The Dappered Space is a series designed to help guys apply the sense of personal style they’ve developed to the space they inhabit. Watch for articles on furniture and decor sales & picks, advice on how to style a room or work space, and tackling creating a space that reflects your own (and perhaps a significant other’s) personal tastes. We’ll suggest items that can be sourced online, but always keep in mind that deals can be found at consignment and thrift stores, local stores with floor models, discount stores, and even yard sales.
As the seasons change the urge to spruce up the space you inhabit can creep in. This can take the form of some deeper cleaning, but it can also be a sign that it might be time to refresh the aesthetics of your space. It can be changing up what’s on the wall, changing linens, adding a new decorative touch here and there. You can refresh your space very affordably if you look in the right places. Here are some suggestions, and (mostly) affordable picks, on sprucing your space up. (Floating bulb in header photo is the decidedly not cheap FLYTE Royal Levitating Lamp …BUT… a more affordable option is included in #7 below.)
1. Create a wall grouping
- 36″x 24″ Framed Stream Train Wheels Print – $194 (seen above right)
- Record Album Frame – $11.99 (seen lower left, framing this particular album which is $9 on eBay)
- Ceramic Wallscape Planters – $29 to $39
- Mountain Metal Line Wall Art – $49+
- Hand-forged Circle Wall Hook – $16.50+
- Set of 2 Hanging Shelves – $16.50+
- Rectangle Accent Mirror with Metal Frame Shelf – $100
Empty spaces can be underrated, but sometimes filling up that space in an intentional way can create a desired affect. If a single picture hanging on a wall isn’t doing it for you, add to it by creating a grouping. Compliment the picture with other hanging objects. A mirror or two, a planter that attaches to the wall, a small shelf, a decorative hook, a jackalope. All these things can come together in a cohesive fashion to create a well placed grouping, and you might have some interesting objects hanging around your house that would look right a home on a wall.
2. Clean out & organize your drawers
- InterDesign Linus Medium Drawer Organizer Starter Kit – $55.45 (shown above)
- Madesmart Interlocking Drawer Organizer Bins – $12.50
- Royal Casa Bamboo Adjustable Drawer Dividers (4 pack) – $19.99
This might not be something your guests will see, but you see it. Every time you open the drawer. Having a cluttered mess can suck the energy right out of your brain, especially if you have to spend and inordinate amount of time looking for something. Clear out some junk, and make it easier for your brain to find the scotch tape, a paperclip, a spatula or some other kitchen gadget you might need but not use all the time. Opening a drawer to grab a pen should not be an exercise in patience.
3. Add or Swap out a rug
- Iman Black and Ivory 5′ x 7′ Persian Style Washable Area Rug – $119.99 (shown above)
- Nourison Textured Home Modern Indoor Rug – $82.17
- Angora Ivory 8′ x 10′ Medallion Area Rug – $180
- Synthetic Rawhide 6’2″ x 8′ Rug – $203
This will immediately change the look of the space you want to freshen up. Home Depot can be a good source for affordable large rugs, and World Market is a good choice for trendier looks. You can also check your local TJ Maxx/Homegoods store, they typically have very affordable rug options. If you’re looking for a longer lasting option, consider a higher quality wool rug. You’ll pay more, but you should get a lot more life out of it.
4. Upgrade an appliance
- GE Stainless Steel Toaster – $39.99 (shown above)
- Ninja BL610 Professional Countertop Blender – $64.88
- nutribullet Pro 900 – $100
- Cuisinart Perfectemp 14 Cup Programmable Coffee Maker – $99.95
- GreenPan Elite Elite 8-in-1 Programmable 6QT Electric Slow Cooker – $215.54
Are you still working with a flimsy, cheap toaster from college? Perhaps your blender has seen better days. Or maybe your coffee maker was a Rite Aid purchase in a moment of caffeine deprived panic. Any of those appliances that typically sit out on your kitchen counter add visual cues to the room, whether you realize it or not. Upgrading to a cleaner, newer version can completely change the look of a counter. A machine that costs more and is sleeker should last you longer. Also, keep the outside of your appliances wiped down. Caked on gunk can make an otherwise clean space feel kind of grimy.
5. Rearrange a room
Simple, yet effective. Exercise your creativity and change a room up in your home. It’s oddly refreshing to walk into a space that is still familiar because all of the furniture and decor is the same as it was, but the layout is completely different. Don’t let things like where the cable outlet is located stop you from trying a new setup. Get creative.
