Thursday, September 29, 2011

Time-Warp Room Makeovers

Design expert Libby Langdon shows you how to avoid a few decorating don'ts that could be making your home look old-fashioned!

Freshen up out-dated wood paneling
Libby recommends brightening up your space by painting over that Brady Bunch-style faux wood paneling. "The key is this thing called liquid sandpaper," she says. "It's this gel that takes off the overfinish that is keeping you from being able to apply paint to it. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, and then you're ready to paint!"

Refurbish old couches
"A lot of people are afraid to update wood that's on their furniture," Libby says, referring to the arms and backs of older couches. As with the wood paneling, Libby first treats it with a bit of liquid sandpaper, then paints over it with high gloss black paint to give the wood a modern, funky look. (Make sure you tape up any cushioned areas as you would any trim when you're paining your walls.) Also, if you have bad or out-dated patterns on your removable sofa cushions, Libby recommends using stretchable slip covers like those found at Sure Fit that fit over just about any cushion.

Update your artwork
"The easiest and most inexpensive thing to update is artwork," Libby says. "I love pulling pictures from magazines or a beautiful book you love and framing those. But another thing that's cool to use is wrapping paper. There are so many amazing papers that you could frame. But the important thing is to make sure you have a nice white matte around it; that's going to make it look like artwork and not like you just framed wrapping paper."

Eliminate that overgrown jungle
Libby says to get rid of the mishmash of real and artificial plants that has been sitting in the corner of your living room forever. Instead, she recommends using sky planters, which hang from the ceiling and hold individual plants upside down! "You're actually going to water it through the top," Libby says. "It will conserve water and you don't have to water as often. This could also be great for herbs in your kitchen."