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5 Ways to Refresh Your Home

5 Ways to Refresh Your Home

Creating the Home of Your Dreams Without a Major Renovation

Maybe you purchased your home a few years ago and it was your dream house. Everything was perfect and exactly how you liked it. But now your furnishings seem a little faded and the paint on your walls doesn’t quite give the vibe you were going for. Or maybe your home never started as your dream home and you’re determined to start on your fixer upper but aren’t sure how to update the space. No matter what scenario you’re in, there are quality investments you can make to refresh your home.

Upgrade your flooring

There’s nothing worse than staring year after year at flooring you feel lukewarm about. Updating your flooring is a great way to make a dramatic impact without tearing down walls and adding skylights. Even if real hardwoods aren’t in your budget, you can create the same look with laminate flooring. Create the luxury you deserve with flooring that epitomizes your taste and style. Even if you decide to only change the flooring in your powder room, you’re sure to appreciate the update it has on the rest of your home.

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Refresh your walls with paint

Quality paint can be a little pricey, but it’s imperative to make sure you purchase the best quality you can afford, particularly for areas such as the bathroom that have moisture problems. Aside from the cost of the paint itself, you should also calculate the amount of time it will take you to paint the space because time is our most valuable resource. If you think painting an entire room would take too much time away from your everyday enjoyment, consider painting only one wall as an accent, saving time and money.

Update lighting fixtures

Casting away the shadows and mixing up the lighting in your house can easily transform a space. Your room might feel dark and gloomy and could easily be spiced up with new lamps or even curtains that let more light in. Or, if you still have one of those brass chandeliers popular in the 90s, consider installing a newer style and add retro appeal with a few Edison light bulbs. You’ll be surprised what difference the right light can make.

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Hire professional cleaners

While having a regular maid might be a pipe dream, you can experience the bliss of having someone else clean your home until it’s spotless by using a one-time cleaning service to come revive your home back to just-moved-in luster. While an all-over clean might be out of your budget, you can have specialists come turn your carpets from brown back to the original beige or have window washers remove the grime that builds up overtime. The time you save will be well worth the expense.

Declutter and Donate

Whether or not you believe in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, decluttering can go a long way in revitalizing your home and give it more of a movie set appearance. By going through your items, you’ll get a better idea of what items you have and see if there are any you might have forgotten about. From there you can rearrange the items and potentially give the room a whole new look. As an added bonus, you can donate whatever you don’t want to others who might be looking for the perfect piece to tie their room together.

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Creating the home of your dreams doesn’t require contractors, saw dust, and sledgehammers. Instead, focus on small changes that can create the most impact and fall in love with your house all over again. After all, you don’t want to let go of the home that’s brought you so many happy memories just because the linoleum is the wrong color.

Featured photo credit: Armstrong Flooring via armstrong.com

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Sarah Walsh

Freelance Writer

Armstrong Laminate Flooring 5 Ways to Refresh Your Home

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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