How to Keep Your Home Fresh and Alive with a Few Simple Designer Tricks

Would you enjoy being the trendsetter among all your family and friends regardless of your budget and never get bored with your house? I'm going to show you a few simple tricks that can bolster your home's appeal for yourself and be the envy of the block.

1. Set aside an amount you can easily spend on home decor and stick with it. It doesn't matter if it is $10.00 or $500.00 a week or month. If your budget is low, save some until you can purchase one good item at a time.

2. Remove all of your throw pillows, candles, picture frames, hand-me-downs, pictures, etc. that you have collected over the years. Go through your pieces, and consider if you really love each piece, or if you are using it simply because you have it. Select one picture you just love. If you don't love any of them, don't rehang! It is best to leave a wall blank than hang something that doesn't make you happy. If they are in frames you love, keep the frames. If the frames are dull and uninspiring, put them to the side and keep the photographs for future use.

3. Remove and dust candles that has never been used.  Clean them thoroughly and set the new grime-free candles to the side.

4. Remove lumpy pillows and those that have been stained or soiled.

HSN - Harbor House Miramar Pillow

5. Head out for your nearest Homegoods or Large TJ Maxx and run to the clearance section first. If your sofa is a solid color, don't worry about the colors or designs of the throw pillows, but buy a pair that is bound together with a ribbon. Those are almost always filled with a blend down. Buy several pairs to instantly brighten you room and to create an inviting sofa. Stick with a good color theme and it is so easy! If they are on clearance, and none of the patterns immediately strike you, buy for the forms. This is cheaper and you can easily change the cover! Don't be afraid to use multiple patterns. 

6. Get rid of cheap looking lamps. Replace each as you can with one that uses a three-way bulb and has a new style. Gold is back, but don't be afraid to mix with silver. Have a dull bronze wrought-iron lamp? Spray paint it in a shocking new color to add spark to the room. Add a tray, pillow, candles or piece of deco glass. Even a paper weight can add so much pizazz!

  Neiman Marcus - Sofia Cashmere Throw

Neiman Marcus - Sofia Cashmere Throw

7. Throws are important, so don't forget those! I personally favor cashmere because they also double duty as wraps I can wear, but they are expensive so watch for sales. If you can't splurge or find one in a generous length, and be sure to go for one that doesn't create needless fuzz.

8.  Collect something you like en masse, but DO NOT scatter around the house. Place all of the items in one place so that the eye sees a great collection that looks expensive and collected while traveling, rather than clutter.

9.  Always add something unexpected. First, consider your decorating style - are you traditional, shabby chic or contemporary? Add one piece to the room opposite of your basic style. Hair-on-hide rugs add a lot of flair. A worn gold French chair or bench will catch the eye. 

 Dick Blick - Liquitex Basics Acrylic Colors

Dick Blick - Liquitex Basics Acrylic Colors

10. Can't afford artwork for your spaces? You can paint your own modern art! Head to Michael's and buy a blank art canvas, brushes, and acrylic paint. Have a glass or two of wine, play your favorite music really loud, set your mind free and simply enjoy. DON'T think. Abandon your thoughts and free you mind. Let your brush or trowel be free in your hand. Let your strokes be guided by what you feel. Art is subjective, and if you've ever looked at a painting and thought, gee whiz, my kid could do that, the pressure for perfection should dissipate. Sign your name unreadable and all of a sudden, you've a masterpiece that all will admire.

 Pottery Barn - Faux Magnolia Branch

Pottery Barn - Faux Magnolia Branch

11. While I normally do not do artificial flowers, places like Pottery Barn have great fronds of cherry blossoms, forsythia, pussy willows that you can buy and change out seasonally. They look fabulous year after year, and no one will be the wiser if you also purchase real moss from Michael's to put in the base of the container. This also applies to the new latex orchids and succulents that are easily located.





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