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Reno of the Month: Easy interior design updates for your Reston home

Photo courtesy Nicola Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

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

Mina, Founder

Mina’s top tip?

“Consider using decals because they’re inexpensive, easy to order and you can install them without professional help. I did this myself in my office with roses on a dark wall. Choosing this type of contrast easily creates 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 Mina Fies, Synergy Design & Construction

Emily, Interior Designer

When it comes to quick, but high-impact changes, Emily has lots of tips!

“If you can only do one thing at this time to update or make an impact on your space to make it look ‘designed’, it’s paint, paint, paint! Walls that is! Painting cabinets is a whole different ball game and painting walls is way easier, with a big impact.”

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

Download our FREE Guide to Paint Finishes to get you started!

Emily’s second tip (although, if you’re not handy or good at DIY, you might need a little outside help!) is to add vertical interest and/or add architectural details to a space. For example, create 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 alter 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 great time to think about biophilic design. It might sound technical, but it’s not. Biophilic design is the practice of connecting to nature in our inside spaces. Studies show that when we connect to natural elements, we tend to feel less stressed, more restored and even more productive and creative. This is true for both our work and home spaces and is fairly simple 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 or local farmer’s market.
  • Let there be light.. and fresh air! Open the blinds to let in sunshine and allow it to filter through your space. And if the weather is agreeable, open a window, too! Not only will that allow fresh air in, you can hear birds chirping or leaves rustling.
  • Bring in a water feature like a tabletop fountain. With so many people living and working in urban environments, the sounds of water can create a soothing change of pace.
  • Even hanging images of natural surroundings can have biophilic benefits. Botanical prints or landscapes work well. Or any photos you’ve taken yourself on trips or times outdoors not only have the benefit of bringing nature in, but have special meaning because it represents a moment special to you.
Photo via Modsy

Barbara, Project Coordinator

Barbara’s got two top design tips!

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

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

Photo courtesy istockphoto.com (left). Photo courtesy digthisdesign.net (right).

Nicola, Director of Marketing

I am not afraid of using color in my own home. If you aren’t 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: pick a palette of three or so complementary colors that appeal to you and bring a room to life with artwork, cushions and rugs. The nice thing about this is you can switch things up as the mood (or seasons) change.

My second suggestion is to group more than one photo or pieces of art (such as a triptych — three coordinating panels or pictures). Grouping of photos and art is a great hack that doesn’t need to break the budget but gives a designer touch. It’s also great if you have a large wall where one piece might look a little ‘lost’.

In the example below, the walls are neutral but the yellow, gray and blue touches and the grouping of the three pieces of art in the same colors brings the room together.

Photo courtesy Nicola Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Check out some of our Before & 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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