Whether you’ve become the family’s favourite Zoom host or you’re gearing up for gatherings with your quaranteam pod, adding a few updates to your space will reinvigorate your entertaining style and impress your guests. The best news? The updates we’ve gathered here are all inexpensive but deliver a big payoff. So grab that to-do list and get to it!
One of the biggest improvements you can make to the feel of your home, both online and in-person, is in the lighting. An outdated, orange-tinted glow will make it hard for your friends to see you on Zoom and make your in-person family feel less energetic than usual. Switch your overhead lights to daylight-style bulbs, and you’ll immediately notice a difference. Your party will pop with this change in ambiance!
Fresh (or Faux!) Flowers
Don’t fresh flowers instantly brighten a room? Whether you’re on Zoom or hosting your quaranteam for a small gathering, having fresh flowers strategically placed is an inexpensive way to make the room feel vibrant and clean – for a Zoom call, make sure to place the flowers in the background so that they don’t appear to be growing out of your head! Can’t afford fresh flowers or don’t want to deal with the mess they leave behind? The good news is that these days, faux versions look incredibly real, and despite their sometimes higher initial cost, they’ll last you for years and years. This roundup has some of the best faux spring flowers available; grab a few varieties so that you can rotate and make your guests think you’ve been flower picking in your free time.
If your Zoom background is looking a bit dull lately, then one of the easiest ways to freshen it up is framed art. Similarly, adding framed art around your house in strategic locations can add character and interest to your home that your guests will immediately notice. If you’re on a budget, think small – instead of buying a large original piece for a wall, purchase a small print from a local artist and refurbish a garage sale frame. Then, add this artwork to the wall surrounded by other smaller objects (think a small wreath, hanging dried herbs, a small mirror, etc.). The original art will be the focal point, but it didn’t set you back hundreds of dollars. If you’re looking for an even smaller scale, create your own images in the colour/seasonal pattern you’d like, print at home, then frame with refurbished items. You can create a vignette of these pieces on a mantel, table, or bathroom wall!
Photo: SteveCash via gettyimages.com
One of the easiest ways to refresh outdated furniture and cabinetry is by updating the hardware. New drawer pulls, knobs, and hinges can change the look of a piece without any paint or demolition. Consider updating the hardware throughout your entire home at the same time to create a unified look; even with the kitchen, two baths, and various furniture pieces, you’ll still come in well under a modest budget. If you have different styles or colour schemes throughout your home, choose one trait to carry through everywhere for consistency. Your space will automatically look more refined and polished with this simple upgrade. Check out this extensive collection of cabinet pulls and hardware, where you can easily sort by finish, colour, shape, and price.
Everyone knows that curb appeal is important, but what if you can’t afford new landscaping or exterior paint? For an inexpensive but noticeable upgrade, consider updating your welcome mat. While it may not get a lot of use these days, visitors will immediately notice a clean and inviting front mat (and the delivery drivers won’t mind a fresh space, either!). For an added bit of fun, try one of these interchangeable mats so that you can decorate your front step for any season.
Snack and Appetizer Trays
Nothing impresses your guests more than having specialized items for everyday activities – enter the snack tray! Instead of attending your Zoom family game night with the box of crackers balanced on your lap, take the extra time to organize your snacks and drinks on fun serving trays or plates. These wine appetizer plates are a sophisticated way to show off your elevated food game during a Zoom call or impress your in-person guests with their own easy spot for a drink and a nosh. If you have an assortment of appetizers or treats for the event, use this 3-tiered tray that collapses down for storage later; your food will be on beautiful display, and your guests will be impressed with (what they can only assume is) your extensive collection of hosting tools.
Whether you’re updating your Zoom room or freshening up your hall bath, these tips will let you affordably and easily impress your guests!