10 Brilliant Ways to Spruce Up Your Space

Ivanka’s interior designer weighs in with a new approach for your home in the new year.

Ivanka has recently embarked on our dream definition of nesting: she’s updating her gorgeous Park Avenue apartment and renovating her family’s cottage in the New Jersey countryside. When she started looking for inspiration on Pinterest, she found herself pinning one image after another from the same Scandinavian designer. Piqued, she sent her an email. The designer, Jessica Vedel, was in London, but was intrigued by the opportunity. Jessica flew to New York and the rest, as we say, is history.

Jessica’s style is highly influenced by light and organic colors and materials. She prefers understated luxury with a discerning eye to detail and she has a studied knack for blending vintage items with modern design pieces. She’s fond of saying that good design is grounded in sustainability and quality. When we sat down with her, she reminisced about how, as a child, she’d save up her money to buy a single, quality item, as opposed to a handful of tchotchkes. Especially in New York, we love the less is more mentality, and we were thrilled when Jessica offered to weigh in on design for our readers on the site.

In her first column this month, she’s giving us a New Year’s makeover for our apartments—and yours. Get her top 10 tips for redoing your rental below:

Detox your home
1. Detox your home

First thing’s first, do a proper clear out. Removing clutter and rearranging your furniture will immediately create a new energy and look to your room. Don’t be afraid to try multiple ideas in order to find the perfect layout.

Group your smaller items
2. Group your smaller items

When you dress your room, don’t just spread everything out, but create ‘stilleben’ moments around your home. That way, you can still have decorative items without them turning to clutter.

Use fresh flowers
3. Use fresh flowers

Fresh flowers brighten up your living room, dining room, really any room! Choose colors you love that go with the color scheme in your home. Try a big bouquet, a small grouping or even just a single flower in a beautiful vase.

Upgrade your linens
4. Upgrade your linens

New bedding is a quick and easy way to give your bedroom that luxurious hotel feeling. When dressing your bed, add two extra pillows. It will look great and feel great when sitting in bed reading a book before going to sleep.

Make an art installation
5. Make an art installation

Create a personal and eye-catching feature in your living, dining or bedroom. Paint a single wall a striking color, then add frames of different shapes and sizes. You could also use all the same frames for a look that’s less ‘busy.’ Add gorgeous art and you have your masterpiece. (P.S., great art doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Some of my favorite sources for affordable art are the Affordable Art Fair, The Art Students League of New York and Housingworks.)

DIY Leather Pull
6. Update your kitchen cabinets with leather pulls

Cabinet hardware is easy to change and the leather adds a lovely texture that will warm up the allover look of your kitchen. You can buy the pulls in many different colors and shapes, but you can also jump into a perfect little DIY project and do them yourself (it’s not as difficult as it looks!).

Get some sparkle over your dining table

7. Get some sparkle over your dining table

Great lighting creates a cozy and welcoming feeling and is also something that really dresses up a room. There are beautiful lamps for every budget.

Use paint and wallpaper liberally
8. Use paint and wallpaper liberally

Be bold with color and do a feature wall or paint or wallpaper an entire room. Paint is the easiest—and also the easiest to bring back to neutral, instead of removing wallpaper. The color you decide on can be reinforced with new cushions, throws and artwork.

Make a reading corner
9. Make a reading corner

A reading corner is a great place to relax, have your morning tea or coffee, or work on your laptop. You can treat it almost as its own little room. Add a floor lamp and dress the chair with extra throws and cushions. If your room has a small corner, you can make a built-in seat or, if your window is wide enough, a window seat. Some of my favorite sources for furniture are ABC Carpet & Home, Crate & Barrel and 1stdibs.

Use cushions to add color and texture

10. Use cushions to add color and texture

Go for different colors and patterns to dress your room up or down. When you decorate a room, it is important to use varying surfaces and textures to make the space come alive and play to all of your senses, which will make the room feel warm and inviting.