A change of everyday scenery freshens a home and lifts the spirits. These simple, inexpensive decorative changes can work wonders.
Residents occupy a home on an average of seven years before moving elsewhere, and stagnant home decor contributes to the restlessness that drives relocation. Treating a home to frequent small alterations helps to enliven everyday life and satisfy the desire for change.
Revamp the Living Room or Family Room
Most awake time in a household is spent in the living or family room. Simple
changes make these gathering spots more inviting.
- Stuff It: Pillows soften and colorize a room. Changing decorative pillows can
create a dramatic difference in a room’s appearance. Outlet stores like Ross or
Big Lots carry a variety of throw pillows that look and feel more expensive than they are.
- Trim It: Painting a whole room can be a job, but a quart of paint expended for
just the trim is quick and easy. A complementary contrasting color for doorjambs,
windowsills, base boards and around fireplaces can enhance the room. Tinted trim
draws the eye from expansive walls and breathes a welcome freshness into stale areas.
- Reflect It: Decorative mirrors do more than just dress a plain wall. They open
a living space and make it appear larger. They reflect light and make a room appear
brighter. Any favorite picture frame can be transformed into a mirror with a trip to a
glass shop. Or, searching thrift shops and consignment stores may produce a treasure
trove of artistic mirrors at bargain prices.
- Rotate It: Moving furniture can be impossible, but rotating curios and knickknacks is easy. Storing the porcelain birds and substituting a collection of vases or other decorative items creates a significant difference that fosters new focus. Changing incidental items from time to time goes a long way toward keeping a room feeling unique and new again.
Add and Subtract in the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heartbeat of a home. When homebuyers shop, one of the first judgments made is in the kitchen.
- Discarding old curtains, removing rarely used tabletop appliances that clutter counters, chucking old worn kitchen mats and eliminating typical decorative items creates a clean kitchen space ready for updating.
- When turned upside down, short, ornamental flowerbed fences of wood, plastic or iron
make appealing window valances. They can be left in their natural state or painted
to complement the kitchen’s color theme, and they work with or without new curtains
- Large breadboxes effectively hide clutter. Mixing and matching breadboxes that are
capable of holding everything from vitamins to vegetables can transform messy counters
into unblemished workplaces that are pleasing to the eye.
- Kitchen floor mats are inexpensive, and changing them frequently keeps a kitchen fresh. Non-skid mats work well to cover damaged areas of floors, and padded mats placed before the sink and stove give the legs and back a comfort boost.
- Replacing kitchen-themed decorations with those that are non-kitchen inspired can completely transform the room. For the tabletop, a deep glass vase can be a conversation starter when filled with something out of the ordinary. Colorful leaves from the yard pierced onto bamboo skewers and dropped down inside the vase works beautifully for fall. Works of art, framed collages, statues, shadow boxes filled with whatever the imagination can conceive and other non-traditional items will add interesting flavor and depth to any kitchen.
Inspire the Bathroom
Bathrooms are meant to be functional, but they needn’t be utilitarian in appearance.
- Double Up: A quick, inexpensive way to give a bathroom a larger than life alteration is to use two shower curtains. Adding a shower rod along the back wall of the tub/shower area and hanging a beautiful, artistic shower curtain against the wall creates a massive piece of art. It also hides bottles, loofahs and razors. Choosing a solid color front shower curtain that compliments the artistic back curtain enriches the room. (Hint: Spraying the shower curtain with WD-40® and allowing it to dry for a day before using will keep water staining at bay.)
- Green It: There are many plants, like bamboos and ferns, that love the humidity
of a bathroom. Fresh, green plants add style to any room. If the room is windowless
and lighting is an issue, the bathroom can still be “greened” by using artistically covered
grow lights. And if living plants are not just an option, silk ones can be an effective substitute.
- Sparkle It: Nothing says “new” like sparkle. Elbow grease goes a long way toward
a bathroom that suddenly looks remodeled. Calcium buildup deadens fixtures and tile.
Attacking the grunge with a vengeance is one of the simplest ways to affect a “new” bathroom.
The perfect finishing touch is fresh caulking to seal the seams and cracks.
Home decorating doesn't have to break the bank. The two most important
factors in decorating on a budget are imagination and resourcefulness. Both are free.