Freshening up the interior of your home and changing the way it feels need not be an expensive exercise. Here are a few tips that many interior designers and professional stagers recommend for those that are on a tight budget. The great thing is that you can do these yourself.
- Beautify Your Front Door
Give your front door a splash of right color. This will give your entrance an immediate exterior uplift that will make for a cheerful entrance and won’t break the bank. If your home is old, this instantly gives it a modern look without compromising on its character.
Red is a popular color for doors which represents a safe haven in churches and was also used in early America as a sign of welcome to travelers. Orange and yellow have also become popular colors for front doors.
Screen doors are outdated and can be replaced with a storm door. You can substitute its full-length glass with a screened panel.
- Set The Tone With The Right Color Walls
Inexpensive yet effective, a new coat of paint can transform the way your home looks instantly. Neutral colors are the best way to show off your furniture and paintings. Beige and gray on the walls provide a base for flexibility with any later changes to the furniture and accessories. Try and keep to the same color throughout the house, but you can slightly change the tone from one room to the other. For two small rooms adjacent to each other, stick to the same neutral color; this gives the illusion that they are larger.
- Make Your Staircase Impressive
In most houses, the staircase is a central feature of their entrance. But even if it’s not in yours, it still contributes to the overall look of your home and should look pretty. A gallery wall, filled with tastefully arranged prints or photos is very effective. Just make sure that you tie all the photos together by going for the same color frame or similar colors in the prints.
Repainting the walls going up the staircase, wallpapering or adding a wall treatment can also give a tired staircase an instant facelift; while moldings around them is an elegant option, giving them a visual interest that usually needs nothing else.
Decorating the stairs gives them a unique look. The options vary from painting words onto the stairs, painting murals, tile, paint and even wallpaper looks good.
- Balance Your Seating Arrangements
Arrange your furniture in such a way to encourage conversation and intimacy. These groupings are called H-shape when a sofa is directly across two chairs with a coffee table in the middle, or U-shape with a sofa on one side and two chairs facing each other across a coffee table. If your room is small, don’t be tempted to push all the furniture against the wall because it will make the room smaller.
- Dress your windows
The trend has definitely moved away from heavy and dark window coverings. Simple drapes that are functional will allow more natural light in, making your home appear larger and more charming. In rooms that get a lot of sunshine, opt for lighter colored fabrics that won’t fade and look for lightweight cotton, linen and silk blends that hang better than heavier fabrics.
- Mirrors and their special effects
If placed correctly, mirrors can brighten up a room and make it look bigger. Hang them on walls that are at a 90 degree angle to windows and not opposite them, otherwise they don’t have the same effect because the light bounces of the mirrors to the outside. You can even hang more than one mirror on a wall to capture the light and view.
- Balance your artwork
The size of your artwork must be proportional to the size of the wall that it is to be hung. If it’s too small then either group it with other paintings or find another wall for it. Groupings must look as such and pictures must not be too far apart; space them from 2 to 4 inches apart.
Think big when it comes to art. If you have decided to paint an accent wall, it will showcase big artwork perfectly. Artwork must be centered above the furniture below it and the midpoint of artwork should be approximately 60 inches from the floor.
Make sure that pictures are placed at the correct height; the middle of the picture must hang at eye level.
- Give every room effective lighting
Lighting should come from various sources in all the rooms to give you options like illumination or accenting. Use overhead lighting, table lamps and floor lighting. Dimmer switches can help to set the right mood, but also allow you to have brighter lights when needed. Replace tired looking light fittings with modern ones that match the style of your home.
A rule of thumb for living rooms is that every square foot should have at least 3 watts or 42 lumens. Up-lights are often used to make a room appear bigger and can be placed in a corner so that they cast a glow on the ceiling.
- Rugs must be proportional to the room size
If you are going to throw down rugs in a room they have to be centered correctly and proportional to the room size. Living room rugs should define the seating area and ideally all four legs of the furniture grouping should sit on it; or at the very least, the front legs. The right size rug will ground the space and furniture and should be no smaller than 6’x9’. The coffee table should be anchored at the center of the rug and there should be at least 18”between it and the couch and chairs.
- De-clutter your home
Over the years, you will have collected quite a few things, and these can sometimes create the clutter that makes your home look messy. Sometimes, hiring a professional to help you see past the mess can help you create far more space in your home. Bookcases are often where we keep the most unnecessary items. A good de-clutter will give you plenty of space to display some decorative objects and give your home a totally new look.
- Make a room look taller
If your home has low ceilings, you can create an illusion of height with drapes. The drapes can be hung higher than the windows. With custom made drapes, you can order them according to the desired length, otherwise go as high as the bought drapes allow. Vertical stripes on curtain fabrics will visually make the wall appear higher and a white ceiling also makes a room look more spacious.
- Modernize finishes
Many fixtures can be given a new lease on life with some spray paint. Kitchen cabinets, stair treads, brass chandeliers and even Formica countertops, can all be updated. All you need to do is ask at your local hardware store and they will advise you on the best solution. Other finishes, towel hooks, switch plates and cupboard knobs are cheap and can be replaced easily by you. Modernizing your finishes is an easy DIY project for you to undertake when decorating your home.