Jun 15, 2011

Part 2 - Ten more ideas for updating your decor.

Last week I posted a list of ten ideas to update your decor, bring in a new element, or just to re-fresh your rooms.  Some are very simple and some for advanced do-it-yourself fans.  Here are ten more ideas to try for every room in your home. 

1) Add flowers.  There is something about a container of flowers that is refreshing.  Using a single type of bloom - whether they are orchids,  carnations or lilies - makes an elegant statement and really dresses up a room. The container you use, from a glass vase to a ceramic urn, will add to creating a new statement in your space.

2) Make a lighting change.
 I always like to add light to rooms to vary how they feel. A simple candlestick lamp on a small table can brighten a dark corner.  One fabulous floor lamp keeps your tables clear but gives new life to your seating group. How about dropping a pendant over one of your tables? It does require wiring - or a swag cord -  but the effect of lifting light and not cluttering your surfaces is wonderful.

3) Create a focal point.  A new wall color in your room can make a bold or subtle statement and add a great element to the space. How about painting the "L" shape in the entry with a rich color that hints of the accessories that you use in the adjoining rooms? This taupe wall - with its floor mirror - is perfect for the clean lines of this living room.

4) Add detail.  Molding is a quick way to dress up doors, walls, windows and ceilings.  From hardware stores and lumberyards,  moldings are as inexpensive as $0.30 per foot. Creating a framework on a large wall, adding a chair rail to a dining room, and emphasizing a great window or fireplace with trim, will add drama and interest. Beef up the moldings you may have for a richer effect.

5) Blend your colors. For a dramatic change, remove multiple colors from your room by taking away bold pillows, accessories and other large items. Keep the colors remaining similar - even in accessories - for a great new look.  Monochromatic doesn't mean white and you can use shades of the same hue. Take a look at the warmth in this entry -living room in hues of orange-gold. 

6) Store it with finesse. Why have a piece of furniture with one use?  Instead of multiple chairs at a table, add a storage bench with a lift-up lid to tuck in the extra large bowls, napkins, and even summer dishware.  In this eating nook, a storage ottoman is also used as seating and as a tabletop with a tray.  

7) Create drama. In neutral rooms, add vibrant color in small doses.  From a piece of art on the wall, a collection of vases on a tabletop, or a great area rug, change a bland room in minutes. Here the neutral taupe and cream of this kitchen is a great backdrop for the lime green stools, accessories and lighting.

8) Re-purpose your pieces. Have a great old chest in your bedroom that you're tired of? Use it in an entry or hallway with new hardware.  With a coat of crackle paint and an apron added to the tub, this  bathroom was turned cottage chic with an old dresser. Even the top was kept and urethaned to protect from splashes.  Turn an old sewing table into a great powder room piece and add a vessel sink.  How about using the drawers from an old dresser as shelves?  You may have 2 pieces you can put together that will serve as the base for a new table or desk.

9) Bring outdoor elements in.  Plants make wonderful room decor and there are many living varieties that require low-light and little watering. Even a grapevine wreath pr a collection of faux topiary could work. I hesitate to recommend some fake plants since they look fake.  This space used plants in several areas, even as a room divider. They are a wonderful color and soft accent for this small space.

10) Create a new display. Using simple glass containers in a bath or kitchen to display necessities is a great look.  Purchase inexpensive glass apothecary jars for the bath and fill them with cotton balls, soaps, and bath salts.  The right cruet looks nice to hold bath gels. In the kitchen, Mason jars and old jam and jelly jars hold flour, salt, oatmeal, rice, etc.