It Yourself: Easy & Inexpensive
Ideas to Make Your Home More Gorgeous
Learn how to be happy with what you have,
while you pursue all that you want.
- Jim Rohn
As a frequent
traveler, I'm often amazed at how dramatically my mood changes
depending on where I am staying. I have stayed in some very nice
hotels that were so warm and welcoming that I loved being in my room.
Other rooms were so dark and uninviting I found my mood spiraling
downward. Our environment and surroundings play a huge part in how we
feel on a day-to-day basis. Think about it. When your home is messy,
chaotic, cluttered, and filled with piles, how do you feel? My guess
would be "stressed" is amongst the adjectives that top your
list. Likewise, when our homes are clean and straightened we feel
more at peace.
So why not create
a dream home for yourself? You don't need a million dollar budget and
a designer's help. Instead, approach your home with the same
mentality we bring to this challenge one day, one step, and
one project at a time.
The task of
beautifying your home will be an ongoing process. I recommend getting
a separate binder for this project. I have a binder with dividers for
each room of the house that I wanted to "beautify." Then
when I found pictures, ideas, or had inspirations, I would store the
information behind the applicable room tab.
The process of
going through your home is much like when we created the MASTER TASK
LIST. Choose a room in which to start. Sit down for a good twenty
minutes, really taking in all the items, furniture, textures, and
colors of the room. Then imagine how you would like the room to be.
Don't be shy, write down anything that comes to mind no matter how
crazy it seems. There may be things on your list that aren't
practical right now and that's okay. These notes will give you a clue
into the traits and mood you want to create in the room and you may
be able to find a less expensive alternative. (For example, in one
room I would have loved new hardwood floors. Instead, I found that
sanding the current wood floors and covering them with inexpensive
rugs purchased at a wholesale outlet, created the nice warm feeling I
was looking to have.)
Here are some
specific things to think about in each room:
COLOR: Do the walls represent the room? If your house has all white
walls, consider toying with color. Painting a room is the quickest
way to give it a fresh look. Stenciling is another option for those
who don't want to brave a full paint makeover. If you want to keep
your white walls, are there prints or paintings that could be added
to give the room a new tone? What types of prints and paintings would
you enjoy abstract, contemporary, wildlife? What colors should
the paintings emphasize to help coordinate the overall color of the room?
Are there pieces of furniture that need to be refinished, repaired,
or replaced? Are there any pieces you would like to add? If your
budget won't allow you to refinish or replace existing furniture, how
about an inexpensive new cover? Even some new toss cushions, or a
luxurious throw tossed over the arm or backrest can uplift the look
and add some comfy new touches.
you like your current window coverings? If not, what would you
prefer? Would you like to go with a valance? A swag? Blinds? No
coverings at all? What about the window ledges? Are they overly
cluttered, or overly bare? Would a plant in an interesting pot, some
some candle sticks, or framed photos add interest to the sills?
DECORATIONS: Think about the types of decorative elements you could
add to change the tone of the room. How about a small water fountain
in a room where you like to relax? Indoor fountains can be found very
inexpensively at stores like Target or Wal-Mart. Would an arrangement
of candles or dried flowers add to the room? Could you remove items
to simplify the space and freshen the look? Could you swap items with
other items from another part of the house for a fresh feel?
What about plants? Plants quickly provide a new feel within a room.
If you have a bad history with plants, don't despair. Visit your
local garden center and explain that you want a very durable plant
for someone without a "green thumb." These garden experts
can help you pick the plant that is best for you.
FLOWERS: Or for another alternative, purchase some very
looking artificial flowers to add warmth and elegance to any room.
You can get the extravagant look of fresh flowers if you shop
carefully and purhcase only those flowers that will look absolutely
real. Be a discriminating shopper!
COVERING: How do you want your floors to look? Would you like rugs,
floor coverings, hardwood, or to lay new tile? If money is tight a
re-doing the entire floor is not an option, an inexpensive area rug
or even a small throw mat can do wonders to warm up a room and inject
a feeling of freshness and change into it. Don't be afraid to lay an
area rug over existing carpet - it creates a comfy 'layered' look.
can be a very fun step. Begin by paging through magazines and finding
attractive rooms. For example, if you are working on your living
room, begin by finding living rooms that have a theme or feel you
would like to emulate in your own home. Don't worry if you can't find
something that is exactly like what you want; you can clip furniture
from one picture and paintings from another. Here are a few more
sources for idea-gathering:
1. If you have a
friend who has a "knack" for displays and interior design,
consider seeking her help and recommendations.
2. Visit furniture
stores, antique shops, and department stores to gather ideas for
displays and decoration. Check your local library and bookstore for
additional books and ideas.
3. Visit your
local improvement store. Look at their idea books and magazines. Find
paint samples and color palettes that are appealing to you.
4. Let the process
of gathering ideas take as long as you desire. Remember this is a
work in progress. Once you have some ideas, pick one to start. I
encourage you to work through one room at a time, completing it in
its entirety before moving to the next room. This way you will be
able to enjoy one room while working on the others and not cause a
lot of clutter or disruption in the home.
decorating and performing a facelift to a room needn't be costly or
time consuming. Adding a new print to a wall, colorful pillows to a
couch, or a few plants can breathe new life into a tired room.
What To Do Now:
ideas. Try to choose at least one idea that can be implemented today
to beautify your home.
~ Brook Noel / Edited
by Linda Kevich
About The Author
Brook Noel is an international, best-selling author
and has written over 10 books. Her works include: I Wasn't Ready to
Say Goodbye: surviving, coping, and healing after the sudden death of
a loved one, Grief Steps, The Single Parent Resource and her newest
book The Change Your Life Challenge: A 70 Day Life Makeover Program
for Women To learn more about the challenge that thousands of women
have used to improve relationships, finances, home management,
self-esteem, fitness, self-care, stress and depression you can visit
the website at: http://www.changeyourlifechallenge.com/.
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