Saturday, January 7, 2012

Libby Langdon’s Budget Ideas for a post-Holiday Décor pick-me-up!

Ok, so Christmas is over, you’ve taken down all the fun and festive décor and now you are staring at what seems like a color deprived room that just screams “blah”.   There are lots of cool and inexpensive ways to perk up your home with some quick design updates so for the rest of the winter you’re feeling cozy, comfy and chic!  January is a time for new beginnings, and that includes new decorating schemes, the ideas I’ve listed below can happen within the time frame of just a couple of hours.  Many people are daunted by trying to decorate during the winter months. But there are several things you can do to enliven your house for the rest of the year!

 Bring in the light!- It gets dark outside so early and now there’s no more sparkle from Christmas so add some lamps with some good bright 3-way bulbs. You can find some great inexpensive but chic choices at stores like Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Target.  If you want an extra color punch on a budget, buy or paint some existing lamps a bright color or simple black or white, I use Krylon Fusion Spray paint! 

Color Pop! – Change out old accessories for a bunch with a single bright color, Hot hues now are: purple, orange, and peacock blue – you can add lamps, throw pillows, throw blankets, vases,-just remember  to pick one color and stick with that, that will keep it looking modern and fresh!   If you have some old accessories like vases, bowls and trays that you are tired of just spray paint them one bright color, again I like the Krylon Fusion Spray paint…it adheres to everything and no sanding is necessary.

Wow with wallpaper! – Find a fab wallpaper and just wallpaper one wall, it goes quickly and freshens up everything that’s already in the room (furniture, artwork and accessories) if you want to spend less find a wonderful graphic wrapping paper and attach it to one wall with some shiny silver tacks…is a fast pick me up to any room!

      Capitalize on Candlelight - This is a good Christmas ambiance tool but don’t let it die with the end of the season, bring in lots of candles in various sizes and shapes…go ahead and mix them together…it can be a combo of pillars, tapers and votives and  you can also use various sizes and heights…the more mixed up you make it the more stylish it looks!

Total Texture and Textiles! -  The best way to soften the feel of any room is by adding wonderful textiles and texture…you can do this by incorporating throw blankets, drapes, bedding, throw pillows etc. 

Artful Artwork – whether it’s family photographs printed in black and white, landscapes from a wonderful trip, some cool old maps or your child’s abstract artwork displayed in a stylish way…getting some new pieces up on your walls adds spice and spiffs up your space super quick!   Also, if you have a favorite coffee table book, tear out the best pages and frame them.   If you don’t have large artwork a grouping of multiple smaller pictures will give you the same impact!

Add Natural Elements – A cool, long piece of natural driftwood set on a dining table, a fireplace mantle or an entry table shows signs of springtime life but by mixing in some votive candles it looks modern, fresh and festive!!      Bringing in branches from flowering shrubs (or anything green) in your yard allows you to “force” blooms that will add a great green elements and a natural element to your room update!!

Perk up your pieces with paint! - You know that hand-me-down wall unit from your parents or that coffee table you found at a yard sale—it’s some sort of weird gold oak color that you hate, update the look by painting it! If you don’t love it as it is, go ahead and give it an inexpensive facelift. Now I’m not recommending you do this to the table you received as a family heirloom from your grandmother, but for furniture that’s not super sentimental or valuable, I say go for it!

      If you have loads of mismatched pieces of furniture, you can update the look and create a cohesive design by painting them all the same color.  Painting furniture white gives it that shabby chic or beachy look, painting pieces high gloss black or chocolate brown can look fresh, modern and chic.

      Create an inventive headboard – use an old door, fireplace mantle or an old shelving unit, paint it and mount it to your wall over your bed, it will add height and scale to your space.   You could also hang some drapes where the wall meets the ceiling behind your bed, this adds a luxurious feeling as well as creates the sense of a cozy little haven!

           Reface shelving units, drawers or tabletops with wallpaper – there are tons of cool wallpapers out there that add texture and depth and dimension to your space.  They are inexpensive but pack a style punch!   Line the back inside area of a shelving unit, or cover a tabletop or desk with it.   You could also cover drawer faces of an old dresser or cabinet with the seagrass wallpaper, add some new knobs or hardware and it will update the look of what you already have.

      Hang Plates and Platters – If you have really beautiful plates or platters consider hanging a few of them in a grouping on your wall, with some simple metal plate hangers.  It’s cheaper than buying new artwork and they can add a great hit of color to your walls!  Also, don’t feel like you can only hang plates in a kitchen or dining room…they can work just as well in a living room, hallway or even bedroom!

      Create a new inspiring workspace – take an old door, flip it on it’s side and rest it on basic sawhorse legs.  Paint the sawhorse legs the same color as you paint the door.  You could have a glass top made for the desk which is pretty inexpensive and if the door has panels this allows you to have a flat, sleek surface to work on.  Use the hole that’s left from where the doorknob was as a place to pull computer cords etc.   This would also work with an old piece of wrought iron gate!

      Low Commitment Canopy - Make a bed canopy by hanging 4 drapery rods from the ceiling over your bed and hang floor to ceiling drapes on rings in the corners where each drapery rod meets.

      Painted Wall Blocks - A way to incorporate a bold wall color in a room is to just paint out what I call a “frame area”, this would be an area around your headboard, or a piece of artwork or a hat collection…anything that’s going up on your wall, and you basically paint a box on the wall a bold color that will surround the object.  For example, you have three 16” x 20” framed pictures you’re going to hang on your wall so you decide where you want to hang them (maybe over your headboard!) and then you paint three 20” x 24” boxes on the wall a rich color that will highlight the frame.   Then you hang the pictures with an even amount of color all the way around and you’ve introduced some bold color without taking over your entire room!