Don’t sweat the small stuff — change it up

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

SMALL projects can have a big im­pact on your dé­cor and your out­look. With our busy lives we don’t al­ways have time for a huge re­dec­o­rat­ing com­mit­ment so we get over­whelmed and don’t do any­thing at all. If you’re at the point where your room needs help but you can’t make a huge in­vest­ment in time or money, start small. One or two week­end projects might be all you need to keep your dé­cor ap­peal­ing un­til such time as you can delve into a big­ger re­dec­o­ra­tion project. Who knows, these small up­dates might be all you re­ally needed in the first place. Some­times, a small in­vest­ment in your home will make you ap­pre­ci­ate what you have and make you re­al­ize that you have is pretty great; it just needs a lit­tle tweak­ing.

Keep­ing in mind that we’re all busy, I’ve com­piled 12 quick and easy dé­cor projects us­ing items you most likely have on hand.

In most cases, you won’t even have to go shop­ping for sup­plies. Look around the house for items that can be used for the projects be­low.

I’m sure you’ll find enough stuff to com­plete at least one of the projects listed be­low.

Update your lamp shades. I know you’ve heard this one be­fore but have you ac­tu­ally tried it? Sim­ple craft paint can be used to ei­ther change the en­tire colour of the shade (black is stun­ning) or to add a de­sign to it. Use a hole punch to cre­ate a line of holes along the top or bot­tom (or both) of a shade and string dec­o­ra­tive rib­bon, leather ties or what have you, through the holes to cre­ate a dec­o­ra­tive border. Sim­ple beaded bath­tub chain can be hot-glued onto a lamp shade to cre­ate an in­ter­est­ing border or de­sign as can vin­tage neck­laces, beads, but­tons and so on.

Re­ar­range the fur­ni­ture. You may have done this sev­eral times but did you con­sider switch­ing items from other rooms? If you have, con­sider plac­ing your fur­ni­ture on an an­gle for a new look.

Open shelv­ing or cab­i­nets can be trans­formed by treat­ing the back of the open shelf with wall­pa­per, paint or even mir­rored tiles. Use a bright colour to give your space oomph, then ar­range items on the shelves in a pleas­ing dis­play.

Cre­ate a photo or plate shelf us­ing a length of crown mould­ing (at least four inches deep) and in­stalling it at the head of the bed or in a hall­way. You can cre­ate a tower of shelves by vary­ing the lengths to cre­ate a triangle dis­play of three shelves or more. Paint the shelves in a com­pli­men­tary colour. You may have to glue a small plate stop to the top of the shelf to keep the plates from slip­ping off. A sim­ple piece of wooden dowel and a lit­tle hot glue will do the trick. If you don’t have a piece of dowel, just run a thick bead of hot glue along the top of the shelf to act as a plate stop­per. Once it dries, it will do the trick. You can even paint over the hot glue when paint­ing the shelf to make it less no­tice­able.

Re­ar­range ta­ble top dis­plays. Get rid of the clut­ter and use height and scale to cre­ate drama.

Re­move up­per cabi­net doors in the kitchen to cre­ate open shelv­ing. Con­sider paint­ing the backs of the open shelves with a vi­brant colour that will make your dis­play re­ally pop.

Paint small fur­ni­ture items to give them new life. New paint and new seat fab­ric on dated din­ing room chairs can trans­form them into some­thing beau­ti­ful. If you don’t have enough fab­ric rem­nants to match, use co-or­di­nat­ing rem­nants to cre­ate an eclec­tic look.

Gather all of the framed fam­ily pho­tos scat­tered about the house and cre­ate one large dis­play as a fo­cal wall. This will have much more im­pact. The frames don’t have to match. Play with the var­i­ous shapes and sizes on the floor un­til you come up with a great lay­out then trans­fer that to a fo­cal wall.

Paint the in­side of a dark en­try door and frame in white to brighten up the foyer and give it new life. Paint­ing the in­side of closet doors can brighten a gloomy closet as well.

Re-hang your art­work to cre­ate a fresh new dis­play. Bring in items from other rooms and mix things up a bit. Paint or re­place dated frames.

Make dec­o­ra­tive con­tain­ers from old card­board gift boxes by cov­er­ing them in fab­ric or wall­pa­per. Use them on top of the dresser or in the bath­room to cre­ate hid­den stor­age for small items.

Use leftover wall­pa­per to cre­ate large cut-outs for a nurs­ery wall or child’s room. Geo­met­ric shapes, car­toon char­ac­ters or large letters can be cut out of wall­pa­per and eas­ily ap­plied (and re­moved down the road) to cre­ate a cheer­ful space.

Some­times a change is a good as a rest. Check around your home for small items that could of­fer a big change for your dé­cor.

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