Home improvement projects can not only be fun, but they add value to your home as well. Whether you’ve decided to add improvements to your home before it goes on the market or are planning improvements to your new home, here are some creative ways to add sparkle.
1. Window Treatments
Because windows are such a focal point, it pays to decorate them. It’s amazing what a simple curtain or valance can do to change the atmosphere of a room.
Your bedroom can be transformed
with sumptuous drapery fabrics. A
kitchen can become a country charmer or sleek and modern with the addition of
the appropriate window treatments.
Walk through your local fabric store to find fabrics that suit your decorating taste. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, all the better. Simple curtains and drapes are easy to make (check out this YouTube video walk-through) and will save you a lot of money.
2. Paint and Wallpaper
Painting a room not only adds an air of freshness but can serve as a backdrop for your decorating ideas. If your home is on the market, your color choices are limited as its best to stick to neutral colors.
If the home is one in which you
plan to stay for some time, don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite
TIP: If you are decorating your home because
you’ll be selling it, stay away from wallpaper. Patterns are a matter of
personal taste. If you currently have wallpaper in the home it will need to be
stripped and the walls painted.
3. Area Rugs
Area rugs are so versatile. Use them to accent a seating area or to add color, texture and a hint of personality to a room. Area rugs can also be used to delineate “zones” within a room.
There are “rules” about the size and placement of area rugs to get the most impact. LampsPlus offers a tutorial at YouTube and find additional tips at PotteryBarn.com and HGTV.com.
New furniture, such as a sofa or other seating, can dramatically change the look of your living room. If there’s no room in the budget for new furniture, gently used items are widely available both online and at consignment stores.
If you’re budget is really squeezed visit a thrift store, such as Salvation Army. Sometimes you can find pieces that can be slip-covered.
5. Rearrange Existing Furniture
Find the focal point of your room, usually an interesting architectural element, a fireplace or a view from the window. No, the television is not a focal point. Then, rearrange your furniture to take advantage of the focal point.
Learn more about decorating around a room’s focal point at RedHouseStaging.com, FreshHome.com and TheCasaCollective.com.
6. Fun with room functions
It isn’t written in stone that a bedroom has to be a bedroom. If you don’t need a guest room or already have one, why not transform a bedroom that isn’t being used into an office, a gym, a library or even a theater room?
A formal dining room that never gets used can easily become a family room.
7. Bedroom Linens
Bedrooms can be so much more than repositories for a weary body after a hard day’s work. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to come home to an oasis in the middle of a hectic world?
Bedroom linens are the first step in creating this relaxing atmosphere. From comforters and duvet covers with matching bolsters and pillows to bedspreads with dust ruffles, your bedroom can easily be transformed into your refuge.
Lighting is one of the decorating items most overlooked by many homeowners. Reading lamps, floor lamps and under-cabinet mounted strip lighting can all add beauty and function to your home.
Large or unusual lighting can
also become a room’s focal point.
TIP: If you’re redecorating to sell the home, add more lighting. You can never have too much when a home is on the market.
If a piece of art speaks to you,
if you enjoy looking at it, then buy it. It doesn’t matter if it’s an
inexpensive reproduction or an expensive original, art is a personal
Art is fun, too. Groupings of small photos or paintings can
enliven any wall. Large pieces over a sofa can enhance the atmosphere in your
The trick to hanging art work,
even groupings, is to place it so that the center of the piece is at eye level.
And, don’t limit yourself to using only photos and paintings on the walls. Artwork can be anything from antique plates to your grandmother’s handmade quilt. Mirrors, in groupings or one dramatic piece can make a room appear larger.
10. A touch of the outdoors
Houseplants add color, texture and charm to a home’s interior. Some even help keep the air clean, according to NASA.
You’ll find houseplants that thrive
on neglect and some that will bloom even in dark, shady corners. Yes, there are
the divas of the plant world – those that require exacting care but will pay
you back with amazing beauty.
MiracleGro.com and BHG.com offer tips on how to choose the right plant for your home and Gardenologist.org offers a brilliant list of “80 Pet-Safe Houseplants.”