my advice? Take a walk through your yard or around the block and [collect] branches or flowers and bring them inside. You will smile, for sure!”
And if you already have an arrangement of green friends at home, now is a great time to prune, fertilize, and rearrange your houseplants. Hanging some of your plants up could be a fun afternoon project, too.
5. Carve out a sacred space.
Setting aside space to reflect and look within can be a beautiful gift to yourself during chaotic times. Whether your retreat space is a windowsill or an entire room, Ericsson recommends filling it with objects that are sacred to you: cherished photographs, crystals, fresh flowers, candles, etc. Make it a comfortable and inviting space you want to visit at the beginning and the end of the day. “Upon waking, spend some time there lighting a candle, breathing, and setting intentions for your day. Before going to bed, light your candle and give thanks for anything you are grateful for from that day.”