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Guide to Decor Ideas
When it comes to home
decorating, it's difficult to know where to begin. Like an artist with a blank
canvas, you look at the room you've chosen to decorate and try to envision the
finished masterpiece. However, with all the home decorating styles from which to
choose, that vision can be fuzzy. You may even feel overwhelmed by the
possibilities and paralyzed by the thought that you'll make choices you won't be
able to live with. When that's the case, it's time to go back to the drawing
The first step in home
decorating is to define your personal taste and style. Invest your time in
looking through magazines and cutting out pictures of home decorating styles,
furniture, and accessories that appeal to you. Once you have a collection of
several dozen pictures, lay them out in front of you. You'll begin to notice a
pattern of the style that appeals to you. Are you attracted to the dark wood of
antique furniture, or to the minimalist lines of modern furniture? Do you
imagine yourself surrounded by the muted colours and furniture that remind you
of a beach house, or by rich colours and the ornate elegance of the Victorian
Once you've defined your
personal taste and home decorating style, choose a room in your home to
redecorate. Although you may want to tackle every room in your house, choosing
only one will keep you from becoming overwhelmed.
Once you've selected a room,
it's time to choose the one item upon which you'll build the remainder of the
design. This may be a single piece of furniture that already own and love, an
antique reproduction that you treasure, or something as simple as a handcrafted
piece that you purchased while on vacation. The item you choose may not be the
centerpiece of the finished room, but it will serve as your inspiration for the
Next, you'll need to select
the wall colour. Since it's next to impossible to have a sense of what the
entire room will look like from a paint chip, buy a quart of paint in the colour
you like. Then, cut several pieces of cardboard into 18-inch squares, paint the
cardboard, and hang one on each wall. Live with those paint swatches for a few
days, noticing how the feel of the room changes with morning light, afternoon
light, and artificial lighting. Once you've decided that's a colour you love,
you should go ahead and paint the room. Remember that there are a variety of
texturing and patterning techniques you can use to bring more vibrancy and life
to the colour of the paint. One aspect of decorating that will
always come up is colour and paint. Paint is the most inexpensive way to
decorate any room and makes an instant difference. There are many different
techniques and we discuss them in our techniques panel. Below you will find more
ideas. If you have any ideas that you would like to share, please
send them to us.
Home decorating is both fun
and rewarding. Best of all, your finished room will be a reflection of your
personality and lifestyle - and will make coming home a sweet experience.
Guide to Decor Ideas
When it comes to home decorating, it's difficult to know where to begin. Like an artist with a blank canvas, you look at the room you've chosen to decorate and try to envision the finished masterpiece. However, with all the home decorating styles from which to choose, that vision can be fuzzy. You may even feel overwhelmed by the possibilities and paralyzed by the thought that you'll make choices you won't be able to live with. When that's the case, it's time to go back to the drawing board.
The first step in home decorating is to define your personal taste and style. Invest your time in looking through magazines and cutting out pictures of home decorating styles, furniture, and accessories that appeal to you. Once you have a collection of several dozen pictures, lay them out in front of you. You'll begin to notice a pattern of the style that appeals to you. Are you attracted to the dark wood of antique furniture, or to the minimalist lines of modern furniture? Do you imagine yourself surrounded by the muted colours and furniture that remind you of a beach house, or by rich colours and the ornate elegance of the Victorian era?
Once you've defined your personal taste and home decorating style, choose a room in your home to redecorate. Although you may want to tackle every room in your house, choosing only one will keep you from becoming overwhelmed.
Once you've selected a room, it's time to choose the one item upon which you'll build the remainder of the design. This may be a single piece of furniture that already own and love, an antique reproduction that you treasure, or something as simple as a handcrafted piece that you purchased while on vacation. The item you choose may not be the centerpiece of the finished room, but it will serve as your inspiration for the room's decor.
Next, you'll need to select the wall colour. Since it's next to impossible to have a sense of what the entire room will look like from a paint chip, buy a quart of paint in the colour you like. Then, cut several pieces of cardboard into 18-inch squares, paint the cardboard, and hang one on each wall. Live with those paint swatches for a few days, noticing how the feel of the room changes with morning light, afternoon light, and artificial lighting. Once you've decided that's a colour you love, you should go ahead and paint the room. Remember that there are a variety of texturing and patterning techniques you can use to bring more vibrancy and life to the colour of the paint.
