Tips on affordable home redecorating

  1. Paint, paint, paint: ALWAYS the least expensive and biggest change you can make is to repaint. From here we can talk about how to choose a color like a pro, current colors (a bright accent wall) and trends (walls, trim and doors all the same color and in some cases even the fireplace surround).

  2. Editing: Take a look around your room. What have you "come to accept" that really shouldn't be there? Is it that overstuffed magazine basket with outdated publications and junk mail?

    Maybe it's that really cheap lamp you've been dragging around since college that has seen better days or grab a couple of boxes and remove every tchotchke and knick knack and then re-accessorize using only half of what you cleared out.

    We are often surprised over just how "lacking in appeal" all of that stuff can be when it's removed from its familiar context.

  3. Create a "focal change-up" by making some new contrasts: Maybe it's an area rug with a bold color and pattern combination where you never had a rug before, or changing-out soft goods accessories (pillows and throws) e.g. if you have an eclectic assortment change things out to be repetitive (patterns and textures to all one color) and vice a versa. Look to stores like Target or CB2 or West Elm for a great and affordable selections that range from modern to traditional in all colors and textures.

    And remember: contrast equals interest (light floors: go for a dark rug, smooth leather sofa: go for pillows with a lot of sculptural texture).

  4. Plants: Don't have any? Get some. Have plants? Are they the right scale, size and shape for their setting or are they o.o.p.'s (objects of pity) that are barely surviving? If you've got great plants, what do their containers look like? Cheap flimsy plastic is easily upgraded to a beautiful ceramic or terra cotta container.

    Don't be lazy. Get real plants and be sure to keep them clean: get them outside once in a while for a breath of fresh air, and if you can, spray them down with a garden hose to wash off dust. Perform a little maintenance now and then by clipping off dead leaves and freshening their soil. Give your plants a polished designer finish by covering the raw dirt with a nice layer of rocks or aquarium gravel (which comes in colors for an added bit of style!)

  5. And finally: THE BIG DESIGNER SECRET TRICK! Now that you've freshened-up the paint, thinned the clutter, created a few new contrasts and added some great plants, it's time to add a couple of indirect "can" up lights in hidden corners or concealed on the top of tall cabinets and armoires. This little designer trick brings instant mood and contrast to any setting.
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