These quick decorating ideas will take less than a day, yet make your home feel brand new

Spend your time wisely with this pick of the 10 best quick decorating ideas that will transform your home with just a day's labor

a room with a yellow painted stripe
(Image credit: James Bedford. Design: The Vawdrey House)

When it comes to my own home, sometimes I get an itch that only a quick decorating idea can scratch. It often happens when I've spent too long staring at a particular wall in any room – suddenly, I need a change and before you know it I'm embarking on a new DIY project. 

The spontaneity of these projects means two things – one, they don't always necessarily have a 100% success rate, and two, they often rely on what I've already got in my DIY supplies. Regardless, it just goes to show what you can achieve with an idea, a few materials and a whole lot of determination. 

With the days drawing in and the season we spend the most time entertaining in our homes fast approaching, you might not be up for a big project right now, so we've collected 10 of the best, most impactful things you can do in your home right now. They're the perfect weekend project if you're looking to shake things up. 

luke arthur wells
Luke Arthur Wells

Luke is a design writer and award winning blogger, who is know for his creative DIYs shared through his blog and social media accounts. Here, he's picked out some quick and relatively easy projects that will have major impact, but take less than a day. 

Quick decorating ideas to do in a day (or less)

1. Tackle the hallway or entryway

a rainbow painted staircase

(Image credit: Bruce Damonte. Design: Alison Damonte Interiors)

While your first instinct might be to spend time re-decorating your living room at this time of year, a hallway or entryway is a much smaller job, and has the most impact per square foot. It's your home's first impression, for one, while these transitional spaces both afford you to go a little bolder and create spaces the whole family can enjoy. 

This rainbow painted staircase created by interior designer Alison Damonte is an extreme case in point, but helps set the tone for a home that's full of color and character. 'Instead of painting the stairs an obvious choice like white we went for a jumbled rainbow of color that entices you up the stairs,' Alison tells us. 'To make things interesting we mixed up the order of the colors so the palette doesn’t transition traditionally through the spectrum.'

2. Make a new headboard

wavy diy bed

(Image credit: Luke Arthur Wells)

Making your own headboard may sound like a job for the experts, but if you choose a design that's simple to recreate, you can create something effective within a couple of hours. 

I made this headboard, inspired by a beautiful bespoke design found on Pinterest, with just a sheet of MDF, a jigsaw, a roll of fabric, some wadding and a staple gun, while removing this dated oak bed frame original headboard, and painting the rest of the frame black. Super simple, yet transformative for this modern bedroom scheme. 

3. Add a stripe

a room with a yellow painted stripe

(Image credit: James Bedford. Design: The Vawdrey House)

If you're looking for low-effort, high-impact projects, embracing an interesting paint idea is the answer. 'Paint effects can be a good way to change the look and feel of a room on a tight budget,' says interior designer Sophie Chapman, an associate at The Vawdrey House. 'At a recent project where there was little of architectural significance in the room, we added a large yellow stripe to the wall to add a focal backdrop for lovely furniture.'

Yes, it's a bold, eye-catching intervention, but it benefits the room's design, too. 'This helped to guide the eye to the main part of the room and the key items of furniture that we wanted to focus on,' Sophie explains. 'This works especially well in large open plan spaces that need anchoring and defining.'

4. Re-arrange your bookshelves 

a color organized bookshelf

(Image credit: Angus Behm, Squarefoot media. Design: Fernandes Binns Architects)

We all love a good bookshelf right? Books can deliver a beautiful backdrop for our homes, but when it comes to displaying them, taking a more purposeful approach to book organization than by alphabetical order will only improve the look of your home. 

The most impactful way to style your bookshelf? By color coordinating it in a rainbow gradient. 'It creates a rainbow effect which is an effective way to introduce color and pattern to a space using books you already have and love,' says Emma Deterding, founder of Kelling Designs

However, you could also re-arrange thinking about size, by smaller blocks of color, while also contrasting books stacked horizontally and vertically. It's a small detail that will completely change the character bookshelves bring to your home. 

5. Re-hang your curtains 

a bedroom with modern curtains

(Image credit: Wovn Home)

Curtains take such a dominant role in an interior scheme - big vertical pillars that often bookend a room, so ensuring they're sitting pretty is all-important. However, if you've inherited curtains with a home, or they've been hung in a way that makes them not quite the modern window treatment you now have in mind, remedying this can be a relatively quick job. 