One aspect of decorating that will always come up is colour and paint. Paint is the most inexpensive way to decorate any room and makes an instant difference. There are many different techniques and we discuss them in our techniques panel. Below you will find more ideas. If you have any ideas that you would like to share, please send them to us.
Home decorating is both fun and rewarding. Best of all, your finished room will be a reflection of your personality and lifestyle - and will make coming home a sweet experience.
Use your imagination when looking for sources of material for your decorating and crafting projects. For instance, fabric is found in a lot more places than just the sewing store!
How about a favourite old sweater recycled into a throw pillow cover? Or the seat of a pair of worn-out jeans for a pillow on a child's bed or chair? An old striped button down shirt could recover that extra chair in the corner, or that beautiful old skirt, stained on one side, could make accessories for the family room.
Old worn out blankets make great linings for quilts, potholders, quilted curtains and shades, etc...
Tablecloths and cloth napkins, make wonderful material for projects, or can be made into window treatments and throw pillows with little or no sewing! Cardboard cereal boxes make excellent bases for fabric covered picture frames. Many "snap on lid" type containers can be dressed up and used for desk top storage, small toy pieces, tea bags, etc...
Large corrugated boxes, or TV and stereo boxes still packed with their styrofoam, make great end tables when covered with fabric. This way, you don't have to store empty boxes, and your husband can sleep well at night knowing that he will always have the appropriate packing for the treasured TV!
Boxes can also be covered and used to add height to a tabletop or cabinet display. If they have a removable lid, they can be covered and stacked for storage.
Sheets are a great value, especially if you watch for good sales. Twin-size flats seem to be the best value, and are easier to work with. If you find a great sale, but don't have a project in mind, pick up white ones. You can always dye them, or stamp/stencil them later to meet your needs!
Free houseplants? Take ivy cuttings from outdoors, root in water, then pot up! Shade annuals bought on sale also make beautiful, cheap flowering houseplants.
The kitchen is the hub of most homes, and I think we would all like to bring a little more charm into this utilitarian space. Here are a few easy ways to add some style to your kitchen while saving some cash.
Paint your walls! For years people believed utilitarian spaces should remain white for cleanliness issues, but we no longer live in the dark ages. (Cleansers work just as well on coloured walls!) Use colour to add richness and depth to your walls, cabinets, and even your counters and floors. Paint can be used on those surfaces by first prepping with a specialty primer, then sealing with 4-6 coats of Polycrylic or any water based polyurethane product.
Bring in a pretty floral or striped fabric. Nothing screams “freshness” like florals and stripes, and its easy to stitch up a simple curtain, valance, or placemats to add pattern and colour to the room.
Decorate with plates. You may already have a collection of pretty plates you’d like to display, or you can visit your local discount store for some great finds. Hang them on the backsplash, group them on tops of cabinets, or use plate hangers and make a wall grouping over a doorway or breakfast area. Pick plates that share your rooms chosen colour scheme. Texture, interest, and colour, and you might already have them right in your cupboard!
Remove some cabinet doors to break up the space and add interest. You can either paint the inside of the cabinet and use it as a display for pretty service pieces, or you can use an inexpensive tension curtain rod and some of that pretty floral or striped fabric to make a charming cabinet door cover.
Sometimes one of the toughest decorating challenges we have when we are on a budget is replacing old, worn, or ugly flooring. If you have vinyl flooring that has seen better days, or you just want more of a natural or luxurious look in your rooms, hold on to your hat! I am going to show you how to create a faux leather floor from ordinary paper bags from the grocery store! Any beginning crafter or decorator can do this.
Paper bags or a roll of brown Kraft paper (enough to cover your entire floor, with some overlapping)
5L of water based polyurethane
Old work clothes
Strong Knees and Back!
First off, put up the “Room Closed” sign! I did my kitchen in the evening so the last coat of sealer would have a chance to dry well before the kids and the dogs hit it in the morning! Even better if you can keep it closed off for 24 hours or more.
