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Quick Decorating Projects

Sm a l l project s can have a big impact on your décor. With our busy lives we don’t always have time for a huge redecorat ing commi tment so we get overwhelmed and don’t do anything at all. If you’re at the point where your room needs help but you can’t make a huge investment in time or money, start small. One or two weekend projects might be all you need until such time as you can do a bigger redecoration project. Who knows? These small updates might be all you really needed in the first place. Sometimes a small investment in your home will make you appreciate what you have and also make you realize that what you have is pretty great; it just needs a little tweaking.

Here’s some easy projects using items that you most likely have on hand. Look around the house for things that can be used. I’m sure you’ll find enough stuff to complete at least one of the projects. Update your lampshades. I know you’ve heard this one before but have you actually tried it? Simple craft paint can be used to either change the entire colour of the shade (black is stunning) or to add a design to it. Use a hole punch to create a line of holes along the top or bottom (or both) of a lampshade and string ribbon, leather ties or what have you, through the holes to create a decorative border. Simple beaded bathtub chain can be hot glued onto a lampshade to create an interesting border or design as can vintage necklaces, beads or buttons.

Rearrange the furniture. You may have done this several times but did you consider switching items from other rooms? If you have, consider placing your furniture on an angle for a new look.

Open shelving or cabinets can be transformed by treating the back of the open shelf with wallpaper, paint or even mirrored tiles. Use a bright colour to give your space oomph then arrange items on the shelves in a pleasing display.

Create a photo or plate shelf using a length of crown moulding (at least four inches deep) and installing it at the head of the bed or in a hallway. You can create a tower of shelves by varying the lengths to create a triangle display of three shelves or more. Paint the shelves in a complimentary colour. You may have to glue a small plate stop to the top of the shelf to keep the plates from slipping off. A simple piece of wooden dowel and a little hot glue will do. If you don’t have a piece of dowel, just run a thick bead of hot glue along the top of the shelf to act as a plate stopper. Once it dries it will do the trick. You can even paint over the hot glue when painting the shelf to make it less noticeable.

Rearrange tabletop displays. Get rid of the clutter and use height and scale to create drama.

Remove upper cabinet doors in the kitchen to create open shelving. Consider painting the backs of the open shelves with a vibrant colour which will make your display really pop.

Paint small furniture items to give them new life. Our feature photograph shows how an old vintage display unit can be transformed with paint and wallpaper. New paint and new seat fabric on dated dining room chairs can transform them into something beautiful. If you don’t have enough fabric remnants to match, use co-ordinating remnants to create an eclectic look.

Gather all of the framed family photos scattered about the house and create one large display as a focal wall. This will have much more impact. The frames don’t have to match. Play with the various shapes and sizes on the floor until you come up with a great layout then transfer that to the wall.

Paint the inside of a dark entry door and frame in white to brighten up the foyer and give it new life. Painting the inside of closet doors can help brighten up a gloomy closet as well.

Rehang your artwork to create a fresh new display. Bring in items from other rooms and mix things up a bit. Paint or replace dated frames.

Make decorative containers from old cardboard gift boxes by covering them in fabric or wallpaper. Use them on top of the dresser or in the bathroom to create hidden storage for small items.

Use leftover wallpaper to create large cut-outs for a nursery wall or child’s room. Geometric shapes, cartoon characters or large letters can be cut out of wallpaper and easily applied (and removed in future) to create a cheerful space.

Sometimes a change is as good as a rest. Check around your home for small items that could offer a big change for your décor.

– Connie Oliver is an interior designer from Winnipeg

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CONNIE OLIVERAround theHouse

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