September 28, 2010

Inexpensive Changes for High Impact

Unless you’re professionally redecorating or buying furniture, a big visual change in a room can be achieved relatively inexpensively. Here’s some low budget yet big impact changes that are easy:
  • Paint! It is by far the easiest, biggest, quickest, and often cheapest change that you can make in a room.
    • I use Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint (it has the primer already built in, saving time and money). It’s a little more expensive up front, but you save time and money in the long run.
    • Don’t be afraid of using a bold color- if used properly it can be the focal point of the room and add drama and interest. If the color doesn’t work, the worst case scenario is you have to buy another gallon of paint.
    • Paint the woodwork. White trim, baseboards, and cabinets are popular right now, and most likely will be for a long time since the look is so classic. If you don’t like the color of your wood (or the shape that it’s in!) painting the woodwork immediately updates a space. Make sure to use an oil based primer, or the stain bleeds through.
    • Paint a piece of wood furniture. It’s amazing how a coat of white or black (or another color!) of paint can update a wooden piece. Look for pieces that have “good bones” or a classic shape and details.
  • Hang your pictures. Bare walls tend to look unfinished and unpolished, so try grouping frames together on a wall to create a gallery as a focal point. Some tips:
    • Use all the same frames (ie. black frames with white mats) for a cohesive look
    • Use different frames, but have a theme for the pictures (ie. black and white photos, old family pictures)
    • Fit the frame (or the group of frames) to the space. A small picture frame will look out of place on an expansive wall, but a large picture frame or a grouping of pictures will fill up the space much better. The opposite applies with a small space.
    • Change up your artwork. Switching out art and pictures from wall frames is an easy and cheap update.
  • Create or utilize a focal point. If you’re lucky enough to have one in your room, play it up! Windows and fire places are great ones. Photo galleries and wall art can work too.
  • Change up the curtains. This can make a huge impact in a room! Curtains are an inexpensive way to add color, texture, and softness to a room. JCPennys has a big window coverings department with a lot of reasonably priced options. If you’re looking for something even cheaper, Burlington Coat Factory has curtain panels for $7.99 each.
  • Consider lighting. It can change the mood of a room and create the look of either more of less space (which ever you’re going for). Add in a new lamp, or add in puck lights to highlight spaces or for task lighting (ie. my husband put them under our kitchen cabinets and also in a bookcase to showcase a picture gallery).
  • Change the furniture arrangement. By far the cheapest option:)
  • Add accessories. This is one of the biggest changes that you can make that makes the room look finished.If you want to change the look or mood of a room quickly without the mess of paint, changing the accessories works well. Some ideas:
    • Pillar candles
    • Woven baskets
    • Throw pillows
    • Stacks of books
    • Picture frames
    • Fresh flowers
    • Wall mirror
    • New curtains
    • Update table and floor lamps
That’s it, happy decorating!

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