Now, clean the floor thoroughly. Rinse well. Let dry.
Tear your brown paper into irregular sections in a size that is easy to handle. It is important to tear, and not cut, as that will give the natural edge you need for the look. Only use the scissors to create a straight edge on some pieces to line up against cabinets, walls, or a change in flooring. Now crumple each torn piece tightly, then smooth out. This will give it texture.
Pour a small amount of polyurethane onto the floor where you will place your first piece, and smooth it out with a brush, although I preferred to use my hands. Lay the piece of paper down, add a little poly to the top of the paper, and smooth down. Kind of like decoupage! Now continue to lay down papers each one slightly overlapping the other. Smooth out bubbles as you go. Your hand is the best tool for this!
If you find bubbles forming underneath as the poly starts to dry, poke the bubble with a pin, add a little more poly, and smooth down. Keep smoothing, it will also flatten out after it dries and people have walked on it a bit.
Once you finish covering the whole floor with paper, let the poly dry. If you want a darker colour, you can stain this with wood stain and a soft rag at this point. Recoat the poly once each hour until you have 4 to 6 coats of poly protecting your floor. This should be allowed to dry hard, at least overnight, longer if possible.
When you notice the floor getting dull, clean and add a maintenance coat of poly. Repairs are easily made with another torn piece of paper bag laid right over the existing treatment. Seal with poly.
Damp mop when necessary, and it should last you years! Definitely not your neighbours floor, and all for the price of some polyurethane and some hard work! It results in a beautiful rustic floor.
Most people are afraid of using colour in their home decorating, and it shows. White and beige are still the most popular choices in wall colour. But I do see the tides changing, and for the better. More and more home decorators are realizing that using rich or bright colours on the walls is the fastest and least expensive way to make a big impact on their rooms.
Perhaps people are afraid of using colour on their walls because it encompasses such a large space, or they don’t trust their own judgment. Remember, it’s just paint! If you don’t like it, you can paint over it again. Don’t be afraid to borrow colours from magazines or decorating books as well. It may give you courage to have seen that colour already working in a beautiful room.
Try using a deeper or brighter version of your present colour scheme on just one wall to start. If your rooms colour scheme is green and white, paint the focal wall a pretty apple green, or perhaps a rich and elegant moss green. Painting just one wall will introduce you to the changes colour can make in a room, without making you feel overwhelmed.
If you have always loved an incredible hue such as deep cherry red or chartreuse, try using it in a space that isn’t used on a constant basis, such as a guest bath or laundry room. Using an intense colour in a room used less often allows you to showcase your creativity, but doesn’t allow you to become overwhelmed and tired of a colour because of it’s exciting qualities. Additionally, it’s always easier to live with an exciting colour in smaller doses.
If neutrals are your thing and you just don’t feel comfortable venturing away from them, embrace them! Use a deep chocolate brown, a rich steely grey or a bright cottage white. Neutrals don’t have to be boring builders “off white”. Add some pattern to jazz it up such as a black and white checked tile floor. Throw in some texture, perhaps a soft fuzzy throw or a richly textured basket and you have an elegant room instead of a tired space.
Finally, consider using artwork to bring doses of colour to your walls as well. Large area rugs or quilts can be hung as wall art. Wallpaper murals are easy to find online, or you can paint your own with a paint by numbers mural kit. Paint a dozen frames the same fun colour and display them in a wall grouping.
Using a little courage, a little elbow grease and a good can of paint you can turn your rooms from drab to fab in a couple of short hours this weekend!
For drapes that look rich and luxurious, keep these three tips in mind:
1) It all starts with the fabric. Unless you have specifically gone for an airy look and are using sheers, gauze, or tulle, luxurious drapes start with a fabric that have body. It's kind of like hair - you don't want limp drapes. The material should have some umph. It doesn't necessarily have to be stiff, soft fabrics flow and fall gracefully, but it should have enough strength to hold its pleats and shape as it hangs.
