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Quick Decorating Makeovers

A Little Change Goes a Long Way
You donít have to do a whole decorating makeover to see a change in your home. There are a number of things you can do in an hour or a day that can really make a difference.

Check out some of the ideas here and see if they can help you bring a fresh look to your home.

Cover a Chair Cushion
If you have a tired looking dining chair or desk chair, itís no trouble at all to put a new cover on it.

Turn the chair upside down. Itís easy if you put a pad down on the top of a table and use that to hold the chair.

Remove the screws that hold the pad to the chair frame and lift off the pad.

For a special touch-up, carefully clean the chair frame. If there are scratches on the wood, lightly wipe the wood with furniture touch-up polish or stain. Or touch it up with a bit of paint. Let it dry for a few minutes, then carefully buff it off. Be careful not to get stain on the fabric.

Lay the chair pad upside down on a piece of new fabric, being sure to center any pattern or stripe.

Carefully fold the edges of the fabric onto the underside of the chair pad and staple it down. Do not cover the screw holes!

Place the chair frame upside down on top of the pad and reattach the pad to the frame with the screws.

Add Pillows to a Chair or Sofa
A boring or dull sofa or chair can really come alive with a splash of color or pattern that a pillow (or a few) can add.

Look around the room to see what it needs. Is it color? Or a bold pattern? Or a subtle pattern? Or some colorful trim?

Visit your local decorating store or home center. Most discount department stores have a wide assortment of decorative items.

Find a pair of pillows that will add WOW to your room. Then look for two un-matched pillows with the same colors, but different pattern. Look for pillows with tassles, fringe, or beads or maybe made of an interesting plush fabric. Remember, these pillows are going to be an accent to your room. Go wild!

Place the new pillows on the furniture. Try different combinations until you hit the jackpot. Youíll see an instant change in the look of your room.

Paint One Wall
If your room needs a pick-me-up, think about painting just one wall a contrasting color, to draw attention and add interest.

You can paint any wall, but think about what youíre trying to accomplish. You could create a backdrop for your bed by painting the wall behind it a different color. Or frame your bathtub with a soothing shade. You might think about the wall behind the dining room buffet or a long hallway wall. How about the wall at the end of a long kitchen?

Whatever you paint will be the focus of the room. Choose wisely, as thatís where the eye will be drawn.

This is a place where you can be bold. Since you wonít be using a lot of the color, donít be afraid to choose a color youíd not choose for a whole room. Make sure the color blends and harmonizes with the other things in the room.

Use blue painterís tape to mark off the wall youíre going to paint. Apply the tape carefully and it will make the job much easier.

A small paint roller may be all you need to put the paint on. Follow the directions on the paint can. Let it dry, and then rearrange your furniture along the wall.

Make a Simple Canopy Over Your Bed.
You can add drama or serenity by constructing a simple canopy over your bed.
Screw chrome, iron, or porcelain towel rings into the ceiling over you bed and pull a long width of fabric through them, forming a swag over your bed.

Hem four sides of a wide panel of fabric, cut the width of your bed and long enough to go from the floor to ceiling and half way back again. Apply fringe or tassels to one of the short ends. Cut two wooden dowels the width of your bed. Hang the dowels from the ceiling across the top of the bed, about 12 inches apart. Swag the fabric panel over both dowels and pull the fabric down to the floor behind your bed. The other end will hang over your bed like a valance.

Cut a 12Ē wide board the width of the bed. Cover it with fabric. Staple fabric cut and finished about 18Ē wide along the two short ends and one long side. Screw the wood board to the wall above your bed, using L-brackets.

Screw a large chrome, wood, or iron ring into the ceiling above your bed, near the wall. Pull a long length of sheer fabric through the ring, spreading the fabric out to the sides of the bed. You might attach the fabric to the side of your bed to hold it in place.

More Decorating Projects to Do in a Day

Quick-Change Ideas

Clean Up an Old Piece of Furniture
If you have a sad, worn dresser or shelf, paint it a fresh color for your room. It will look new, and you wonít have to spend a lot of money.

Remove the handles and pulls.
Lightly sand down the wood, smoothing out snags or bumps. Wipe off the sanding dust carefully with a damp rag. Dry with a clean, dry rag.

Paint the piece, starting with the frame, ending with the shelves or drawer fronts. Let the piece dry for several days.
Think about painting the back of a shelving unit a contrast color from the shelves and frame. Books and objects will stand out with a contrasting background.

Replace the shelves, drawers, and pulls.

Trim up a Lamp or Lamp Shade.
Give a boring lamp a fresh, up-to-date look with trims coordinated to your dťcor.

Using a glue gun, carefully attach braid, ribbon, fringe, beaded cording, or bias tape to the top and bottom edges of a lamp shade.

If the base of your lamp looks tired, remove the shade and cords. In a protected area, spray paint the base. Use either a color coordinated to your room or theme, or choose a metallic spray finish in copper, brass, or brushed steel. Reattach the cord and replace the shade.

Try wrapping the base of your lamp in ribbon or cording. Do just the base, or go all the way up. This will give a totally new look with little work.

Rearrange the Books or Decorations on a Shelf or Mantel
Remove everything from the mantel and clean it off. Look around the house for themed or color-coordinated items. Lay a garland of greens along the mantel. Tuck the collected items into the leaves, clustering like items and balancing the look.

Remove all the books and items from a bookshelf and clean off. Collect books that have the same themeódecorating, travel, literature. Arrange the books neatly on the shelves, creating an interesting collection. Add personal items or photos for dimension and interest.

Move items from one shelf to another, just for the sake of changing the look.

Clear Out a Cupboard or Closet
Take everything out of a cupboard, or do one shelf or area at a time. Organize items by color, style, or useócooking, tableware, decorative pieces.

Decide what items that have been hidden away might find a place out in the open. Discard things that you know you wonít use again. Collect them for a charity.

Replace things on a shelf according to use. Resist the temptation to keep anything you havenít used for over 2 years, except for sentimental items.

Remove items from a close that you havenít used for a while or that no longer fit.
Clean off the closet poles and shelves. Replace the items, grouped by garment typeópants, blouses and shirts, dresses, jackets.

You donít have to dedicate a week or even a whole day to making a change in the look of a room. Youíll be amazed what a lift youíll feel by making just a small change in your home. Whether itís an organization project or an item makeover, itíll put a smile on your face!

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