It’s hard to find a silver lining, but if there’s one good thing that’s come from being quarantined, it’s the fact that  we are being forced to slow down, reflect and get reacquainted with our homes. In the past, we would typically spend most of our waking time at school or at work, but since classes and work meetings shifted to a virtual plain, leaving the house seems like a novelty. As a return to normal life is uncertain, now is a great time to create a comforting space in your home.

Many are using their time during the shutdown to work on small, simple home projects. The are ways you can create a better space for yourself without inviting contractors into your home and facing the wrath of coronavirus, and local interior designers offer advice on how to create a happier home on your own.

Taylor Watkins, an interior designer based in downtown Dallas, recommends that we try to get outside for a bit and take a look at the colors and patterns that inspire us individually.

“What textures catch your eye?” Watkins says we should ask ourselves. “What buildings do you enjoy visiting? Maybe take a drive and window shop houses in your city and see what styles you love. That’s a great place to start.”

Most of us aren’t designers, but there are still simple ways we can make our spaces pop. Watkins recommends adding a few plants inside and outside of our homes.

“I opt for fake plants, because I don’t have a green thumb,” Watkins says, “but again, with all the additional free time, it could be fun to find some planters and paint them to match your decor and take the time to plant inside and around your home. It’s an inexpensive solution that can make a huge difference.”

Other home projects don’t require any purchases at all. Interior designer Javier Burkle, owner and founder of Burkle Creative, recommends getting rid of things we don’t need, à la Marie Kondo. He believes this will allow for a more efficient use of spaces within our homes.

“After being at home for longer periods of time, it’s fun to move some furniture around and try to live every space to the fullest.” – Interior designer Javier Burkle

Next, Burkle recommends working on projects like painting and wallpaper.

“This is the time to figure out spaces that are not used every day and turn them into practical areas,” Burkle says. “Also don’t be afraid to do a little DIY and paint a hallway or order some wallpaper and add to a focal wall. After being at home for longer periods of time it’s fun to move some furniture around and try to live every space to the fullest.”

Redecorating is also a good excuse to help local small businesses in dire need of a boost. Dallas shops, artists, galleries and vendors have switched almost entirely to online models.

For Colten Chapman, an interior designer based in the Design District, starting small is key. Chapman recommends that we find a way to make old items fit within our space.

“Don’t be afraid to reinvent old design,” Chapman says. “One of my grandmother’s paintings from the ‘70s is my favorite piece of decor in my home.”

The designer also insists that we be conscious of our home’s color schemes and patterns, explaining that a simple color scheme can affect a home’s entire mood.

“Do little projects like refreshing your bathroom soft goods,” Chapman says. “Try changing color stories by switching out throw pillows or painting an accent wall. Sometimes just changing out colors or patterns can change the entire feeling of a space.”

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