DIY Instant Gratification Decor Ideas

I recently had the opportunity to review a new book by House Beautiful entitled “Quick Changes – Fresh Looks for Every Room” and WOW. It as fun, quick read, much like the decor ideas represented in the book!

House Beautiful Book

It was a quick read, but chalk full of easy, creative ideas! Here are a few of my favorites:


family photos arranged on living room wall

  • Wall are is like wine. If you like it, it’s good!
  • Kitchen’s are the new living Rooms.
  • Make your own rules.
  • Group things together to create collections out of clutter.
  • Books as accessories – very personal and reflects interest.
  • Use wall screens to zone or define spaces.
  • Use your fancy stuff, daily!


black kitchen island

  • Be strategically distinctive.
  • Not just walls – ceilings, floors, stairs.
  • Create contrast.
  • Paint patterns.
  • Paint back of bookcases.
  • Paint the kitchen island a different color.
  • Paint furniture.
  • Paint doors.
  • Paint the inside of cabinet doors.
  • Try chalk paint.
  • Glossy black window frames.

Wall Paper:

maps as wallpaper

  • Be an illusionist.
  • Add texture.
  • Energize dull spaces.
  • Make your own wall paper (maps, newspaper, old letters, etc.)
  • Confident? Wallpaper the ceiling!
  • No rules in the powder room. Be bold.


round mirrors

  • Wall panels can enlarge a room, IF you like the look.
  • Use as an art backdrop.
  • Trick: place 2 mirrors in a corner, perpendicular to each other.
  • Use a mirror in the kitchen to make it feel more like the dining room.
  • Casual placement – prop a large mirror against the wall.
  • Round mirrors are hot!

Cozy it up:

reading corner

  • Nothing says cozy like a chaise.
  • Creative use  of curtains as walls to add softness.
  • Use a “real” rug in the bathroom
  • Add outdoor rugs to patio areas.
  • Add a chalkboard in the kitchen.
  • Float a casual white tablecloth over an outdoor table for instant romance.
  • Hang pots on the wall.
  • Wall-to-wall curtains – like a big hug.
  • Create cozy seating areas for intimate conversations.

Punch it up:

flor carpet tiles geometric print

(photo via:

  • Color accents – pillows, throws, lamps, oh my!
  • Use graphical patterns and contrast to make a statement.
  • Be memorable. Express yourself!
  • Sparkle!
  • Oversize your flora and fauna.

Refresh it:

red table

  • Chairs – paint glossy black, add slip cover, reupholster the back of a chair in a different fabric.
  • Treat your closet like a dressing room.
  • Paint an old piece of furniture, repurpose – you’d be surprised what can be turned into a bar.
  • Spruce up lamp shades with fabric, paint or ribbons.
  • Rearrange your furniture – use angles, float away from walls, zone by function!
  • Saarinen tables?
  • New sheets, stack pillows rather than lean them against the headboard.
  • Make a creative workspace out of a closet – remove doors, add inspiration board.


guest room wall hooks

  • Never keep anything you don’t love.
  • Window treatments – less is more.
  • Add floating shelves to help organize without demanding floor space.
  • Minimalist headboard – hand suzani or quilt on wall, use a curtain rod or casual hooks.
  • Wicker is unpretentious. Just sayin.

8 DIY instant gratification decor ideas

I love reading comments and yes, I read every one!


  1. Katie says

    Great post! I’d probably try lots of these decor ideas, but especially accessories, mirrors and repurposing!

  2. says

    I actually live a lifestyle without the kids right now. Very minimal. But creative aspired notions are always in the forefront with painting and creating my own fortune of the free mind spirit flow. Wherever we are in the eye – the beholder is always near. namaste

  3. Malana D. says

    I needed a push to add some style from all my collecting dust treasures… I will be adding accessories :)

  4. Kelly says

    This might be just the nudge I need to start the bathroom refresh. School’s back in session next week, so perfect timing!

  5. Jand M says

    A refresh can make a big difference in a short time. A punch of color from some new accessories can change the tone of a room easily. Fun and easy!

  6. says

    I would like to say you article really matter for those home owners who recently plan for home improvement. You spread some impressive thoughts.
    Thanks Susan…..

  7. Kristi says

    These tips are extremely amazing. I would probably try all of them eventually but the first one would have to be paint. Once the paint is done everything else can be completed.

  8. says

    I love the idea of repurposing, especially since I’m always fixing up my house on a budget. Loving that pic of the red table. I may need to make that happen in my condo!

  9. brenda says

    I cannot wait to refresh some furniture pieces I have with some new paint, in vibrant colors! my new project for fall…

  10. Eva McCracken says

    I’m most likely to use paint because we just bought our first home & some of the stuff is a bit outdated. My number one ideas? Painting the stairs & cabinets to make them POP!

  11. Kira says

    Really liked the simplicity of many of these ideas. I’m going to try embellishing a couple of lamp shades to get started. I also really like the idea of a hand suzani as a headboard- that would be a fun change on an otherwise blank wall.

  12. says

    Painting your house prior to listing it for sale is an easy way to
    give itt a makeover so it looks fresh and modern.
    I can also tell yoou just about how long it will take to paint each room
    basically. Forr old homes or tough interior surfaces, make sure you use high quality
    paint, like Benjamin Moore or Kelly Moore.

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