- Add streamlined storage. Easy-to-install shelves make the most of a blank wall, adding storage without blocking light or taking up a lot of room. They are fashioned from two seven-foot aluminum standards ($25 each) and ten 12-inch brackets ($7 each, issdesigns.com). The actual shelves are made from precut oak stair treads ($25 each, homedepot.com for store locations).
- Make a move. Pulling the sofa away from the wall instantly gives the room a focus.
- Fluff it up. Throw pillows are a fast fix for an outdated sofa. Here, the pillows add warmth and texture while lightening the oversize brown couch.
- Accessorize. Pick and choose your knickknacks so they add personality, not clutter. In a modern house like the Benders', simple, sculptural pieces work best.