Whether living in a sprawling mansion or a modest apartment, at some point, most of us develop the “itch” to re-arrange our space and unleash the inner designer. The belief that we are all moonlighting DIY designers is fostered by the relative ease with which our favourite HGTV gurus make the process look. Whether staging a home for a quick sale or renovating it so that homeowners are forced to “Love it” rather than “List it”- the end result is simply fabulous!
While I won’t pretend that we all have the capacity to make such transformations in the blink of an eye, I believe that a few minor changes here and there, can help to glam up our surroundings. The added bonus is when we can do so inexpensively by repurposing existing pieces, rearranging what we already have or purchasing a few knick knacks.
Here are five of my favourite go-to “Drab to Fab” decorating tricks.
1. Create an accent wall
Nothing transforms a room like a pop of colour. For some, orange does it; while for others red is the colour that tickles their fancy. A friend of mine recently built her lovely home, and on walking inside, you don’t have to guess what her favourite colour is. The colour red features practically in almost every room of the home – and it looks anything but gaudy.
For those who are unwilling or unable to have their favourite colour featured so prominently, an accent wall might be just what is needed. This allows one to experiment with colour without the full commitment. So, find an interesting wall in your home – it can be in the living room, a small section by the breakfast bar or even a space under a stairwell. While you are at it, purchase some extra brushes and let it be a family project! The great thing is, when you get tired of it, you can easily cover it over, until you crave another colour fix.
2. Decorate with colourful curtain panels / throw pillows
Some persons love colour, especially when it is found in other people’s homes. They are simply unwilling or unable to commit to bold coloured walls, even if only as accents. So, for those who want colour minus the commitment, a useful substitution is throw pillows. Here is your opportunity to blend, contrast and colour-block to your heart’s content on a budget. Throw pillows, of all sizes and shapes, can often be found on sale at thrift stores as well as in major department stores. When decorating, be sure to experiment with different hues, textures and patterns – mix and match. The best part is that when you are no longer “feeling” those colours, you can change them out, or place them in storage. So what’s keeping you? Go for it!
3. Repurpose a bookshelf
Books feature prominently in most homes and for most bookshelves can be lifesavers. However, there is no reason why we need to substitute style for practicality. A nice way to up the ante in your living room is to repurpose an existing bookshelf with a fresh coat of paint in a contrasting colour. Not fussy about changing the colour? Then how about using abstract wallpaper on the back for contrast. Yellow or turquoise stripes can instantly brighten a drab space. While you are at it, intersperse family portraits and other interesting memorabilia with the books to create interest and tell your family’s story. Who says a bookshelf needs to be only a bookshelf?
4. Spray paint picture frames
I love pictures! I truthfully cannot imagine a home without pictures. For those of you who also feel this way, here’s a tip for you. When you grow out of your black frames or any other colour phase, there is no need to go out and purchase a fresh set. A simple can of spray paint from the hardware store can make the difference. Gold, pewter, pastels, bright colours- you name it – the options are endless! Just be sure to cover the glass with paper and spray away! While you are at it, frame some of your little one’s prized artwork and feature them prominently in public spaces. Not only will they serve as talking points, but this can be a great self-esteem booster for kids.
5. Shift around furniture
Forget Feng shui, the simplest and most inexpensive way to bring glam or revitalise the home is by changing around furniture. Who says that the love-seat must always be against the accent wall and under your favourite piece of artwork? Who says? Maybe if you try it somewhere else you may love it. Do the same for coffee tables, side tables, floor lamps, mirrors and other pieces of furniture. You never know what you may come up with, and you may even create some free space which you never realised you had! Fresh coloured candles, plants, books, pictures and other trinkets, sourced from other parts of the home, are just a few things which can also be used interchangeably. By the way bathrooms are not exempt from these types of minor make-overs.
So the next time you fancy a home make-over, look around, you just may find what you need right at your fingertips or available for a nominal fee. Try it!