Thursday, November 3, 2011

DECORATE: BIG statement, LITTLE effort

Whenever the holidays roll around and I know we have family coming into town, I put this crazy stupid pressure on myself to want to change up the decor in my house. Above and beyond the festive cornucopia table centerpiece and gourds on the mantle. As if they remember what it looked like in the first place or even care for that matter. Regardless I lay in bed and think about what I can do differently to 'spice' up my predictable Pottery Barn'esk interior. You know - white couches, brown walls, floral area rugs, red accent pieces.

If you find yourself in the same mental predicament but don't have a lot of time or money to be making drastic changes, here are a few ideas that make a big statement with little effort:

1) Change out your pillows: Mix in a wild or bold print - possibly zebra or yellow - to add some contrast to a simple couch and inject some personality. For $20, you can transform a boring, drab room with a few decorative pillows from TJ Maxx or Marshalls. Tip: Toss a few large throw pillows onto your couch rather than a jumble of smaller ones for a cleaner design.

2) Bring in flowers: Perk up a room (inexpensively) with a bouquet of vibrant flowers set in an equally vibrant vase. If you're like me and can't seem to keep anything alive longer than a few days, find a Michael's 50% off coupon and go buy a bundle of fake flowers. Nobody knows if you don't tell.

3) Paint a wall: Introduce color on the walls to add a pop of liveliness and warmth. A blue like this is as versatile as a neutral, such as beige or gray. Pick a wall or two and have some fun with an unexpected color. For $15, this will change your room from drab to fab!

4) Use mirrors as art: Have a bare wall and can't afford expensive artwork? No worries. Target has pages of fantastic inexpensive large mirrors online that will fill the space and actually make a room appear brighter and larger by positioning a mirror to reflect light and a view. Find a big, cool clock you like? That works too!

5) Hang a gallery of photos: Mine your albums for your best shots (pick a theme: weddings, birthday parties, vacations) and put them in identical frames. Hang in a tight grid or a long line - you can’t go wrong if you stick to a geometric arrangement. Best spot in town to find simple, super inexpensive frames to achieve this look - IKEA. The Ribba series frames range from $2.99-$24.99.

6) Bring in shades of color: Colored lamp shades can make a bold statement. Limit the colors to one per room, and select other lamp shades in neutral tones, such as parchment and white. If you're super crafty, you can pick out a fabric of your choice and re-cover an existing lamp shade yourself.

7) And for no money at all - Re-arrange your furniture: My favorite. Just a quick shift of the furniture and it will feel like an entirely new, inviting space.

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