10 Ways to Refresh Your Style
Spruce up your space with budget-friendly and seasonal decorating ideas from Frank Fontana.
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1. First impressions are everything. Spruce up your front door -- things like a fresh coat of paint, a new knocker or even a shiny knob work wonders. Make sure your doorbell works too. No one likes to be ignored.
2. Refresh your walls with vibrant colors. Pick a room in your home and designate it the "summer room." Repaint, refresh and rejuvenate the walls with a luscious, incredible hue found in a vibrant summer bloom. Muted yellows, soft blues and vibrant greens are great choices.
3. Recycle fabrics and textiles. Lighten up any room by trading heavy fabrics for light and airy ones. In the living room, for example, take down your old drapes and replace them with an open weave such as chiffon or organza. Change out dark throw pillows and slipcovers by adding crisp white, a bright solid or even modern, floral patterns.
4. Bring the beach into your home in a simple way. Buy some synthetic coral from your local aquarium or fish store. It lasts longer than real coral, is more eco-friendly, comes in amazing colors and costs a lot less. Try mounting coral on wooden stands, framing them or using them as centerpieces for your dining room table. Or try a giant clamshell as a decorative bowl.
5. Clean up your kitchen cabinets. Spruce up cabinets with a fresh coat of paint or stain, or simply remove the doors for a truly European-style kitchen. If your cabinetry is just plain dirty, use a brush and a wood cleaner to get those dirty fingerprints out.
6. Fix up an old ceiling fan. Have new blades installed, or just clean out and repaint the old ones. Not only will the fan look more attractive, but your air quality will also improve.
7. Declutter for a quick makeover. Just like little squirrels, we hunker down and store our goods during the winter. But come summer, your home can get cluttered with knickknacks, heavy blankets and bulky furniture. Put some of it away in storage. Larger, clutter-free spaces create the impression of a bigger house.
8. Let the sun shine in. Strategic placement of a mirror can add an enormous amount of natural light in your home. If possible, hang a large mirror in the living room directly where the sun beams in. In addition to bouncing light, it creates virtual space and overall appeal to a small room.
9. Clean out the garage for a drive-in theater and more. Home theaters, gyms, game rooms and computer rooms are the latest trend, but with every room in your house spoken for, the next best place to turn for extra space is the garage. Paint the walls, put in a big screen, set up a sound system and throw in a seating element to add comfort and style. Have friends over, open the garage door and let the party begin.
10. Follow the three R's: refurbish, repaint, recycle. Being eco-friendly takes simple smarts and small steps. By reusing items such as old furniture, frames and artwork, you can make your own contribution to saving our planet — while saving money.
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