Most important, is ensuring that your curtains aren't blocking too much light out from your windows, something that poorly hung curtains often do. 'Always account for room on the sides of your window for the drape "stackback,"' explains Davina Ogilvie, Founder of Wovn Home. 'This is the space to either side of your window that the drapes will occupy when drawn open. Not allowing for enough stackback means that your drapes will block some of the light coming through the window when all the way open.' 

Opting for a longer curtain rod for this reason, while also hanging it higher above your window, will be some of the most transformative things you can do with your window treatments. 

6. Re-arrange your furniture 

a all white living room

(Image credit: Montse Garriga. Design: Patricia Bustos)

Re-arranging your furniture is a job that doesn't require anything, apart from a little heavy lifting, but is probably the idea on this list that will most transform your home, especially when you're looking at something like a small living room layout

While switching over sofas and chairs, or re-positioning larger furniture like a bed, will make the biggest changes (and don't worry you can change it back if you don't like it), even something like swapping over side tables from room to room can be enough to inject some much-needed freshness into your space. 

7. Try this viral lighting hack

a bedroom with a hanging light over a nightstand

(Image credit: Trevor Smith. Design: Tandem Design Interior)

Good lighting makes all the difference, but it's not something we usually consider as a DIY project – after all, installing new lighting is a job best left to a professional. Of course, that takes time, planning and money, so creative DIYers have come up with a way of bringing the extra drama to their rooms that an extra wall sconce or pendant light can provide, with no strings (or in this case wires) attached. 

The answer? Cut the wires of your fixture short, and fix to the wall wherever you want your new light to be. Then, fit your fixture with one of these rechargeable, remote-controlled magic light bulbs from Amazon. Now, you have a new light to round out your room's lighting scheme, with no electrician required. Why not use this idea to add hanging pendant bedroom lighting over your nightstands, as in this project by Tandem Interiors

8. Install LED strip lighting 

led strip lights in a ceiling

(Image credit: Kendall McCaugherty. Design: Searl Lamaster Howe Architects)

Another way rechargeable lighting can be introduced into your home is through strip LED lighting. You can find plenty of LED strip lights on Amazon, both battery-powered, rechargeable or with a mains socket connection, that can be peeled and stuck to surfaces in your home to emulate some of the best designer lightings looks. 

It could be along the back of shelves, under a pelmet, or even as accent lighting for an interesting architectural detail like a ceiling. Of course, it's not quite as good as wired-in LED lights, as you can control those from the main lightswitch and you won't need to re-charge them, or deal with fiddly wires, but spending a little more for smart, app-controlled LED strips will make them almost as good as the real thing. 

9. Re-style your coffee table 

a coffee table in a modern apartment living room

(Image credit: Leyden Lewis Interiors)

Re-styling the coffee table might be something you do on a weekly (if not daily) basis, but if your home has become a little stagnant, you'd be surprised what clearing deck and re-imagining your coffee table decor can do for your space. 

'Playing with contrasting materials and colors can create delicious tension for the eyes,' interior designer Leyden Lewis tells us. 'By placing even just a few bright, bold, solid objects atop a coffee table, the eye is drawn in and centers the room.;  

It can have more of an effect on the surround living room furniture than you might think, too. 'Adding a vertical element to a coffee table can help break up the similar heights of surrounding furniture by drawing the viewer’s eye up,' Leyden suggests. 'This untethers the grounded-ness of the seating and can encourages visual play between the furniture and wall art.' 

Luke Arthur Wells
Freelancer writer

Luke Arthur Wells is a freelance design writer, award-winning interiors blogger and stylist, known for neutral, textural spaces with a luxury twist. He's worked with some of the UK's top design brands, counting the likes of Tom Dixon Studio as regular collaborators and his work has been featured in print and online in publications ranging from Domino Magazine to The Sunday Times. He's a hands-on type of interiors expert too, contributing practical renovation advice and DIY tutorials to a number of magazines, as well as to his own readers and followers via his blog and social media. He might currently be renovating a small Victorian house in England, but he dreams of light, spacious, neutral homes on the West Coast.