During these trying times when the economy is down and money is tight it seems almost impossible to improve or update your home without feeling like you are going bankrupt. By doing simple things around your home you can improve any space without having to reach deep into your wallets.
A Splash of Color – Color is a powerful tool that can provide a change and enhance in almost any environment. While most of us may not spend a lot of time thinking about room color, it affects every day of our lives. Room color can influence our mood and our thoughts. Colors affect people in many ways, depending upon one’s age, gender, ethnic background or local climate. Certain colors or groups of colors tend to get a similar reaction from most people – the overall difference being in the shade or tones used
To have a beautiful home, you do not have to worry about trends. Color trends will come and go. The people who live in a home make it beautiful by choosing colors that reflect their likes and their personalities. Color has the power to change the shape and size of furnishings as well as the shape and size of the room itself. Adding color will give your tired room a whole new look and make you, the homeowner, feel better.
Each color has a psychological value. Colors behave in three basic ways: active, passive, and neutral, and you can easily match every room’s colors to your personal desires and taste and to the room’s purpose. Light colors are expansive and airy, they make rooms seem larger and brighter. Dark colors are sophisticated and warm; they give large rooms a more intimate appearance. Specific colors emit different emotions so picking a particular color to go in a specific room is important.
- Red raises a room’s energy level. It’s a good choice when you want to stir up excitement, particularly at night. In the living room or dining room, red draws people together and stimulates conversation. In an entryway, it creates a strong first impression. Red has been shown to raise blood pressure, speed respiration and heart rate. Ancient cultures used the color red to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation.
- Yellow captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness. It’s perfect for kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms, where happy color is energizing and uplifting. In halls, entries, and small spaces, yellow can feel expansive and welcoming. In chromotherapy yellow was believed to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.
- Blue brings down blood pressure and slows respiration and heart rate. That’s why it’s considered calming, relaxing, and serene, and is often recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms. For a light blue as the primary color in a room, balance it with warm hues in the furnishings and fabrics. To encourage relaxation in the rooms where people gather family rooms, living rooms, large kitchens consider warmer blues, such as periwinkle, or bright blues, such as cerulean or turquoise. Blue is known to have a calming effect when used as the main color of a room.
- Green is considered the most restful color for the eye. Combining the refreshing quality of blue and the cheerfulness of yellow, green is suited to almost any room in the house. In a kitchen, a sage or medium green cools things down; in a family room or living room, it encourages unwinding but has enough warmth to promote comfort and togetherness. In a bedroom, it’s relaxing and pleasant. Green also has a calming effect when used as a main color for decorating. It is believed to relieve stress by helping people relax.
- Purple in its darkest values (eggplant, for example) is rich, dramatic, and sophisticated; it’s associated with luxury as well as creativity, and as an accent or secondary color, it gives a scheme depth. Lighter versions of purple, such as lavender and lilac, bring a restful quality to bedrooms.
- Orange evokes excitement, enthusiasm and is an energetic color. This color is great for an exercise room. It will bring all the emotions out that you need when jumping into your fitness routine. In ancient cultures orange was used to heal the lungs and increase energy levels.
- Neutrals (black, gray, white, and brown) are basic to the decorator’s tool kit. All-neutral schemes fall in and out of fashion, but their virtue lies in their flexibility: Add color to liven things up; subtract it to calm things down.
Hardware: Out with the Old and In with the New – Hardware can be changed out on any furniture which can drastically update and piece of furniture. Home hardware consists of products that help to make a home functional, decorative and secure. Updating the hardware can help to give your home an aesthetic appeal that meets your personal preferences, as well as adding greater functionality to your home’s fixtures. As hardware can include relatively small products, updating them need not necessarily be expensive.
Let the Light Shine – If you’re looking for a great and simple way to change up the feel and style of your home atmosphere, you’ll find that updating an old ceiling light fixture is a perfect place to start. The quality of lighting in a room is an important, yet often overlooked, component of establishing the style and mood of a given room. Lighting is subtle, and can make in the overall feeling of your home.
Using decorative lighting is another way of enhancing the beauty and character of the house. In the past lighting was done from the functional point of view. Today homeowners want their lighting fixtures to make a statement. Decorating homes with elegant and tasteful light fixtures is a must these days. Decorative home lighting fixtures come in different shapes, sizes, finishes and materials.
A range of light fixtures exists; some can be more utilitarian, others more decorative. When choosing a fixture, consider what type of light you are looking for in a particular space, such as ambient lighting, which is general diffused light to fill a room; task lighting, which lights a particular activity or area, such as for reading; and accent lighting, which accents part of a room or objects, such as a painting or statue. The right light enhances any space.
Furniture & Accessories: Reclaiming, Repurposing & Reinventing – A piece of old, unused furniture can become functional again with a little creativity. Repurposing furniture may sound like a complicated process, but it is nothing more than finding completely new uses for an existing piece of furniture; modify it to suit your needs, preferences and personal style.
We assign names or labels to every piece of furniture, letting the assigned name determine its function. But a nightstand does not necessarily belong in the bedroom, and if you focus on your needs rather than a piece’s traditional function, you could easily find more uses for it. Re-purposing furniture lets you give your existing pieces of furniture a new, maybe more exciting life. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint is all a piece of furniture needs to breathe new life into a space. Simply sanding down the furniture, re-painting it, or using it for another function can transform a piece. It also diverts waste from landfills and prevents the harvesting of new trees for wooden furniture.
Think outside of the box when deciding how to repurpose your home décor. Look at an object and try to see other uses for it. Changing the look of throw pillows can change the look of a room, with little work or effort. Don’t get rid of pillows you already have, simply repurpose them by sewing new pillow covers, or by adding trim or tassels. Old filing cabinets and library card filing drawers are great storage pieces. Old boxes you have lying around can be covered in fabric or paper to use as display boxes. Shoeboxes are the perfect size to hold photos. Baskets can be used for lots of purposes around the house. Fill a basket with toilet paper rolls in the bathroom, or slippers at the front door. Fill it with soil and plant an herb garden in the kitchen. Use it to store magazines in the living room. These are just some items that can be reinvented and given a whole new look and function.
By using creativity you can manipulate and transform furniture, hardware and accessories for any room. And without realizing that you have turned a wonderful space leading to something totally unique and beautiful with overlooked, retired pieces that were right in front of you the whole time and you haven’t had to break the bank!