Tips and tricks for a stylish new look

When you look around your home, you may find yourself feeling like your furniture and decorations look a little dated or dull. Luckily, there are ways to create a fresh look without breaking the bank. Here are a few times to help give your home a whole new look for less.

homedecor3Paint your furniture. This trend has come and gone and come around again — which is excellent news if you’re looking to refresh your décor without splurging on a full room of new furniture. Several styles of painted furniture are currently popular — the weathered look, matte finishes, ceruse style — so there's something to fit every personality. Opt for an ever-popular gray or muted hue or you can be bold and go for something a little brighter.

Toss the vertical blinds. The dated window dressings offer privacy without much style. Your windows should add to the beauty of your room, and when you ignore your windows, the room will feel dull and uninviting. Look for elegant fabrics in solids or prints that complement the colors and styles in the room. Another popular choice is bamboo shades, which add texture.

Mix patterns. This idea used to be a strict no-no, and while it’s become a popular design idea, there are still a few tricks to make it work. First, use patterns of various sizes — using a large pattern, medium pattern and small pattern will make it easier to bring them together in one space without conflict. And stick to odd numbers of patterns. For example, rather than two or four different patterns, use three or five. Be sure to balance the patterns throughout the room rather than cramming them all in one area.

Navy is cool. And we’re not just talking about its undertone. Navy is one of the most popular colors right now. For larger rooms, you could paint the entire room navy; in smaller rooms, paint window casings and doors in navy and perhaps a single wall.

homedecor5Combine styles. Gone are the days when everything in a room had to be of a single style. Today, people are combining two or three of their favorite styles to create a unique sense of character. You just have to choose the right pieces from different styles that complement each other.

Minimal is more. Decor is important to any room. It adds personality and creates intrigue. But an overdone room can feel overwhelming, and it makes it difficult to notice anything. A few scattered pieces that create focal points is a better approach.

Mix up your furniture. Nothing is more boring than a living room full of matched seating. Create contrast with complementary colors and patterns. If your sofa is solid beige, try adding a chair with a red, beige and brown pattern.


Avoid “fast furniture.” The era of throwing together a room full of cheap, disposable furniture is over. Instead, invest in quality pieces that will last and add value to a room. If the cost of new furniture isn't in your budget, keep an eye on Craigslist and estate sales for like-new pieces at a fraction of the price.

Mix metallics. People often use only gold or silver tones in a room. But combining the two can be very attractive.

Add plenty of texture. Modern and contemporary are both very “in.” But too much makes for a dull, sterile look. Solve that problem by adding texture, which creates dimension and makes a room more interesting. Dress up your sofa with tufted or fur pillows, add a few display objects with rough finishes, and put down a shag rug over the hardwood floor. And don't forget to bring in natural elements with a couple of plants or a stack of logs near the fireplace.


Mix your tableware. This is a great way to save money while adding interest to your table. You could choose one pattern for your dinner plates and another for your salad plates and yet another for bowls — making sure they all complement each other, of course. Or you could opt for several different place settings, each in different colors and patterns. You can often find cute patterns and styles at a discount at thrift stores or estate sales, or on sale at department stores.

Use the right size art for your wall. When choosing art, it should be proportionate to the size of your wall. Large pieces go on large wall spaces and small works go in small areas. And make sure to hang your art at the right height. An average height person's head should come to the center of the art piece.


Add height to your room. Make your ceiling seem higher by choosing a ceiling paint color that’s at least a shade or two lighter than the color on the walls. Short furniture also will add a feeling of height to the room. Finally, order extra-long drapes so you can raise your curtain rod 5 to 7 inches above the window casing, naturally pulling the eye upward.