Published on April 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

3 Tips For an Affordable Spring Decor Refresh

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We’ve already talked about the benefits of shaking up your wardrobe for spring, but as you say goodbye to those winter clothes, it might be time to consider a refresh for your home as well. To get some tips for small, affordable changes that make a big impact, we turned to Bay Area-based designer Bianca Sotelo, whose blog A Fabulous Challenge frequently showcases her own gorgeous pad.

Bianca is proof positive that you don’t have to study art or interior design to create stunning decor. “I never went to school for anything design-related,” says Sotelo, who now works as an editorial manager for a San Francisco-based lifestyle brand. “When I got my first apartment out of college, I fell in love with interior design. My natural eye and passion for design lead me to start blogging, and has now allowed me to be in the creative field for a living. I love the freedom it gives me!”

Bianca extends thredUP’s repurposing philosophy to the home, relying heavily on vintage and secondhand pieces to create great looks on a budget. “In design, buying vintage is not only key, it’s necessary!” she says. “Older pieces bring a life and story to a room that new pieces just can’t.” Here are three of her favorite tricks for spicing up any home’s decor for spring.
fresh coat

1. Give your closet a fresh coat. Many of us turn to new wall colors when we want to spruce up a room, but sometimes-neglected interior spaces can also benefit from a little attention. Bianca loves this subtly elegant closet interior, done in stripes of beige and white paint, for its motivational purposes as well as its looks. “You’ll definitely be more apt to put things back where they belong when you open a door and things look great in your closet,” she says. Plus, if you’re already paring down your closet for spring, you have a built-in excuse to empty it out and refill it with only your favorite items.


2. Set the table. Do you have beautiful dishware that rarely sees the light of day? Don’t be afraid to put it out on the table. Not only will it make your dining table look more pulled-together and homey, it’ll prevent it from becoming a magnet for less-than-desirable decor. “If there were nothing on my table, there would be no end to the mail, chip bags and receipts that would be strewn all over it!” Bianca confesses. If you don’t have plates you adore, consider investing: Bianca’s modernist dinnerware comes from the very affordable CB2, or for a more shabby-chic look, consider sourcing some pretty (if mismatched) old china from flea markets or thrift stores.


3. Add a little art. “Nothing gives a space new life quite like an amazing piece of art,” says Bianca, who is currently coveting prints from Iceland’s Love Warriors. Even if you can only afford one piece, it can make a big impact. Everyone’s taste in art is different, which makes the Web a fantastic resource for finding works that speak to you. Little Paper Planes and Mammoth & Co. sell curated original prints in a variety of sizes, and Etsy offers a huge selection of everything from photographs to typography to paintings, often at affordable prices from emerging artists. And don’t be afraid to try your hand at art, too. “My friend, the artist Heather Day, has recently encouraged me to pick up my own paint brush and experiment with different materials,” Bianca says. “I’m loving the release it gives me, and it’s a fraction of the cost of art you’d buy in stores.”

What are your favorite affordable design tricks? Tell us in the comments.