Reno of the Month: Easy Interior Design Update for Your Reston Home

Photo courtesy of Nicola Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Not thinking about a complete home remodel, but looking for a few design ideas to spruce up your space? Then look no further, as this month the Synergy team offers some easy hacks that any homeowner can do that will provide an instant upgrade.

Mina, founder

Mina’s best tip?

“Consider using decals because they are cheap, easy to order and you can install them without professional help. I did it myself in my office with roses on a dark wall. Choosing this type of contrast creates slight drama and a ‘designed ‘ space while remaining flexible enough to remove the decals and choose a different paint color when you tire of it down the road.”

Photo courtesy of Mina Fies, Synergy Design & Construction

Emily, interior designer

When it comes to quick but big changes, Emily has tons of tips!

“If there’s only one thing you can do right now to update or influence your space to look ‘designed’, it’s paint, paint, paint! Walls that is! Painting cabinets is a whole other ball game , and it’s much easier to paint walls with great effect.”

“If you are able to hire a painter, great, but even if you have to spend a weekend investing some time in taping, preparing and painting some walls yourself, it will make a huge difference. Paint instantly lifts any furniture or decor you add to the room. I’ve (DIY) painted at least the bedroom and living room in every apartment/rental/house I’ve ever lived in, even if it was only a year-long living situation. For me, the impact of the paint itself outweighs having to prime and paint the rooms back to their original color at the end of a lease!”

Download our FREE guide to painting to get started!

Emily’s other tip (although if you’re not handy or good at DIY, you might need some outside help!) is to add vertical interest and/or add architectural details to a room. For example, make a tile, stone or millwork fireplace surround that goes to the ceiling or add a shiplap wall. These details create visual interest and can completely change the look and feel of a room. Check out the carousel below for inspiration!

Maegan, Office & Client Relations Manager

Maegan is all about letting nature be an interior design inspiration.

“This time of year is a good time to think about biophilic design. It may sound technical, but it’s not. Biophilic design is the practice of connecting to nature in our interior spaces. Studies show that when we connect with natural elements, we tend to feel less stressed, more restored and even more productive and creative. This applies to both our work and home areas and is quite easy to achieve.”

  • Houseplants are a great way to bring the outdoors in. Or if you don’t have a green thumb, pick up fresh flowers weekly at the grocery store or local farmers market.
  • Let there be light.. and fresh air! Open the blinds to let the sunshine in and let it filter through your space. And if the weather is pleasant, open a window too! Not only will it allow fresh air, you can hear birds chirping or leaves rustling.
  • Bring in a water feature like a countertop fountain. With so many people living and working in urban environments, the sound of water can create a soothing change of pace.
  • Even hanging pictures of natural surroundings can have biophilic benefits. Botanical prints or landscapes work well. Or any pictures you have taken yourself on trips or outdoor times not only have the advantage of bringing nature in, but have a special meaning because they represent a moment that is special to you.
Photo via Modsy

Barbara, project coordinator

Barbara has two top design tips!

“Add floating wall shelves to a room to reflect your mood and personality. It’s a great way to showcase fun and special things that are meaningful to you. These items can be replaced during the year. This is something that anyone can do and a great activity for the whole family. It’s easy and cheap. Just let your creative juices flow and think about what makes you happy!”

“It’s not just about interiors! My second tip is to update your patio or porch with flowering annuals and colorful pots and accessories. It’s an inexpensive way to add warmth and charm to your outdoor space, not to mention extra curb appeal. This is perfect for the person who loves to ‘play in the dirt’. And added bonus? Bees, butterflies, ladybirds and dragonflies will love it.”

Photo courtesy of (left). Photo courtesy of (right).

Nicola, Marketing Director

I’m not afraid to use color in my own home. If you’re not brave enough to paint an entire room or even an accent wall and prefer to keep your wall color neutral, you can easily add a pop of color with accessories. It doesn’t have to be one color: choose a palette of three or so complementary colors that appeal to you and bring a room to life with artwork, pillows and rugs. The good thing about this is that you can switch things up as the mood (or seasons) change.

My other suggestion is to group more than one photo or artwork (such as a triptych – three coordinating panels or images). Grouping photos and art is a great hack that doesn’t have to break the budget, but adds a designer touch. It’s also great if you have a large wall where one piece can look a bit ‘lost’.

In the example below, the walls are neutral, but the yellow, gray and blue details and the grouping of the three artworks in the same colors bring the room together.

Photo courtesy of Nicola Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Check out some of our before and afters to see how we used these ideas in local home remodels and get inspired with what’s possible in your space!

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