The 10 Little Changes I Made to Update My Decor for Apartment Therapy

The smallest items that made the biggest impact.
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At the end of last year, we found out that Apartment Therapy was going to be photographing our home (you can see our last tour here) in February, which inspired me to make a few updates. There were a bunch of little things I'd been meaning to change for a while, so it was the perfect excuse to finally tackle them. I didn't want to redecorate the whole space, but simply make a few swaps here and there to make it feel fresh. Here are some of the things I added (and got rid of) in anticipation of the shoot:

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We don't have a formal entryway—you kind of spill into our living room, so adding a couple of wall hooks felt like a small change to define the area. These feel simple, but stylized and make for a great spot to hang coats and bags. 

Hooks: Alice Leather Hooks

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We had a small kilim rug placed in front of our sink for the last few years that had begun to feel a bit dated. I'd seen a bajillion kitchen inspiration shots that featured vintage runners and thus began my very lengthy search for one that worked for our space. I figured out the ideal size by marking the area with painter's tape and, after scouring eBay for endless hours, (seriously my nights were spent half-watching t.v. and looking through tons of rugs), I found the winner. I plan on getting it treated so that we don't have to be too careful about spilling things on it. 

Rug: eBay

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Our old couch scenario involved lots of neon pillows that had started to feel a little too busy. I decided to swap them out for some neutral options and quickly found that minimal designs are really hard to come by. I found the French striped linen options at a home store in Santa Monica, and got the others at an antique mart (I assume the fabric is vintage on new pillows). I swapped out the gray blanket for a cream version that helped make the whole area more cohesive.

Pillows: Lost & Found Home and vintage
Blanket: Serena & Lily

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The old side table we had was from our old place and was a complete afterthought. I'd never loved it, but also wasn't particularly offended by it... until I decided to replace it. I hadn't realized that a black, blocky table in the corner could take up so much space, but once I swapped it out for such a sleek option, it made it seem a lot more open. I also changed out the lamp on top to one of my favorites from my own line that feels light and clean.

Table: Food52
Lamp: Cupcakes and Cashmere

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This console table was something I bought for our entryway at our last place, which had fit the tiny area nicely. In our new place, I'd never quite found its permanent home—it always just felt awkward. It had been up against one of the walls leading into the dining room and one day I just grabbed it and brought it into our bedroom. It helped define this weird nook by the bathroom and when I added a few hats above it, it felt intentional instead of like a floating afterthought. 

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I bought this vintage print a long time ago at the Long Beach Flea Market and it had been sitting in (its original, broken frame) our guest room ever since. I finally got around to getting it framed in a minimalist frame, which helped it feel current, especially when casually leaned up against our mantle.

Print: Vintage

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I'd shared this painting from a recent antique shopping trip over the holidays and while I originally questioned whether I liked it, I'm now completely sold. I love how the colors work in our dark blue dining room and that it adds a rustic touch atop our bar cart.

Painting: Vintage

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This was one of the simplest things I did that made the biggest impact. I changed the nondescript knobs on our West Elm nightstands to ones that made more of a statement. As a general rule of thumb, I find that if I've purchased an item from a larger chain, adding a personalized touch makes a big difference.

Knobs: Rejuvenation

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As soon as we moved in, I knew I wanted a great photograph to go over the master bath. It took me a while to find it, but I'm so pleased with this one—the headlights at dusk are so relaxing and I love looking at it from the shower or bath. The runner was another vintage find that brought a little color to an otherwise bright-white room.

Photograph: Minted
Rug: eBay

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Lastly, I added a living plant to our bedroom. I had a bit of empty space that was begging for a little greenery (fingers crossed I don't kill it immediately) and chose a white/apricot pot for a subtle pop of color.

Pot: Pop Up Greens