Diy Beckons You To Come Back Home

You don't need a total home makeover to cozy your home for fall. Simple DIY updates + new design guidelines.

Sponsor content courtesy of Sleep Number

No matter where you live, a new season provides a time to update your home’s coziness-factor.  So, we updated a place in our home state of Minnesota, with Amy Schmitt, Professional Home Styling and Redesign Expert/Business Owner of Come Back Home, to identify simple DIY tweaks that appeal to all your senses.

Q:  First, what does it mean to be a home styling and redesign expert?

A:  Home redesign is the art of utilizing your existing furniture and accessories, then pulling the whole look together by supplementing new furnishings where needed. I identify what is and isn’t working and recognize a cohesive style theme between pieces that best reflect the homeowner’s actual and desired style. Then, I rearrange pieces in a way that make it feel fresh and new.  By starting with what you already have, you can save a lot of money because you don’t have to replace everything.

Q:  Sounds smart! So, where should we start when thinking about seasonal home updates?

A:  Before you start any design experience, think about how you want the space to feel, and what you want to do in it. Focus on delighting your five senses.

For example, what are you doing in your bedroom: sleeping. What are you smelling, touching, seeing when you’re in bed? Sleep Number’s Lyocell sheets are beautiful. They feel so soft and weightless. Adding candles and switching to Edison lightbulbs gives rooms a fiery glow. Are your mirrors reflecting something beautiful? And, there should always be layers and textures in every season; fabric weights just change.

Q:  OK, so let’s start with what you did in the bedrooms.

A:  Your bedroom should be the most peaceful haven in the home. Less is more. Look at the bedding first.  I typically change sheets to a different fabric or darker color to feel more fall/wintery. I layered more blankets, including this textured Sleep Number cotton coverlet; added a fur, wool or faux mohair throw. I love plaids and tweeds because they’re harbingers of Fall and Winter.

All pillows and blankets on your bed should be washable. It’s practical, healthy, and feels good. Even the faux fur pillows I put on the bed are machine washable. When you step out of bed, have warmth under foot: a fur or wool rug, or comfy/washable slippers.

In this home there was an unused window nook. We created a welcoming destination to read by adding pillows, a side table, and a nubby textured throw to snoodle up in.

Q:  What about the nightstands and dresser?

A:  Any décor you put anywhere in your bedroom should be larger than a melon to avoid it looking cluttered (i.e. a statue, art, pillows).  The one must-have for a nightstand is sufficient lighting; either from a table lamp or wall sconce. I inserted an Edison bulb in the table lamp for a warmer glow.  Most people only use Edison bulbs when they’re exposed, but I encourage you to try them under a lampshade.

Bring something living inside every season, like fresh flowers or greens. It doesn’t take a lot. They look great and smell amazing. If you’re a homeowner, plant something you can cut and bring inside. These hydrangeas were already growing in the homeowner’s garden, and will dry beautifully to enjoy all season.

On the black dresser, I added a mirror to reflect the beautiful lake and trees outside, and the candlelight. A tall vase with two branches from a maple tree growing in the homeowner’s woods finishes this vignette. Styling tip: always go with the biggest mirror your space allows, because you won’t need much more.

Q:  Love the melon tip and I’m getting some Edison bulbs.  Now, how should we appeal to our sense of SMELL?

A:  Fragrance is a big thing for me. I’ll switch out all my fragrances each season. Laundry detergent, fabric softeners, linen sprays, soaps, lotions, scented candles, etc. If you can’t switch out your blankets, get a great cedar, pine, or eucalyptus scented linen spray and crawl into bed and close your eyes—it’s transcendent.

Q:  How many pillows should be on a bed?

A:  That’s a personal preference. The photos shown above are the max number I’d put on a bed. In the summer I’d only have 2 layers of pillows. In the winter I want more tactile things around me for coziness.

Q: Why do styled pillows on a sofa or bed always have a dip in the top middle?

A:  It gives your pillow more dimension, and looks lived-in and approachable.  I’m not a fan of the stiff karate chop look. I prefer the gentle nudge so it just slightly dents in. Style hack: for the perfectly shaped accent pillow, buy a down insert one size larger than the pillow case. You’ll get an inviting, plump, luxurious look. I also recommend removeable pillow covers for seasonal swaps and space saving.

Q:  Makes sense. Thanks. OK, let’s move on to our sense of HEARING. What should people consider with sound?

A:  Music and sound is so personal. Is it music, a podcast, white noise, no noise? Change your music playlist when the seasons change, and have a good sound system. I love the wireless speaker shown on the black dresser. New small portable speakers are so much richer than playing off your computer or your phone. For less than $50 you can get a great speaker that looks stylish.

Q:  Now, let’s move into the living room.  What did you do here?

A:  In Fall/Winter I like to switch flat fabrics with more nubby, thick, textural fabrics. The addition of velvet, fur, wool, big knitted yarny things, darker colored tapestries, and plaid prints.

I added blues, rusts, creams, neutral gray and browns. To keep this from looking chaotic, you have to repeat a design element and pull that repetition throughout the room. For this home, it was repetition of the same color story, and fabrications of velvet, fur and nubby textures.  If you have velvet on one side, place more in the opposite corner to pull it together. i.e. you won’t put all cotton pieces in one corner and all velvet pieces in another.

When thinking of patterns, mix big with small as a standard rule of thumb. I did a mix of large + small prints. Don’t use more than three patterns.

I added textured throws, and created sofa/chair “moments” that make you want to linger wherever you’re sitting. I moved the homeowner’s chess/game table in from another room, and then added the chess pieces, throws and pillows. Now it’s an area to curl up with a glass of wine while you figure out your next chess move. Have family games at arm’s reach for impromptu family time.

Q:  You even thought about the family dog. How?

A:  Change in seasons gives an opportunity to update a worn-out dog bed and dishes. This is a fun opportunity to have their space coordinate the rest of the room.

Q:  What did you do with the fireplace shelves?

A:  I added hurricane glass vases on either size of the mantle to add fire in layers throughout the home. Very subtle and didn’t compete with the beautiful stone and wood in her fireplace.

I added this cute, inexpensive fox photo to the fireplace to change out the artwork.  In the Spring/Summer I’d change to a water scene. Just a few strategic photos will pop. Easy, easy update.

Q:  Anything else you want to share that we didn’t get to?

A:  Candles, candles, candles. Whether real or battery ones.

Bring out more books. A small styling tip to give more height and depth to your home’s vignettes, is to stack books horizontally on a shelf or ledge.  Then place picture frames or a statue on top. Remove the book sleeves if they don’t match your décor.

And, the last thought I’ll leave you with is a quote from designer/architect William Morris that I use as a guiding principle to ensure I never over clutter a room, “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”  I heard that when I was in college and it’s forever stuck with me.

For more design inspiration, visit the Home Décor section of the Sleep Number blog.