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  • Writer's pictureShelby Whitfield

Tiny Tweaks: Easy Projects that Make All the Difference

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

It all started with cabinet hardware.

As I'm now working from my dining table, I have a great view into my kitchen, and the old birdcage knobs on my recently painted cabinets just weren't right anymore. I mean, I was never really a fan. But not being able to escape the tiny household annoyances during work hours means it's finally time to do something about them.

So, it started with cabinet hardware.

And then I saw this photo.

Black laundry room, white marble, traditional home, Elle Decor
Steven Gambrel

Which made me decide to carry my cabinetry paint color (Benjamin Moore's Black Beauty) onto my kitchen trim.

It's still a work in progress, but I'm already in love.

I'm also on the hunt for cafe curtains for my kitchen door and window, another simple way to elevate a look.

Black and White Interior, White Stairs
Benjamin Moore

And then I'll be painting my hallway in one of my holy grail whites- Benjamin Moore's White Dove.

Knowing me, I'll end up painting the rest of the trim in my house in White Dove.

One of the best parts of having a cohesive paint palette is that, since our house is so small, I'm able to rearrange art and accessories throughout the house and they work in any room while keeping a distinct personality for each room. It's an affordable way to refresh things! Coincidentally, this kitchen has my house's entire base color scheme in one space. (I'll owe you a ton of my own house photos once I've wrapped these projects all up).

Duxbury Gray, White Dove, Farmhouse Kitchen
Design by Kate Johns, Photo by Mick Hales

So, another one of those little annoyances that started this spiral lives in my hallway.

I have to see it every time I walk to the bathroom during the day now- I can't sneak past it in the dark anymore.

It's this really odd sconce in a really odd place- it's up high and not centered on the wall.

You can kind of see the crazy in the upper right corner of this listing photo from before we bought the house and repainted it and ripped out the carpet and the even more crazy light fixture behind the column.

Oh! This photo reminds me of another easy change- we swapped the basic doorknobs for some levers that were more appropriate for the Craftsman history of the house.

Anyway- that stupid sconce. My solution is to replace it with a library light, so that the height makes sense, and add some gorgeous art beneath it! Something like these lights above the bookcases, maybe?

And art. Artwork is often an afterthought. Since it's not a need the same way a sofa or dining table is, art is usually the first to get cut from the budget. But I tend to have a broad definition of art- just about anything can be art. I love choosing furniture pieces that are beautiful as standalones, so that not a whole lot of extra "stuff" is needed.

It's one sneaky way I can try to keep my own decorating budget within reason. There's not even a piece of art hung above the mantel in this room, and there doesn't need to be- the furnishings speak for themselves. Each item is simple and sculptural, even the lamp. You can shop your own home again here- think about what simple objects could function as artwork, if artfully arranged.

Traditional interior design, concrete dining table, tapestry
Design by William McLure, Photo by Hector M Sanchez

Wall art still has its place though, (another annoyance I'm currently working to remedy is all my bare walls!) and there are ways to find large pieces affordably: estate sales (I love online sales through vendors like, finding a local artist, becoming your own artist, or maybe even dumpster diving? I mean, maybe not, but designer and artist William McLure (whom I've talked about a million times) FOUND the large piece in his dining room in one!

Happy diving!


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