7 changes that will re-energize your space – even in the depths of winter

Out with the old, stale ambiance and in with fresh zing

hallway, dining room and living room three way split
(Image credit: Future)

Is there a better feeling than entering your home and feeling happy, welcomed, and inspired? Whether you decorate your space more classically or lean towards modern interiors, energy and vibrancy are still a fundamental part of creating a beautiful home in all senses of the word. 

Not sure if your home is quite filling you with as much gusto as your morning espresso? It might mean you spend some time organizing your home, doing out with the old, stale air and ambiance, and in with new fresh features to reinvigorate your home. We asked some interior experts for their best recommendations.

Quick changes that will re-energize your space

It is all about trying things a little differently and seeing what works in the space. Interior designer, Soledad Alzaga, says: 'Change things up! Try a different furniture layout by moving your furniture around, and remove unnecessary items to organize your space. Add plants, different pillows and scented candles, or essential oils that you have not used before.'

Even in the depths of winter, your home can be quickly transformed into a space that is overflowing with style and good energy. Here is how:

Soledad Alzaga
Soledad Alzaga

San Francisco-based Interior designer Soledad Alzaga has worked on designs projects in San Francisco, Sonoma, Atherton, New York, Martha's Vineyard, Los Angeles, Mexico and Argentina.

dining room with table and chairs

(Image credit: Future)

1. Remove the unnecessary

There is power even in the smallest of declutters, after all, so removing any items that no longer serve you or bring your space vibrancy can be a good place to start when bringing more energy into a room.

If you are new to the concept of minimalism and find decluttering a little overwhelming, start small or consider turning it into more of a game. Gifting and donating items that you have too many of is wise, and soon you will see that even organizing a living room with too much stuff is possible with the right planning, preparation, and positive thinking.

2. Rearrange furniture for more flow

A space that feels especially stale and uninspiring might need more literal shaking up. Alongside whole home layouts to avoid, there are many ways you can get more from your kitchen space or living room.

'The way you arrange furniture can significantly impact the energy flow within a room,' says Design Director Niko Rasides.

Consider whether you could float a couch for better ease of movement, or open up a kitchen by relocating the island. More energy will come naturally to a space that works well both practically and aesthetically so do not be afraid to mix it up.

'Avoid pushing all furniture against the walls, as this can create a stagnant and uninviting atmosphere. Instead, create intimate seating arrangements that encourage conversation and connection. I’d recommend arranging furniture in groupings to define specific functional areas within the room. Experiment with different layouts to find the one that maximizes both space and energy flow.'

Nicholas Anthony
Niko Rasides

Niko Rasides is the design director of Nicholas Anthony, a family-run business founded in the UK in 1963, specializing in the design and installation of high-end, ultra-contemporary as well as classic and traditional kitchens, bathrooms and home interiors.

3. Create a dialogue between colors in the room

Blue living room with black fireplace, and pink soft furnishings

(Image credit: Future)

Color can shape our surroundings, enhance mood, and bring ambiance. Some are more energizing than others. Choose wisely and you will invigorate a tired space quite effortlessly.

'One of the most powerful tools for transforming an uninspiring space is the strategic use of color,' says Rasides. 'Experiment with a mix of complementary and contrasting colors to create visual interest; incorporating lively patterns and textures to add depth. Choose a vibrant and energetic color palette that resonates with your personal style. Consider bold accent walls, vibrant furniture, or lively accessories to inject personality and excitement into the room.'

Decorating with red will invite fiery energy into a space, while white and more neutral tones will bring a calm sense of zen.

The artist and designer behind India & Purry, Jessica Hollander, tells H&G how to use color for more cohesion and connection: 'I like to use designs that are cohesive in palette so that a dialogue is created between the colors throughout the room. For instance, a few throw pillows that feature florals in peaches and oranges in the designs that then coordinate with a trio of framed art prints and a serving tray and coasters on a coffee table in the same palette.' Color is so present in nature, consider favoring prints and more accents that gently nod to flora and fauna.

'This adds joy and dimension to the space. My peach poppies, hibiscus, and cherry blossoms are an example of designs that work beautifully together and bring the beauty of nature inside.'

jessica hollander
Jessica Hollander

Jessica Hollander is the artist and designer behind India & Purry.  Hollander's sign ethos is to create a neutral canvas with white, ecru, or grey walls and use decor with boldly painted botanicals to bring in beauty and energy. Often using color to heal and elevate spaces, Hollander was recently featured in Ocean Home magazine and designed a collection for Hunter Douglas window coverings.

