By Nancy Schiller, a certified floral designer experienced in staging homes for sale.

    Are you looking for innovative ways to make tired rooms sparkle and pop? In a weekend you can make a few simple changes that will dramatically refresh your decor. Give your home a lift with the following fun do-it-yourself ideas!


    Is your living room sofa looking a little blah? Choose a vibrant color like hot pink or orange and add a few throw pillows, a vase, candle, picture frame or lamp shade in that color to bring instant excitement to your living room.


    If you have raised panel interior doors in your home, paint a stripe of gold or silver paint in the crevice around the raised panels for a luxurious accent. Select the color that matches the doorknobs.


    Do you want to create a more formal look in your dining room? Put up a chair rail of decorative molding. On the bottom, place painter’s tape in a vertically striped pattern. The width of the stripes is up to you. Using a vibrant color like purple or blue, paint every other stripe. Paint the odd stripes gold, silver, or a lighter shade of your first color to create a rich contrast. Paint the walls above the chair rail in the lighter shade of the first color. The effect is regal!


    So, you finally decide to get rid of the shag carpet, and what do you find beneath it? Unsightly hardwood floors stained with paint, water and who knows what else. If sanding and re-finishing are not your idea of fun, consider painting them. Go to your home center and consult a professional about the proper paint and topcoat you’ll need for long wear. Use painter’s tape to mark off an interesting pattern and do an edge boarder of a contrasting color. Or, be really adventurous and tape off a mock parquet.


    So, you’ve been reading our blog and you now have your plants beautifully corralled in a lovely plant stand by a sunny window. The problem is that the pots are a hodgepodge of plastics and terra cottas in assorted condition. Buy some tempera paint at your local craft store in a couple of colors that complement your room. Paint one a solid color, one with a stripe around the rim, etc. For the others you’ll need Mod Podge™ and newspaper or giftwrap. Strips of paper adhere to the flowerpots and finish with a sheer coat for a stylish collage. Now your plants are an artistic focal point!


    Modern day dining tables aren’t always a formal affair. Mine has four chairs that resemble those I sat on in grade school. If you want to dress up your dining room set, purchase two upholstered, armless chairs in a pattern you love and set them at the ends. Polish the surface of your table to a glossy sheen and add a decorative table runner down the middle. If the tabletop is marred beyond recognition, consider painting it a high or semi-gloss black or dark brown. Place a pretty bowl of lemons and limes, oranges or polished red and green apples in the center for understated elegance.


    An uncluttered home that is sparsely decorated appeals to our sense of sophistication. But what do we do with all of the knickknacks we’ve accumulated and really want to keep? Try grouping them in eye-catching displays. Seashells can be placed in a tall clear jar with a lid and placed in an entryway. Figurines can be clustered on a platter and placed on a dining room sideboard. Thimbles, marbles and gemstones can be placed in bowls or cups. You’ll elevate your treasures to artistic heights when you display them in chic arrangements.


    For a touch of class, create interesting candle arrangements. Get some decorative clear or colored stones at the craft store. Find a pretty plate and nestle several candles of the same color, but different heights, in the stones, for a coffee table accent. Choose a color that will pop as an accent, or coordinate with your existing color scheme.

    Have fun dressing up your home, and remember, the changes that last are the ones that don’t disrupt your style, but enhance it! Happy decorating!






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