2) Fullness. You want sufficient fullness in the drape. At a minimum, you should use one and a half times the width of the window for a gathered drape or valance. Twice the width is much better. The valance itself is straight, but the fullness is still there in the other elements. Even if you pull drapes fully shut, there should still be some additional fullness - think of pleated drapes - even when closed the pleats add fabric to avoid creating a window covering that looks like a single sheet of material.
3) Layers. For the most luxurious window treatments, use layers. Sheers or underdrapes. Valances. Panels. Overpanels. Blinds, shades, or shutters. Use good taste, but you'll often see three elements: a privacy layer, a top such as valance or cornice, and panels or swags.
And here's another bonus tip - embellishments. Trims, rosettes, fringe. Currently drapes are shown with adornments such as these. Granted, you can overdo anything, but if tastefully done and complementary to the fabric and the room's decor, these features will have your window treatments screaming "luxury."
Everyone loves a
beautiful relaxing bedroom. The bedroom is the one place where you can unwind
and rejuvenate your body in preparation for your busy days.
Inexpensive Bedroom Decor Ideas
When you're looking for ways to redecorate your bedroom easily and cheaply, you might feel at a loss of where to start. It's easy to do though, and here are six quick decorating ideas for your bedroom that won't break your budget:
1. Move the Furniture - Yes, something as simple as rearranging the room can make a huge difference in how it feels. This is one of the easiest ways I know of to make a room feel new... and it doesn't cost a dime.
Try putting your bed in a corner instead of against a wall too, this gives the room a more homey, intimate, and elegant touch.
2. Change the Walls - The most common way to change your walls of course, is to simply paint them. And it doesn't really matter if you paint them a new colour, or simply put a fresh coat on - both will make major differences in how the room feels. You don't have to actually paint the walls to make them different though. You could instead put up an attractive wallpaper border, or stencil some designs on as a border instead. Borders can be placed at the very top of the walls, or around the middle area instead, to create a more old fashioned, rich and elegant look.
3. Change the Bed - Buy a new comforter, duvet, or bedspread. Better yet: Buy an entire new set complete with sheets and pillow shams. If you're not able to buy an entire set, then get just one or two items. The bed covering and pillow shams make the largest difference, so I'd suggest starting with those.
4. Hang Prints on the Wall - The idea here is to put framed prints on your wall. These can be photographs, artwork, or even posters. They don't have to be expensive, and in fact you may already own photos or prints that just need new frames or mats.
Some people like to create wall hanging arrangements of family photos in their bedroom, but I personally dislike that idea. The bedroom is a private place, and having the feeling that family members are watching you there can be disconcerting and uncomfortable.
5. Put out vases of silk flowers/floral greenery - This is extremely easy to do and you don't have to be a design wizard to create floral arrangements. Just find a pretty vase, glass or jar - if you don't have one on hand they're extremely cheap to buy. Then buy a handful of pretty silk or plastic flowers and greenery. There's no mystery to buying these either, simply choose greenery that you like, and flowers that compliment the colours in your room.
The colours don't have to match exactly either. If you find beautiful silk white flowers for instance, and your room is primarily decorated in blue, then add a sprig of small blue flowers to the white ones and they'll enhance the room perfectly.
6. Put in a new lamp - Bedside lamps are particularly cosy, and they're useful as well. Small bedside lamps or even nightlights can be quite inexpensive when you shop around for them. You could also put new wall sconces about your bed, dresser, or on either side of a wall mirror for additional elegance.
When it comes to home improvements, after the kitchen the bathroom is the one room that can really eat into your budget. After hiring a professional plumber, one of the biggest costs when decorating a bathroom is tiling the walls. Even if you "do it yourself" you'll still end up forking out a fair bit to pay for the tiles and materials - and it can be a time-consuming and skilled task.
However, there is an alternative. Rather than going to the inconvenience and expense of re-tiling your walls, why not simply make the best of the ones you've got? Ceramic tiles are generally very durable, so even if your bathroom tiles are old or outdated, the chances are they still have lots of life left in them. Even if the odd one or two are cracked, you don't need to replace the whole lot - just replacing the broken ones is a much quicker and cheaper solution. There are several ways to decorate bathroom tiles, all of which are relatively easy to do and can be very effective at transforming dull or unattractive tiles and giving them a vibrant and stylish new look.
