Small Changes to Improve Existing Rooms
1. Consider adding wallpaper to a room that needs a little perk up. You can also use wall-border, which is much less expensive, to decorate the lower or upper sides of a wall. Alternately, you can create boarders by painting or stenciling designs on your walls, or by removing existing boarders to give a room a new look or feel.
2. Find some mirrors and place them in locations in your home where they reflect light. This will make the room you place the mirrors in appear larger. Your home will also seem as if it receives more sunlight. Do not place mirrors throughout your home in areas where they detract from the room’s appearance, or in places where they reflect unattractive objects (like your garage or driveway) unless you really want this.
3. Try restoring old furniture or antiques rather than buying new furniture, which may be expensive, but not nearly as valuable as your used item. You can do this inexpensively with the help of a local Home Depot or home improvement store. You may need to sand and finish, then stain a dresser for example, to improve its appearance. In cases where you need to cover water stains, you may consider placing a strategically positioned crocheted cloth or other decorative item, such as a lamp.
4. Cover stains up rather than re-carpet your home. You do not have to hire a stain removal specialist to improve the appearance of your carpet. So many people have stains on their carpet, and most find a way to decorate over them without spending a fortune. Let’s face it. Often times, once a stain is there, it is hard to get rid of, no matter how much you wash it. You may wash it so that it appears to go away, only to find it reappears a few weeks later. Fortunately, no stain is impossible to hide. And hide it you will IF you want to save money. Most bargain interior decorator’s tactfully use furniture and throw rugs to cover up hard-to-remove stains. If you have young children, buy some inexpensive remnants to place throughout your home so you can easily remove and wash them if they become stained.
5. Try letting more light in your home. If you have curtains, remove them. Try blinds, or try a bare window. Just be sure you keep your window clean. You may want to paint or stencil on the window using paints you can find at any hobby store. This creates the effect of stained glass, without spending the money. Some people find they can use stick on appliqués on a bare window to create the appearance of stained glass. These appliqués are inexpensive, and you can usually find them on the Web. They are a great tool for decorating children’s rooms, as many come in cartoon themes.
6. Consider adding some plants or a small, inexpensive fountain in your home to add a subtle ambience and calming appeal. If you do not have a green thumb, go with something that is easy to grow, and hardy, like a bamboo tree (some believe this even brings prosperity and luck to your home. You do not have to buy a one thousand dollar fountain. Try getting a small yet attractive $15 fountain online. Throw some rocks in it and let it go. You may find you feel more at peace in your home. Fountains are also very useful for improving the ambience of a home office.
7. Use fabrics to help improve the look and feel of tired furnishings. Fabric stores sell beautiful fabrics and slipcovers inexpensively. Far less expensive is it to use a cover or recover an existing sofa than to buy a new one. If you are not handy with a needle and thread, look for slipcovers that can instantly change the look and feel of your sofa (and even hide stains).
8. Try painting one or more of the walls in your room or in many rooms in your home to give your home a fresh start. You can buy paint inexpensively, and you do not have to hire a professional painter to do the work (though you can find some college students handy at painting, that are likely to charge less than “professional” painters). Use light and bright colors for rooms you enjoy during the day, and calming colors like blue or dark green for rooms you want to relax in. Make sure the colors you select match the furniture you have or the upholstery you use in your home. Some people find good painting is all they need to decorate their homes in a new and meaningful way.
9. Try using lamps with no shades, or decorate plain shades you have at home. This will add color and intensity to any room. You can buy colored bulbs that add an interesting look and feel to almost any room, and make any lamp look wonderful instead of lacking when you do not use a shade.
10. Use even more paint to create a mural on a wall or a sponge you dipped in the paint to add texture to a wall’s surface in your home. You can practice this ahead of time by applying the paint to a piece of old wood, or a wall you plan to repaint anyway. There are endless ways to decorate using paint, so give paint a try. Do not simply consider paint as something to use as a cover for an entire wall. Consider it an accessory where plausible. Some people for example, buy inexpensive stencils and decorate the walls of a room in their home by applying paint to the stencils. This is especially fun for a young child’s room or playroom, where you can stencil paint your child’s name, the letters of the alphabet or fun numbers.
Remember, small changes often make a big impression on you and the people visiting your home. Start small, see what you think. If you want to move on, you can.