4. Embrace biophilic elements

Green living room with green striped curtains, patterned couch, green painted walls

(Image credit: Future)

Less of a fleeting trend, biophilic design is here to stay and deserves a place in every home that wants to feel vibrant and full of life. Indoor plants can add energy to all living spaces, connecting the surroundings with nature for an invigorating dose of the great outdoors, inside.

Favor good feng shui plants, avoiding cacti in spaces that you think are in particular need of a good energy boost. But it doesn't stop at plants as Rasides shares: 'Incorporating natural elements can breathe life into a space. Consider adding indoor plants, natural wood furniture, or stone accents to connect with the outdoors.

'The presence of greenery not only adds a pop of color but also promotes a sense of vitality and freshness. If choosing to introduce indoor plants, opt for those that are low-maintenance. Large, leafy plants can serve as statement pieces while smaller succulents or potted herbs add a touch of nature to tabletops,' says Rasides.

5. Rework your surroundings with decor items you adore

Small accents, accessories, and trinkets can bring instantaneous character to even the blandest of spaces. ‘My favorite decor items to rework a space are throw pillows, art prints, and tabletop pieces,' says Hollander. Whether you like to decorate for a modern finish, for one that is infinitely cozy, or if you consider your interest design style to be more unique than anything, adding pieces that say a little about you can help make your space feel more lively.

Rasides shares ways to create interest: 'Introducing bold and eye-catching furniture or decor elements that serve as focal points in the room such as a vibrant sofa, an intricately designed coffee table, or a unique piece of artwork not only add visual interest but also serve as conversation starters. Always consider the balance of these statement pieces by using more neutral elements to avoid overwhelming the space.'

6. Use citrus scents

candle and diffuser with blankets in the background

(Image credit: GettyImages)

A nice-smelling home is welcoming and charming in every way. Ensuring your surroundings are kept clean and tidy will keep dust and bad odors at bay anyhow, but to invite more energy in, consider fresh fragrances that will lift the mood of your entire home.

Whether you choose to light a candle or burn essential oils, favor scents that are close to nature, in particular, zesty fragrances like orange, tangerine, and other citrus fruits are said to boost a home's 'chi' and happiness as they help remove stale energy.

Even fragrance layering, or simply trying something new such as lavender or bergamot can bring a home to life.

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7. Elevate with lighting

Do not forget the transformative effect that lighting can have on a space: 'Proper lighting can instantly elevate the mood of a room,' says Rasides. Being thoughtful with how you layer lighting can be an effective way to make a home feel more welcoming, too.

'Experiment with different light sources, such as floor lamps, pendant lights, or string lights, to create a warm and inviting ambiance,

'Consider smart lighting options that allow you to adjust the intensity and add accent lighting to create a dynamic and layered effect. Natural light is especially powerful, so maximize it by choosing light and airy window treatments.'


What is the quickest way to make your space feel new?

Choosing brighter colors or even introducing a new element to your living room lighting scheme could make all the difference.

'Transforming a flat and uninspiring space into an energetic and inviting haven requires thoughtful consideration of color, furniture placement, and overall design,' notes Rasides. 'By embracing dynamic colors, arranging furniture strategically, incorporating statement pieces, playing with lighting, and bringing the outdoors inside, you can create a space that not only looks vibrant but also radiates positive energy.'

How can I make my space feel energized throughout the year?

To re-energize your space throughout the year, Hollander suggests leaning towards neutrally colored furniture pieces and wall colors that make an ideal perfect blank canvas for new seasonal additions that can help define your home in spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

'Another benefit to keeping the walls and furniture neutral is that you can change your decor from season to season. A gorgeous and contemporary take on winter decor, for instance, would be a palette of icy blues and rich deep greens with black and white. Just change your pillows, wall art and table decor, and you have entirely reenergized your home.' 

Keeping a clean home with good airflow is another way to specifically keep energy flowing in the home throughout winter

Simple yet thoughtful tweaks can make your entire home feel invigorated and inviting all year round.

Camille Dubuis-Welch
Contributing Editor

Camille is the former deputy editor of Real Homes where she covered a broad range of topics, including house tours, small space design, and gardens. She studied English language and Italian at the University of Manchester and during a year abroad studying linguistics and history of art in Bologna, Italy she started documenting her adventures and observations in a blog. Camille is always creating and spends her downtime painting, taking photos, traveling, and writing short stories.