One method is to apply tile transfers to white or plain coloured tiles, which is an effective way of adding colour and pattern to an otherwise boring tiled wall. The first step here is to give your tiles a thorough clean to get rid of dirty residues like soap scum and limescale buildup. Use a non-abrasive scrubber and a good household cleaner, plus lots of elbow grease! Then you'll need to soak each transfer in turn in a large bowl or bucket of warm water. Once your transfer has had a sufficient soaking, you can remove it from the water and move it into position on your chosen tile. Take care here to ensure it's level and central before peeling off the backing paper and sticking the transfer image to the tile.
Use a clean, dry cloth to smooth out the transfer and remove any air bubbles. Transfers are really easy to apply and give you the freedom of designing your own patterned tiles for a tiny fraction of the cost of buying new tiles. However, you will need to remember to use a non-abrasive cleaner when you clean your bathroom to avoid damaging the finish.
Another idea for decorating bathroom tiles is to paint them. You can be creative here and come up with your own design by painting selected tiles in different colours, or stick to one colour - the choice is yours. As with any type of painting, the secret is in the preparation, so in order to achieve a professional-looking finish don't rush this bit. You'll need to make sure your tiles are totally clean and dry, then use a very fine sandpaper to gently sand their glossy surface. This helps the paint to adhere better. You'll then need to clean the tiles again to get rid of all the dust.
Once the tiles are prepared, use a synthetic bristle brush to apply primer to each individual tile. Use vertical brush strokes and don't put too much primer on the brush, to ensure a neat even finish. It's important to allow the primer enough time to dry properly before you apply a second coat. Again, let this dry before you apply your chosen paint. Use an oil-based gloss paint for the best results, as this type of paint is better suited to the high moisture levels in bathrooms. Use at least two coats to achieve a tough and durable finish.
Low Budget Bathroom
If your bathroom looks like it's seen better days, but you don't want to spend a small fortune on remodelling (or go through the upheaval that involves), there are several cheap and easy things you can do to give it a makeover. Here are some bathroom decorating ideas that are possible to implement on a low budget:
1. Change the colour scheme. It's amazing what a difference a lick of paint can make! A well-chosen colour can totally transform a dingy bathroom and give it a light and bright new look. Although specialized bathroom paint is not quite as cheap as standard emulsion, it's well worth the extra few dollars, as it will look good for much longer. Bathroom paint is formulated especially to cope with the high moisture levels in the bathroom, and is designed to prevent mold forming - so those unsightly mold patches won't return to ruin your fresh new paintwork!
It's important to remember that the key to a professional-looking finish is all in the preparation, so don't skimp on this. Scrape off and sand down any loose or flaky paint, wash down the walls with sugar soap, fill any holes and sand down the woodwork. Thoroughly wash off any mold with bleach, which will kill it and stop it growing. When you're ready to start painting, lay a dustsheet over all your fixtures and surfaces, and work from the top down. Start with the ceiling, then move onto the walls, leaving the woodwork until last. You will probably need at least two coats. A thrifty tip if you're painting over a dark colour is to give it an undercoat with standard white emulsion, which is cheaper than coloured bathroom paint.
2. Decorate your tiles. Replacing bathroom tiles is a costly, messy and time-consuming job, which also requires a certain degree of skill. However, if you want to save money, there are several ways you could spruce up your existing tiles. The obvious thing to do is to give them a good clean and get rid of any limescale build-up. You can refresh dirty grout by using a touch-up paint. Another option is to use specialist tile paint to change the colour of your tiles. Or, you could liven up plain tiles by using tile transfers to add colour and pattern.
3. Evaluate your storage facilities and have a good old clear out to get rid of all those nearly empty toiletry bottles that are just taking up space. Give your vanity and cabinets a clean, and if they are still looking shabby, you might want to consider sanding them down and giving them a lick of paint. Changing the handles is another simple but effective way to give an outdated vanity or wall cabinet a stylish new look. If, after you've decluttered, you're still short on storage space, select the most decorative toiletries (the sort you get in gift boxes) and display these on your open surfaces, such as your shelves. You could arrange them in pretty wicker baskets to make them look more attractive.
