6 simple interior design 'tweakments' you can make that will have a big impact

Sometimes, all it takes is a new throw pillow or a fresh lick of paint to transform an entire room

interior design tweakments small changes big impact at home
(Image credit: Studio Atkinson / Studio Duggan / Mylands)

Interior design isn't always about the biggest ideas and the biggest changes. Often, a quick tweakment is all you need to make you feel like you have a whole new room.

If your surroundings are starting to feel a little stale, boring and cluttered, now may be the time to embrace a few simple interior design tweakments. Forget the bringing down walls, we're talking small changes that pack a design punch – without the need for a construction crew. Sometimes, it's the subtle adjustments that leave an indelible mark.

Whether you're an interior aficionado or a novice DIY-er, these design tweakments are your guide to a quick, low-list transformation. Simple yet effective, we've turned to the experts to gather their best ideas for tweaking your interiors quickly.

6 small design 'tweakments' to create a big impact

The devil is in the details. Making small changes to your interior can greatly impact the look and feel of your space. From upgrading your hardware to a new lighting scheme, decorating with patterns and prints, or simply giving a trim a lick of color, there are a myriad of small changes that are easy on your time and budget to try out. Let's see what the experts have to say.

1. Give your artwork a refresh

gallery wall in a living room with a corner couch

(Image credit: Studio Atkinson)

Updating artwork and wall decor can instantly change the vibe of a room. Whether it's contemporary prints or vintage finds, consider rotating your existing pieces to breathe new life into them, switching out frames, or investing in new, statement pieces that can work with your evolving tastes.

'It’s not realistic to overhaul a whole room every time you want to update and elevate it, and the good news is that you don’t have to – I’m a big believer that the smallest elements make the biggest difference to an interior,' explains Sue Jones, co-founder and creative director of OKA. 'The colors and decorations on your walls can have a real impact on the feel of a space, so I often like to start here when making updates.'

'It can be as simple as reworking the existing artwork in your home, such as rethinking a gallery wall or reframing and moving a statement piece to a new spot,' advises Sue. 'It’s surprising how something much-loved can feel completely fresh in a different location.'

'I love to use pinboards upholstered in beautiful fabrics,' suggests Cathy Nordström, founder of her namesake textiles brand. 'It’s the perfect way to store and display beloved photos, notes, invites, dry cleaners tickets, color swatches, and gift cards. Things that otherwise easily get lost. We have several at home; in the kitchen and study and now I am also having ones made for my children’s rooms.'

sue jones ok co-founder portrait
Sue Jones

Sue Jones began her design career at Colefax and Fowler before going on to work for Jasper Conran for 10 years. She founded OKA in early 1999 with friends Annabel Astor and Lucinda Waterhouse. Together they identified a gap in the UK interiors market to sell a unique range of furniture, accessories and gifts by mail order. Today, Sue holds the role of Creative Director, continuing to play a crucial role in the development of the brand and using her decades’ worth of experience to inspire OKA’s collection.

2. Make simple lighting swaps

oka living room with large artwork and lighting

(Image credit: OKA)

Consider swapping out outdated lighting fixtures for modern alternatives, getting new lampshades, or even experimenting with different bulb temperatures to create a warm or cool ambiance. Lighting ideas plays a big part in making all spaces feel welcoming, so consider how your existing lamps are treating you. 

Moving table lamps from room to room is a quick and easy way to refresh a space, and don't worry if they aren't feeling like a perfect fit, 2024 is all about embracing the unexpected. 

'Another key element in a room is light; it’s no secret, but adding a table lamp or two and a floor lamp in favor of the main light really does the trick when it comes to elevating your space,' adds Sue Jones. 'Don’t be shy with size and shape; I love a large voluminous table lamp to add a bit of drama.'

'Clip lights are a flexible, easy way to light key features such as bookshelves and fireplaces,' advises Charlie Bowles, director of Original BTC. 'Easily moveable, they can transform your lighting scheme without any installation costs or need for an electrician,' he adds.

'Lighting is one of the easiest and more affordable changes you can make that will significantly impact the overall feeling of the room,' agrees Kristina Khersonsky, founder of Studio Keeta. 'Swapping out a ceiling light or wall sconce or adding accent lighting with lamps will amplify the ambiance and elevate the room instantly,' she adds. 'Consider the temperature of your selected light bulbs Warmer hues contribute to a cozier feeling (stay around or below 3000 kelvin) and anything above 4000 kelvin will give you an airport feeling – no thank you!'

