Sunday, February 24, 2008

10 Tips to Give a Room an Inexpensive Facelift

Decorating a room in your home does not need to be expensive or difficult. Often you can achieve fantastic design results by spending a small amount of money on items that make a big difference, or by using items you already own.

1. Paint will lead to the most dramatic difference and "bang for your buck" for your home. New paint automatically gives a room a fresh look for very little money. If you are willing to do the work yourself, then there are even more savings.

2. Try rearranging your furniture. Look at different configurations that add space to the area. Many times people get so used to one room as it is and they forget to try the easy fixes.

3. Bring in pieces of furniture or other items from other rooms. Or if a room is crowded, take some pieces out. This is virtually cost-free and can make a huge difference in a room's design. A little imagination goes a long way here.

4. Adding or changing curtains creates a great look and pulls a room together. Use fabric that will fit in with the rest of the room's decor.

5. Using a blanket or sheet to cover a sofa or chair is a quick and inexpensive way to dress up old worn furniture.

6. Buy tablecloths to fit over end tables or other tables in a room. They are inexpensive and you can decorate for any number of seasonal or holiday themes.

7. Try using different lighting to change the setting and bring a certain ambiance to a room. Sometimes just moving a light fixture to a different location in a room makes a big difference.

8. Use plants to decorate a room. Bringing in plants is always a great way to add a sense of newness to a space.

9. Add some art and pictures to the walls. Sometimes something as simple as a photo that is blown up and put into an old picture frame creates a very beautiful look.

10. Bring in an area rug to change up the room. Try laying the rug at different angles for a look that is out of the ordinary.

By using your imagination and using some of these decorating tips, it might appear like you spent a fortune and put a huge amount of work into the decor. But sometimes the best designs are the simplest and least expensive.

Kitchen Window Makeovers You Can Do in an Hour

If you're like me, the window over the kitchen sink is one of the least decorated areas of the kitchen. Maybe you have some plants there, or pottery. But, have you ever really looked at the space and thought of doing a kitchen window makeover?

To help you makeover that neglected kitchen window, here are some easy ideas that will take you less than an hour.

There are usually three parts to the window area that you can makeover. Those are the walls and counters, the window itself, and the cabinets and headers surrounding the window.

The walls around the window and the sink counter area are perfect places to add small details that will enhance your overall decor.

If you have some extra wall space, add small pictures that complement the other artwork in your kitchen area. You can also add small tiles, or wallpaper cut outs and borders. The trick here is to make them small enough that they don't overwhelm the space.

For the counter area, baskets, pottery, and plants work well. If you use this area to store sink stoppers and other small items, placing them in baskets will hide the clutter. Add other coordinating baskets to the rest of the kitchen area, and your decor will all blend perfectly. If you use pottery or plants, match your existing decor. This will carry the look through your entire space, rather than leaving the sink and window area out.

Now let's move on to the actual window. Today, there are many new products available to change and enhance your window. You can buy plastic cling for your windows, which can change the color, or make it look like stained or frosted glass. These are also available as cutouts. This type of product is easy to install, and can change your window to better match your decor.

If you like sun catchers, buy sets of coordinating sun catches and hang them on the window with plastic hooks. There are also sun catchers that you mount to the window frame, which can add a nice touch.

The last part of your window to look at is the cabinets and window headers. If your cabinets are close to the window, you can add decorative hooks, tiles, wallpaper, even pictures to the sides of the cabinets. Just be sure to use the right size nail or screw so you can't see the end inside the cabinet.

Window headers can either be wood, and connect the cabinets, or be in the form of curtains or valnces. If your window is enclosed with cabinets and a wooden header, you can add fabric to the header to simulate a curtain valance. This wooden header is also a good place to add hooks and hang wind chimes or sun catchers.

If you already have curtains, changing the curtains is one of the easiest ways to update your kitchen decor. For a quick update, add a beaded trim to the bottom of the curtains, iron on some fun appliqu├ęs, or add a sheer panel.

No matter what type of kitchen window you have, adding new decorative elements is a great way to update your kitchen.