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Bret Alexandra. Photo by Kylie Fitts

Instantly Refresh Your Home With These 10 Things

Local stylist Bret Alexandra shares her favorite items and practices for making a space feel new again.

Bret Alexandra has no shortage of homes to spiff up—the home stylist and model was recently named design manager and head of sales for Denver-based home-staging and retail company Guest House—but that doesn’t mean she neglects her own spaces, which she refreshes, well, all the time. “For me, choosing timeless pieces is key,” she says, “but I’m also an avid believer in constantly moving things around—I rearrange my living room and bedroom probably once a quarter.” Why so often? “There are so many different ways that you can experience a home,” she explains, “and it doesn’t always have to involve buying something new. Sometimes, it’s about getting a new perspective on what you already have.”

1. Courtesy of Meek Modern & Vintage; 2. Courtesy of Public Goods; 3. Courtesy of Alyson Khan; 4. Courtesy of Amazon; 5. courtesy of Acera Liven; 6. Courtesy of The Citizenry; 7. Getty Images; 8. Courtesy of Sheepdog; 9. Courtesy of Broadwick Fibers; 10. Courtesy of Stitch & Shutter.

1. Positive energy. I’m a fan of smudging, which is the holistic practice of burning a bundle of herbs or resins (think: sage or palo santo) to cleanse the energy in a space. I use a cedar and lavender bundle from Meek Modern & Vintage.

2. Sensory treats. Two things that can really refresh a space (and the mind) are scents and sounds. Play some music in the background—I love Marshall’s amp-inspired Acton II Bluetooth speaker—and light a candle (try Public Goods’ Black Currant scented candle) as you enjoy your reimagined space.

3. Meaningful artwork. Art is probably the most personal means of self-expression in the home, and I think it’s important to find pieces that feel like you. I always enjoy works by local artists Alyson Khan, Alexandra Stefanec, and Chloé Besson. If you’re not ready to commit to something new, try reframing pieces you already have and relocating them around the house.

4. A purposeful pause. We often don’t spend enough time in our favorite places at home. For me, it’s important to set aside time to read a book—one of my new favorites is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi—meditate, or do something that brings me joy in my favorite room (my serene bedroom).

5. Fresh inspiration. When a space starts feeling “blah” to me, I’ll spend some time on Pinterest or Instagram, or make an extra effort to notice the shapes, textures, and colors I enjoy in everyday life. Locally, I’m always inspired by visits to home-goods shop Modern Nomad (water bottle at pictured below from the Modern Nomad Home collection).

6. Warm accent colors. I’ve really been leaning into warm tones, like muted reds and oranges, because they can be styled into any season with a new pillow, wall color, or statement piece of furniture. Sun at Six’s white-oak and leather Ten chair and the Citizenry’s handwoven Las Artes pillow are two favorites.

7. Live greenery. I love plants, and adding actual life to a space can really improve the overall good vibes. Even if you aren’t a green thumb, there are options that need little to no light, attention, or care. Easygoing plants that I recommend include pothos, snake plants, succulents, and cacti. Shop local at [Alexandra’s new houseplant business] Plant Shawty, ReRoot, or Rosehouse.

8. De-cluttering. As many of us continue to work from home, it’s easy to let spaces overlap and lose their intended purposes. Even if you have to work from your dining table Monday through Friday, clean up that space at the end of the day or week so you can shift its focus. Beautifully crafted wooden storage crates by Eric Asche of Denver studio Sheepdog make the process more enjoyable.

9. Cozy touches. As we settle into late winter—one when we’ll be home more than usual—make it as cozy as possible. My go-tos: a super-chunky, braided merino-wool throw, hand-knit here in Denver by Broadwick Fibers, and a pot of the Boulder Tea Company’s Tranquility tea.

10. A home for everything—even the little things. I look for storage and display solutions that are both functional and pretty, like Denver maker Stitch & Shutter’s hand-shaped leather trinket bowls or a blanket ladder from Broomfield’s 3rd Thistle.

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