Lost that feeling of love you once had for your home? All you need to rekindle your love is refresh some of those stagnant rooms you see over and over. We interviewed Virginia Beach interior designer Julia Hetzel, of Julia Hetzel Interiors, who gave us some ideas on how to breathe new life into your old spaces.   

What do you do when you have low ceilings?

Sometimes you walk into a room and the ceilings feel like they are closing in on you. It turns out there are subtle tricks that designers use to make ceilings feel higher. “The key is to always use light and reflections to your advantage,” says Julia. “That’s why finish on a ceiling is so important. My ceiling is about 7’10” so I knew I needed a finish that would reflect more light to make it appear higher.”

Julia used a finish that worked beautifully. “I found a Benjamin Moore finish called Pearl (a finish that is between Eggshell –  typically used on walls, and a Semi-Gloss – typically used for trim and doors). Pearl is a perfect in-between because it has a glossy finish, without having a high-gloss sheen, so it reflects additional light on the ceiling.”

Courtesy of Julia Hetzel Interiors
How do you make a small room seem bigger?

Do you have a room you feel even a ladybug would find too small? According to Julia, there are a couple ways to make a small space feel bigger. The first tip is to use mirrors to your advantage. “Mirrors do one of the most important things in design. They reflect light. This immediately makes a space feel brighter and larger. Place the mirror so that it reflects a window or a lamp – you can put it behind a sofa, over a console table, or, in the case of a small bedroom, you can put it on either side of the bed above the side tables,” says Julia. Another tip is to paint your walls a light color to expand a room and make it feel brighter.

Courtesy of Julia Hetzel Interiors
My kitchen feels dated, what do I do?

So you feel like your kitchen is getting old… An immediate quick fix to a kitchen that feels dated is to paint the cabinets a white or neutral color. Julia recommends Benjamin Moore White Dove (OC-17) as a designer favorite.

Another way to make your kitchen more sophisticated is to update your hardware on your cabinets, doors, and drawers (Lowes and Home Depot have great hardware options). The first thing to consider when looking for new hardware is the metal finish. As a general rule of thumb, designers like to have no more than two metal finishes in a kitchen. Also consider if you want a knob or a pull for your hardware. Knobs and handles are a little more traditional and create a classic look, while pulls have become more popular and create a whimsical, yet sophisticated look. 

Is your room lacking that special “something”?

There are times when you walk in a room and feel like there’s something missing. One way to remedy this is to add warmth to a space with window treatments. “Windows can often be neglected, but adding a little bit of color, texture or fabric to a window can make the room feel whole and cozy.”

Another thing your room may be missing is character. Julia uses old painted pieces of furniture, antiques, or architectural salvaged features as one of her ways to enhance a room. “I have seen corbels used as bookends on a bookshelf, tobacco baskets dressing a wall, an old ladder to hang blankets and towels, or an old wash stand serving as a side table. Have fun and get creative!”

Courtesy of Julia Hetzel Interiors

Don’t despair when you’re feeling underwhelmed about your home. There are always innovative ways to bring back the excitement and make the love feel new again!   

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About the Author:

Chelsea Caplan

Chelsea Caplan is a marketing project manager at Movement Mortgage and contributing author to the Movement Blog. She is known for her sense of style and her positive attitude. She enjoys long walks on the beach, and a great morning devotional. She is a resident sweet tooth and will naturally gravitate toward cookies.