6. Try some new pillows or pillow covers
- Threshold Washed Cotton Velvet Throw Pillow – $20 (shown above)
- Retro Farmhouse Buffalo Tartan 18×18 Pillow Cover – $7.99
- NordEco Home Corduroy set of 2 Polyester Pillow Cover – $22.99
- Threshold Oversized Blocked Woven Square Throw Pillow – $30
- Black Textured Tweed Throw Pillow Cover – $35+
- Lands’ End Super Soft Euro Square Pillow Sham – $42.95
A striking pillow case/cover can immediately draw a guests eye to it. Plus it can set the tone for a room. Throw pillows can be expensive, but pillow covers, with affordable inserts, won’t break the bank. Just be sure when you shop for covers that you either buy the right size for the pillow you want to cover, or buy pillow inserts if they’re not included. And affordable stuffed pillows do exist out there. Try Target, Ross, or TJ Maxx.
7. Intentionally place an item on an empty tabletop
- FLIKRFIRE The XL Personal Concrete Fireplace – $150 (shown above)
- Saturn Light Globe – $59
- Tabletop Modern Plant Stand – $19.99
- Union Rustic Tabletop Lantern – $45.99
- Tabletop Glass Fireplace – $28+
- Magnetic Levitating Bulb Lamp – $79.99
- Deep Sea Sand Art – $120
- Coffee Table Books – prices vary
One or two well placed objects on an empty table can make quite a statement. It can evoke a sense of beauty, or comfort, or even curiosity. Keeping the tabletop as home base for just one or two things is also important. Because other items will often drift in and out. Books. Glassware. Journals. Your phone. So keep it to one (or two) permanent members anchoring and not overwhelming the table top.
8. Git rid of the things you really don’t want anymore
People are like squirrels. They often like to pack a lot of stuff into their space. This behavior comes from our distant past, when our environment wasn’t saturated with disposable stuff, so when you found something valuable, you kept it around. But now we are inundated with cheap stuff, and it’s fun to buy, so we collect. If you’re feeling kind of overwhelmed by all the stuff you’ve collected, you can apply this exercise to each and every thing. Ask yourself: Do I want it? Have I used it in the past 12 months, or will I use it in the next 12? Does it serve its purpose any longer? (As in do you actually use it?). If you answer no to any of those three questions, part ways with it. Bonus: sell it and make some cash!
9. Add some plants
- Framed Aloe Plant Watercolor – $28.45+ (shown above)
- 4 ft. Dracaena Artificial Plant in Sand Planter – $124.94 (shown above)
- mDesign Mid Century Modern set of 2 Plant Stands – $34.99
- The Novogratz 23″ Artificial Cactus – $32.94
- Flora Bunda Artificial Snake Plant – $38.47
If you tend to kill plants, add some in the form of fake plants, photos, or art. Humans are meant to convene with nature, because we are nature. Having a little of it indoors is relaxing. Get some green in your environment. If you do want to try your hand at a live plant, snake plants are incredibly resilient.
10. Clean up your fridge (both inside and out)
- Neodymium Magnet Hooks (set of 4) – $8.49 (shown above)
- Food & Sh*t Magnetic Grocery List 3 pack – $15.49 (shown above)
- Coach T cereal box cutout – Priceless
- Black Marble Magnets (set of 4) – $10
- Brass Shotgun Shell Magnets (set of 5) – $7.50
- Set Of 8 Refrigerator Pantry Organizer Bins – $25.99
- Acrylic Magnetic Calendar – $44+
Refrigerators have the tendency to become a hot mess, inside and out. Inside gunk gets spilled, old food mysteriously disappears to the back, and things can just get pretty haphazard. On the outside a mish-mash of magnets might be dutifully adhering expired coupons, that picture your 3 year old nephew drew for you, a recipe you tore out of a magazine. That, too, can get haphazard pretty quickly. Getting this mess dialed in and organized can create a whole different feeling approaching your fridge, and opening it up. And who says you have to use the outside of your fridge for random pieces of paper? Attach stuff you actually like to look at. Could be a favorite photo. Could be art. Could be a quote. Could be a cutout of Coach-T from the back of a Cheerios box.
About the Author: Sarah is a long time member of the Dappered team, typically working behind the scenes editing posts, taking some photos, and keeping the books in good standing. Occasionally she’ll come out from behind the curtain to offer her two cents.