Did you return from your vacation at the beach, or from some exotic destination this summer, only to feel dismay with what you return to? While you are feeling expanded and energetic from your travels, your home and its contents may have remained stagnant.

Spending time away from home has a way of changing your perspective. Big time. Why not make your home feel like that cool place you just found respite at? Even small changes in your living environment— like fresh paint and improved lighting— can make a huge difference in your outlook.

Here are a few tips to help spruce up your home and extend that vacation mood without breaking the bank.

  1. Brighten it up - Regardless of our health, as we age, our eyesight changes. Vision tends to get darker, so it's important to have a brighter environment. Make sure that the light comes from a variety of sources, like overhead lights, eye-level lamps and low-level hallway lighting. Good lighting can truly bring a room to life, making spaces appear more airy, open and welcoming. If your budget allows, replace any dated ceiling fixtures with modern lights. Many local retailers offer consultation on an overall house lighting update and can even offer suggestions on wireless lighting control.
  1. Freshen the Paint - Many people will stop upgrading a home after they've lived there a while. Often, this can result in dull paint that can even change color as it ages, taking on a yellow hue. A fresh paint job can enliven your home and that can, in turn, help improve your mood. If your ceilings are painted the same color as the walls, you may want to consider going white or a lighter shade of the wall color. (The standard technique is to whiten your wall paint with a ratio of 80 percent white to 20 percent color.) White is the most effective color for reflecting color back into the room which is important in rooms with few sources of natural light.
  1. Rearrange the Furniture - A quick switch can dramatically alter the look and feel of a room by changing its flow and focal point. Try swapping a chair from the family room from one you have in a bedroom or change artwork from one room with a mirror from another. Rearranging the direction of your TV viewing and you may see things in a new light. Small changes can have a big impact!
  1. Get organized - Decluttering is a simple way to give a home a makeover, and it's especially important as we age. As the ability to focus becomes a challenge, a busy, cluttered environment exacerbates the challenges we naturally face with focus, mood and behavior. Let go of some of those 'someday' items— the things that you've been saving for future family members. Just because something was important to you doesn't mean it will be important to your grandchildren. This doesn't mean that you have to settle for stark and boring. The key is finding the right mix of interesting and stimulating without being too much.
  1. Think Luxury Hotel Room - Sliding under the covers at a hotel feels so relaxing and decadent, but there's no reason that same feeling can't be replicated at home. A simple bedroom upgrade— with fresh sheets, a new mattress, or a spacious king-size frame— can go a long way in making rest feel more luxurious. Add ambient lighting bedside and streamline accessories. Give your bathroom a spa makeover by investing in fluffy oversized towels. White or lighter colored towels lend and airy, light feel. Add plants to make the room feel more inviting and sophisticated.
  1. Let the sunshine in -The proper window treatments can literally change a person's outlook. The ideal is to let natural light in and be able to peer outside while protecting aging eyes, which might be sensitive to brightness and glare. Rather than opting for all-or nothing coverings – either black-out drapes or something entirely open – find a versatile middle ground. Opt for sheer, something that takes removes the negative effect of glare but still allows you to get some natural light, see outside, and feel like you're part of the world around you.

Give one or two of these tips a try and you may just feel like you've extended your vacation. Who knows – maybe next time you'll even opt for a Staycation!

Specializing in SaddleBrooke, Oro Valley and NW Tucson properties, Realtor Beth Fedor also serves on the board of SaddleBrooke Community Outreach, where she co-chairs the annual SaddleBrooke Remodeled Home Tour. She is the former communications director for Pusch Ridge Christian Academy K-12, and a prior TV advertising account executive with KVOA and KGUN. A forty-year resident of Tucson since college days, Beth is a proud Wildcat and a passionate part-time sailor. Email: beth@makeyourmovematter.com.

Subscribe to stay connected to Tucson. A subscription helps you access more of the local stories that keep you connected to the community.