3. Switch up hardware to elevate a tired piece

matilda goad cherry rob handle knobs hardware

(Image credit: Matilda Goad)

Details matter, and the hardware in your home can be a subtle yet impactful element to tweak. Updating hardware, sockets, and switches is like adding jewelry to your space. Opt for finishes that complement your overall design – whether it's matte black for a modern look, brass for a traditional touch, or a pop of color, like the cherry red knobs by Matilda Goad, seen above.

Like pairing big, shiny earrings with a basic outfit, accessorizing a vanity or dresser with stylish new hardware is a great way to transform the entire feel of the piece.

'Changing out hardware for something a bit more special can make any cabinetry or furniture feel more custom or complimentary to your space,' advises Kristina Khersonsky. 'Opting to choose your own cabinet hardware like knobs or pulls will also add a level of personalization and will instantly elevate the space.'

studio keeta founder portrait
Kristina Khersonsky

Kristina Khersonsky, founder of Studio Keeta, believes in creating and developing spaces that are an evocative reflection of each client’s story. STUDIO KEETA is the curator of the unexpected, merging various time periods and genres to forge something fresh for their client’s palate.

4. Paint your woodwork in a statement hue

unexpected red painted door trim woodwork

(Image credit: Mylands)

Injecting color into your interiors doesn't always necessitate a full-room paint job. Consider painting your woodwork, like baseboards, doors, trim, and picture rails, in a bold or contrasting color to draw the eye. It's a clever way to experiment with color trends in a controlled yet impactful manner. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and finishes, like a high-gloss or matte finish. 

'Not every paint job needs to be a daunting four-wall, ceiling, and woodwork repaint,' agrees Helen Shaw, director of marketing at Benjamin Moore. 'Sometimes smaller projects can create the biggest difference to refresh a space without costing the world.'

'These ‘mini-projects’ have become increasingly popular to add interest by injecting pops of color into a room,' continues Helen. 'Painting architectural features such as picture rails and crown molding in bold colors is guaranteed to boost your space. If you don’t have anything to upcycle, then painting a single wall, accent ceiling, or elements of the woodwork is a perfect technique for creating zones or highlighting a specific area - for instance, a bookshelf, skylight shaft, mantlepiece, or display area,' she advises. 

Helen Shaw
Helen Shaw

Helen Shaw is a color expert and Director of Marketing (International) at Benjamin Moore. Helen and her husband Craig were also founders of Shaw Paints, acquired by Benjamin Moore in 2020.

5. Introduce new patterns with window treatments or upholstery

green bedroom with velvet headboard and beata hueman curtains

(Image credit: Studio Duggan)

Patterns and prints can infuse character and personality into a room in an instant. Whether it's a bold geometric pattern on curtains in the living room or a stylish headboard with intricate florals for your bedroom, incorporating a pop of pattern will add a layer of style and can tie together various design elements in the room.

'If you’re not interested in painting and are looking for a quicker solution - selecting high-quality window treatments can make your home feel instantly elevated,' suggests Kristina. 'There are so many affordable options out there these days, you don’t have to break the bank to have nicer window treatments! Pro tip: always hang higher than your windows to give the illusion of a heightened ceiling.'

Infusing spaces with a playful attitude and moving away from predictable color palettes brings a youthful and fresh take to a space. For an even easier switch-up, try swapping out your throw pillow cushion covers and getting some new throws. 

6. Implement intentional decor as a means of de-cluttering

ottoman coffee table with tray and lamp

(Image credit: Original BTC)

Decluttering doesn't mean sacrificing style, but it is essential to giving a room a new lease of life. After all, if a space is overcluttered and stressing you out, you're not going to feel great stepping into it. 

Select decor with intent and look to pieces that both contribute to the aesthetics and functionality of a room like stylish baskets, trays for catching all manners of clutter, and sleek shelving units. 

'A smaller change that can be implemented is selecting intentional decor,' suggests Studio Keeta's Kristina Khersonsky. 'What that means is: use decor as a means of keeping tidy! We all need TV remotes or small everyday knick-knacks but they can be so unsightly. Try styling your home with boxes or trays that can hide these everyday objects in plain sight and act as styled decor.'

Remember that creating a space you love is an ongoing progress. The beauty lies not only in the huge transformations but in the subtle, thoughtful touches that reflect your evolving taste and style. From giving your artwork a rework to playing with lighting and paint, creating an impact in your home has never been easier. 

Charlotte Olby
Style & Trends Editor

Charlotte is style and trends editor at Homes and Gardens, and has been with the team since Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she has worked at many women's glossy magazines including Grazia, Stylist, and Hello and most recently worked as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with her passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome