If the rooms within your view could use a lift, here are ten great ideas for decorating that won’t break the bank. They touch on windows treatments, furniture, paint colors and more. You don’t need a home equity loan with savvy shopping and planning!
- Rearrange your furniture. With the change in seasons, it’s a perfect time to reorient your furniture. Don’t make the fireplace the focal point in a living or family room. Turn the sofa to face a beautiful outdoor view. If your furniture hasn’t moved in years, rethink that arrangement. Pull it away from the wall. Let the traffic walk around the outside instead of through your furniture groupings.
- Work with a design consultant for an hour or two. This is actually quite affordable. Bringing a designer into your home for a consultation helps you see decorating options in a whole new light, and develop a coordinated plan you can implement over time. They can advise on custom window treatments, furniture salvation, color options and more-often for as little as a $75 fee.
- Decorate in phases-but have a plan. The whole room doesn’t have to be finished all at once. Start with the most important elements this year-a new sofa, for example, or a new upholstered bed. Then add custom window treatments next year, custom bedding or side chairs the third year. Know the basic plan so that you don’t get sidetracked along the way.
- Pillows at play. Use existing pillows and add new covers in new colors. Replace lots of little pillows with 2-3 larger pillows-at least 18 inches in size. If your pillows match the sofa, new coordinating custom pillows can give it a whole new look. Changing pillows in a room is an inexpensive redecorating trick used by the pros!
- Slipcovers can be major makeovers. A tired piece of furniture can be slipcovered for less than the cost of reupholstery. A slipcover is like a new dress for your furniture-it won’t change anything inside, so it’s not appropriate for furniture that needs new cushions or springs retied. Slipcovers can be made to fit like a glove, or in a more relaxed style, depending on your style. Slipcovers can be seasonal or not-and can be used until it’s time to reupholster.
- Rearrange your art. How long have the same paintings or prints hung in the same place? Even museums rotate their art and freshen their rooms to keep visitors interested. Invite a friend over who has a great eye and have a hanging party to re-do your art and artifacts. Create gallery walls and get framed photos off tabletops to de-clutter.
- Create a bed for the way you live. How do you use your bed? Do you read at night? Do you work in bed? Then you need great shams for back support, in addition to bed pillows. Shams and pillows can be boxed and stacked horizontally on the bed for a more modern look. Want two looks for the price of one? Custom bedding allows you to switch out a coverlet or duvet, using one on the top and one folded at the bottom of the bed, depending on the season. Use a different color palette on the reverse side and your bed will always looks fresh and new. If a dog shares your bedroom, consider a stylish dog bed coordinated to your room décor, or a slipcover for a dog bed that has seen better days.
- Let the sunshine in. In warmer weather sheers or textured blinds can lift your spirits and welcome in the summer breeze. Sheers come in a wide variety of patterns, textures and colors these days-there’s nothing boring about your choices today at a good home decorating fabric store.
- Retire some accessories for spring and summer. Send some of your art, accessories or framed photos on a summer vacation. Lighten up your mantle, your coffee table, your display shelves and tabletops. The room will feel different.
- Paint has a lot of impact for not a lot of money. You need not repaint the whole room. Take one wall and paint it an accent color that will add a striking visual note. For example, a room in Linen White might have an accent wall in soft kiwi green…a milky mocha color…or a warm coral. Use a color that speaks to the other furnishings or art in the room, or coordinate with new pillows for a totally fresh look.
- Finally, good quality furnishings are the best value over time. Yes, a custom sofa with eight-way hand-tied springs costs more than one from a big box store. But cheap furniture isn’t worth reupholstering and ends up in a landfill in five years. Quality custom furniture may cost more initially, but it is less expensive decade after decade.
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