4. Add new accessories to enhance your décor and create a welcoming atmosphere. For instance, replacing a faded or moldy old shower curtain with a colourful new one will only cost a few dollars and is a really simple way to improve the appearance of your whole room. Other tips include buying an inexpensive set of coordinating accessories such as a toilet paper holder, soap dish and towel ring, adding a fresh new bath rug, and adding candles or pot plants to create a relaxing ambiance.
All these ideas are relatively straightforward to carry out, and each job can easily be tackled in a weekend, or as and when you can afford it. It may surprise you how these little changes can make such a big improvement to your bathroom's look and feel.
Country Style Bathroom Decorating
If your hectic life makes you yearn to escape to the countryside, why not create a little "get away" in your own home? Believe it or not, the bathroom is a prime candidate for a country theme. This is the room you use to shower or soak away the day's dirt as well as prepare for the day ahead. Why not give it a relaxing, country feel?
The easiest way to give your bathroom a "down-home" country feel is to add rustic accessories. Wooden pegs are a clean, simple way to add a country feel to hanging towels and bathrobes. Pine baskets are a charming way to hold guest towels, and a large wicker basket on the floor keeps bath towels handy as well as adding a country-life touch.
If your bathroom is shared by many people, you might want to consider using wire baskets instead of wood or wicker. The large amounts of steam created by numerous people showering can create the perfect environment for mold on wooden or wicker baskets. Either make sure you seal the baskets before using them, or substitute the kind of wire baskets used to gather and store eggs on a small, country farm.
Glass canning jars make great storage containers in a country bathroom. They are great for holding all the little miscellaneous things that float around a bathroom. You might have toothbrushes standing head up in a tall jar, and use progressively shorter jars to hold things like combs and hairbrushes, hairpins or barrettes, and cotton balls. To give your bathroom even more of a country feel, look for "bail-lid" jars with a glass top on hinges that clamps down tight. These are especially good at keeping cotton balls clean and dry until they are needed. Browse antique and "collectible" stores and you'll find beautiful antique canning jars that will add an authentic feel to your country bathroom.
You may find that these simple touches make you want to go "whole-hog" and add country style bathroom fixtures. Home improvement stores and bathroom showrooms have an amazing range of faucets, sinks, and tubs to meet your county bathroom design needs. A claw foot bathtub and pedestal sink will take your bathroom back to a simpler time. Need storage? A pine armoire fits the country theme perfectly, and is easy to find either finished or unfinished. If you choose to finish the piece yourself, products are available to help you give it an old, crackled or distressed look.
Whether you opt for just a few flourishes or completely redo your bathroom, your time will be well-spent. Your new accessories not only improve the functionality of your bathroom, they create a peaceful place to escape the frantic pace of everyday life.
Bathroom Organizing Ideas
If you're short on space in the bathroom, there are a number of ways you can optimize the space you do have to work with. Here are some ideas that have worked great for our family:
- My daughter and I don't have a lot of jewellery, but we keep the jewellery we do have in the bathroom. Something I found that's really neat to organize your jewellery is a coffee mug holder. We've found several very inexpensive at yard sales. They look like miniature coat racks. They're small stands that have posts sticking out of them to hang coffee mugs on. These work great for hanging necklaces and bracelets on. We have one in each of our bathrooms.
- Small corner shelves that are meant to go on the wall fit nicely into the corners of your bathroom counters. These are easy to find at yard sales and give you several shelves to put makeup, knickknacks, etc., on. I keep a small pottery bowl on one of my shelves to keep my good rings in one place (so I'll know where they are). My daughter and I have fun shopping for little one-of-a kind finds like these at local craft shows.
- My husband came up with another neat idea for organizing jewellery. If you have a big mirror in your bathroom, you could place several suction cups with hooks on them on the mirror and hang your necklaces or bracelets on the hooks.
- The bathroom is a great place to keep your bathrobe. Place a self-adhesive hook on either the back of your bathroom door, or on the wall behind the door. Hang your bathrobe up after each use, and it's ready for next time. Put up one for each family member in the bathroom they most often use.
