60 Minutes to a More Glamourous Home

60 Minutes to a More Glamourous Home | ZenShmen.com
 I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been the kind of person who notices details.  And what I’ve come to learn is this: glamour is in the details.

Oh, and also this:  glamour doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg.  In fact, you can often fake it — even for free!

First, my definition of a glamorous home:

Not opulent, not gaudy.  You don’t need mink-fur throws on the bed and a killer view of the city skyline to have glamour in your home.  Although if those are your kind of thing, more power to you!  (See my parting note at the end).

Glamour, to me, is simplicity.  Good quality, well-chosen pieces that you love (as well as well-loved pieces that you chose).  It’s little details.  It’s a room layout that’s spacious and welcoming and well thought out.  Glamour is a feeling.

So, where do we begin?

The secret is that less is more.

With less stuff lying around the house (even less furniture), your place will immediately seem more spacious, brighter and more contemporary.  What’s not glamorous about that?

Remember, glamour is not about dollars.  It’s an impression.

And as for those glamourous ideas I promised you…  Here are 6 simple things (plus 1!) you can do in under an hour to bring more glamour to your home:

1.  Introduce Some Black

Don’t be scared — in small doses, black is surprisingly palatable.  And quite classy too!  It’s like your room suddenly got ready to go out and put on a coat of rich mascara.

Start small by trying it on lampshades (which you can spray-paint) or if you’re feeling bold, amp up the drama by painting your interior doors.

Here are some black lampshades we have in our bedroom:

Black lamps & chair @ ZenShmen

Here is the inspiration for the hallway door makeover that’s currently underway at our house:


Image via Houzz

More on that project shortly!

2.  Use Symmetry

Things seem like they’re well-planned when they’re perfectly symmetrical.  It looks fancy!  It doesn’t hurt that symmetry is pleasing to the eye and also feels well-balanced and calming.

Try a pair of… anything.

See if you can rearrange the seating in your living room in a symmetrical way — or perhaps, move two bookcases to either side of the fireplace; or put two identical lamps on a console table.  Here are some examples:


Image via Carrie Leber PR

Above: pairs of mirrors, lamps, tables, chairs and couch cushions.  Symmetry done right!


All-white with tiny pops of grey & black.  Image via The Coveteur

Above:  you can never go wrong with black & white!


Image via Marcus Design Inc.

Ok first off, this black dresser is just gorgeous.  So luxe in glossy black!  (See #1).

But then you’ve got the pairs of lamps, artwork on the walls, and white figurines. And as for the use of gold, read on.


3.  Get Rid of Signs of Disrepair and Negligence

If you’ve got a broken coffee table, find a way to fix it or find it a new home.  Same goes for broken lamps, frames, doorknobs, stained rugs, dirty throw pillows on the couch and cat-scratched chairs.

You know what I’m talking about – the things you always apologize for when you have company over, or that just plain drive you nuts every time you see/use them.

The things you surround yourself with and use every day don’t need to be expensive, but they should be clean and in good working order.

4.  Go For the Gold

Touches of gold = immediate glamour.

(The trick is to not go overboard.  We want sophisticated, not Elvis circa 1959.)


I heart Elvis… but no!

Think brushed gold.  Here are a few easy ideas I really like:


  • Try this trick to fancy-up your plain-jane frames:  add gold corners!  Click on the image for the tutorial.
Image via A Thoughtful Place
  • Spray-paint random objects matte gold and, if you so desire, turn them into a collection.


Image via Lucia Pimpinella
Here are a few pretty things I’ve spray-painted gold m’self!
via ZenShmen!


via ZenShmen!
  • Spray-paint a metal shelving unit for an airy and fancier display.


Image via For Chic’s Sake

Note:  I love this Ikea etagere painted gold.  So classy!

5.  Glam Up Your Home’s Entryway

A nice entryway gives the impression of a big refresh of your entire home.  Let’s not kid ourselves:  first impressions always count.

This area needs to stay tidy —  this helps keep the tripping over shoes, boots and schoolbags to a minimum.  (*ahem* note to self)


  • Try making a feature wall with wowie wallpaper (there’s even temporary, non-damaging wallpaper for renters – how cool!) or painting a bold colour.


Temporary Wallpaper by Haute Look

I’m personally eyeing this trellis-pattern temporary wallpaper on sale right now on Amazon.com!  Click the photo for the link and to see other similar items:


York Wallcoverings YS9102 Graphic Trellis
Wallpaper from Amazon

Or try this:  inexpensive big-box store mirrors stacked horizontally.  I just saw these recently for 7.99 each!  This is so sophisticated, easy and modern-looking.  Imagine a wall of mirrors like this when you walk in the front door.  Wowie.


Image via Apartment Therapy

More ideas:

  • Tame clutter by installing nice hooks for your guests’ coats;
  • Keep the area well-lit with a new chandelier (which you can move from elsewhere in the house or pick up second-hand in a thrift-store or online… and paint it.  Hey I know!  Why not gold?!);
  • Find a nice floor mat to catch dirt & debris from the outdoors.  Graphic patterns hide dirt well!

6.  Decorate In Reverse

If you can’t quite put a finger on what bothers you about your place, instead of adding more things, try decorating in reverse by taking everything away.  Take everything out of the room and only put back the pieces and objects that are necessary and/or you absolutely adore.

You may find that a bunch of things don’t work together, or you just have no use for them any longer. It’s okay to let things go as your tastes change.  (There!  I hereby grant you permission to let go!)

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but glamour is too.  What’s truly glamorous is being surrounded only by things you love and make you feel good.


BONUS #7: White flowers.  Always white flowers.

You can’t go wrong with a simple vase and some white flowers.  Literally any kind with a bit of greenery and you’re good to go.


* * * *

“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”   

– Leonardo Da Vinci

I could go on and on, but I promised you ideas that are doable in 60 minutes or less.

If you want a sophisticated-looking home, you’re gonna have to get a ‘cleanin.

With a swift 1-hour decluttering session under your belt, you’ll already feel better about your place.  I promise!!

* * * *

Have any simple & glamorous tricks you want to share?  Please do in the comments below.  We love hearing from you.


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Val Lonergan is the founder of ZenShmen.com, where she shares happiness hacks for purposeful people. To get the ZenShmen cheatsheet to jumpstart your joy - 10 easy things you can do right this minute to hack your way to increased happiness - join the free newsletter.
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