Redec­o­rate on a dime


Chang­ing your en­vi­ron­ment can greatly im­prove your out­look. The key to great decor isn’t how much money you have to spend. It’s see­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties in what you have.

1. Use what you’ve got. I have a friend who calls her­self a pro­fes­sional ar­ranger. Peo­ple hire her to come to their homes and redec­o­rate with the things they have.

She goes through ev­ery room, cup­board and closet, tak­ing in­ven­tory of ev­ery­thing avail­able for her fi­nal de­signs. Then, she com­pletely clears the room and starts from scratch to fur­nish and dec­o­rate with only the things that she found in the home. The re­sults are amaz­ing.

2. Paint is cheap. Chang­ing the color of one wall can change the en­tire mood and look of that room. One quart of paint is all you need. Cool col­ors and lighter tints make walls look far­ther apart; rich, dark col­ors bring walls dra­mat­i­cally closer, cre­at­ing an in­ti­mate look in a large room. 3. Strate­gic place­ment. The fur­ni­ture you use most should be far­thest from the en­trance. If pos­si­ble, avoid po­si­tion­ing couches, chairs, din­ing ta­bles or desks against walls. Give your­self at least 3 feet be­tween the fur­ni­ture and walls.

4. Pic­tures and art. Most peo­ple hang pic­tures and art too high. The fo­cal point for a sin­gle pic­ture or the cen­ter of a group of pic­tures should be eye level for a per­son who is 5 feet 7 inches tall.

5. Groups of pic­tures. Gather the pic­tures you want to hang in a par­tic­u­lar group­ing. Then, get a large piece of pa­per the size of the area where you will hang these pic­tures, and lay it on the floor.

Ar­range the frames on the pa­per the way you want them hung on the wall. Use a marker to draw around each item. Re­move the pic­tures, and tape the pa­per to the wall. Now you can eas­ily see where to put each nail.


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