Home Help: How to redecorate for less than $100
How to Redecorate in Tough Economic Times
Sick of those saggy silk drapes? Does the trendy color you painted your walls last year now look so "last year"? Your decor leaves you uninspired, yet the current economy makes you hesitate to spend a bundle on a total redesign. The good news is you don't need the skill - or budget - of a TV decorating diva to give your home a fresh new look. Small, inexpensive changes can make a dramatic difference. Here are some ideas to transform your room for less than $100:
- The type and placement of lighting can completely change the look of a room and create different moods.
- Overhead lighting - the kind that comes installed in most new homes - can be great if you're quilting but might not set the mood for more relaxing moments. Supplement your overhead lighting with lamps strategically positioned around the room. Light cast from the side, rather than from above, will create a cozy, homey feel.
- Repainting in this season's hot colors can give a room a contemporary, trendy look - even if you don't update any of your furniture. Or opt for more classic colors that will still be in style for years to come. Whatever color you choose, repainting is a powerful way to make a room feel fresh and new.
- You don't have to stop with simple painting. Many home-improvement stores offer free classes on decorative painting techniques and the use of color. Total cost of doing a decorative sponge effect in your powder room? About $26 for a gallon of paint, and another $25 for sponges and paint trays.
- Wallpapering an entire room is a big commitment, but you're still not content with just repainting a room. You want something that's going to make the decor pop - without busting your budget. Wallpaper murals are a great compromise. You can find images to match virtually any decor - from an underwater scene for a kid's room to the view from the verandah of a Tuscan Villa for your kitchen. (ARA)
Some home-staging tips from the experts:
- Paint and clean to make everything look like new.
- Neutralize the home (i.e. neutral décor, paint, etc.).
- Use what you have: Moving furniture from a different part of the house, rearranging furniture in a room or decorating a focal point can make a difference.
- Use light.
- Keep the house furnished even if you’re no longer living in the house.
- Show “wow” factor, e.g. use special touches such as rolled up towels or scented soaps in the bathroom. Set a table. Set up ice tea on a tray outside (weather permitting).
- Have a presentable entrance. (State Journal Register)
Did You Know …
You can use a vinegar and baking soda mixture to deodorize walls that have smoke odor. Vinegar by itself if left in a room also can help get rid of the smell.
Checkout Lane: Choosing the Right Vacuum
Kim Hallisey, a saleswoman at Vacuum House in Marshfield, Mass., said when choosing between the two most popular styles of vacuum cleaners – upright and canister - many consumers go with they style they were brought up with. But sometimes the type of flooring favors one over the other, said Randy Davis, owner of Braintree Vacuum in Quincy, Mass. “I find it's best that customers go with what they're comfortable with - unless you have all hardwood flooring, then an upright doesn't make sense,” Davis said.
A canister vacuum is generally better for harder flooring and area rugs, because they do not require the rotating brush common in uprights, and a canister's attachments can better accommodate more diverse floor conditions. Houses with wall-to-wall carpet, on the other hand, are usually best served by an upright vacuum, as they generally have rotating brushes, allowing the vacuum to dig deeper within the carpet than simple suction allows. Hallisey said households with carpeting and pets should consider an electric-powered brush. Those looking to clean area rugs can get away with an air-driven brush, she said.
Those with allergies might want to consider a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, which reduces the amount of dust emitted from the vacuum while it's running. Both Hallisey and Davis also warn to steer clear of bagless vacuums, which can prove dusty to clean out. (The Patriot Ledger)
Some tips on how to attract the northern cardinal to your yard:
- Cardinals love sees, fruits and insects. At bird feeders, their favorite food is unhulled black-oil sunflower seeds. They also like safflower, cracked corn, white proso millet, bread, nutmeats and peanut butter mixes.
- The best feeders are hopper feeders with plenty of perching space and platform feeders.
- Have a birdbath near your feeder. Like other birds, cardinals will use it for bathing and drinking.
- Garden plants cardinals are attracted to include brambles, sumac, cherry, dogwood, grape, mulberry, blueberry, elderberry, tulip tree, hackberry and Russian olive.
- Cardinals don't migrate, so in the winter they love pines, spruces, hemlocks and other dense evergreens. (Source: www.birdsforever.com)
GateHouse News Service