- My daughter always forgets to get out a towel before she gets in the shower. We bought a ring-shaped towel holder (they take up less room), and put it on the wall right by the edge of the bathtub. Now when she's in the shower she just has to reach out to grab the towel.
- A way to organize the clutter on your bathroom counter is to buy a plastic tub with a handle on top. Place all your bathroom accessories (hair sprays, lotions) in the tub and place under the counter. When you're ready to use, just take the tub out. When you're done put the tub back under the counter.
- Shower caddies are an inexpensive way to organize your shampoo, conditioner, razor, soap, etc., in the shower. We got the kind that hooks over the shower head and it kept slipping down, so we eventually ended up screwing it to the wall. It works great and keeps everything in one place.
- If you have shower doors that tend to get water/soap scum build-up on them, keep a water squeegee (like you use on the windshield of your car) handy to wipe down the doors every time you take a shower. We keep ours in the shower hanging on the wall from a suction cup.
- We don't have a whole lot of cabinet space in our bathrooms, so we bought some small shelves to put above the toilets. On these shelves we keep washcloths, hair spray, toothpaste.
Cheap Decorating Ideas for Family Living
Any space in your home where all the family tends to gather can be considered family living spaces. Generally, the family room and the kitchen and dining areas are areas that need to accommodate the needs and tastes of all the family members. Here are some great low cost ideas for dressing up those inviting rooms just right for the whole clan!
1. Colour your world! Don’t be shy about adding colour to the walls of your rooms. Family oriented rooms tend to be busy, sometimes crowded spaces, so I recommend some calming colours to create more restful retreats. Blues, greens, and neutrals rate here. However, if you have a high-energy family, go with the flow, and bring in some yellow, terra cotta, or even lime green! Paint makes a dramatic impact in as little as one afternoon, for a pretty low cost.
2. Let the sun shine in! Most family oriented spaces don’t demand the privacy that a bedroom or bath would, so strip off those curtains and blinds and see the light! It makes the room look bigger (always a plus when the whole family is there!) and the extra light really brightens the mood in the room. If some night time privacy or light control is needed, such as in a TV viewing area, make sure the curtains or blinds are hung totally clear of the window so that when they are drawn, they don’t block out any of the light. To bring focus to windows with no treatments, use a stencilled or wallpaper border around each window casing. And you thought those window treatments would be expensive! Who needs ‘em!
3. Create different use areas in the room, so that more than one activity can take place at a time. This gives you more opportunities to be together as a family, and just requires some rearranging and creativity, not bucks! Set up a small table and two chairs in an unused corner for a game table, sneak an unused easy chair into the room for someone to read, pick up a couple of bar stools at a yard sale to add to the kitchen counter. Store placemats in drawers to turn the coffee table into a quick dining area, and make sure there are a couple of floor pillows for movie nights!
4. Create some personal accessories for your family spaces that celebrate who you are as a group. No, you don’t have to spend hundreds of rands having a family portrait painted to hang over the fireplace! Print out pics of each member of the family in black and white, then hang them in matching black frames gallery style as a group on one wall. Frame those special family moments to share with your guests…a wedding or graduation invitation, love letters your grandfather sent your grandmother during the war, “secret” family recipes, or one piece of treasured childhood artwork from each of your children or grandchildren. Forget those time-consuming photo albums…set a bunch of snapshots out in a pretty basket. You’ll be shocked at how often you catch your own kids musing through them! Want a really interesting conversation piece? Print out family candid snapshots on regular paper, then use polyurethane to decoupage them onto a tabletop, cupboard door, or even a whole wall! Slightly overlap each photo, and then seal the whole top with a final coat of polyurethane to protect. What a collage!
Lighting is important in a family room because of all the diverse activities that go on there. Lamps can be made new with a new shade, or a coat of paint. Decoupage a lamp base with glue and tissue paper or gift wrap. Punch holes around the edge of a lampshade and weave ribbon, rope, or suede lacing. Add stencilling to the edge of the shade, or decoupage on pressed leaves and flowers. Poke needle holes through the lampshade in a pattern to match your theme, and the pattern will glow when the lamp is turned on. Buy cheap battery operated stick lights and place them underneath shelves to light up artwork, treasured books, or countertops.
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