Paint-free ways to brighten your home

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS -

Au­tumn is a beau­ti­ful time of year marked by pleas­ant tem­per­a­tures and col­or­ful fall fo­liage. But as vi­brant as na­ture can be in the weeks af­ter summer has ended, home­own­ers know that the short­ened days of au­tumn mean less light in­side their homes, which can be­come dreary even in the weeks be­fore the ar­rival of win­ter.

Many home­own­ers pick up their paint­brushes in an ef­fort to make their homes more col­or­ful. But home­own­ers need not em­brace their in­ner Pi­casso to brighten their homes’ in­te­ri­ors. The fol­low­ing are a hand­ful of paint-free ways to add some splashes of color to your home this fall.

• Bring na­ture in­side. Flow­ers and plants can make col­or­ful ad­di­tions to a home’s in­te­rior. Flow­ers tend to be aro­matic, which can make a stuffy house in which win­dows need to be kept closed a lot more pleas­ant. Plants and flow­ers also can im­prove in­door air qual­ity. Sev­eral stud­ies, in­clud­ing one pub­lished in the Jour­nal for the Amer­i­canSo­ci­ety for Hor­ti­cul­tural Science, have shown that house­plants im­prove in­door air qual­ity by fil­ter­ing out volatile or­ganic com­pounds, or VOCs, that can be harm­ful to hu­man health. That’s es­pe­cially im­por­tant come late fall and win­ter, when home­own­ers typ­i­cally shut their win­dows and keep them shut un­til spring, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for fresh air to en­ter a home.

• In­vest in some col­or­ful throw pil­lows. Nat­u­ral sun­light bright­ens a room come spring and summer. But sun­light is in­creas­ingly scarce as fall turns into win­ter, and rooms that do not boast too many col­or­ful ac­cents can quickly grow drab as sum­mer­time sun­light dwin­dles. In­stead of buy­ing new fur­ni­ture, in­vest in some col­or­ful throw pil­lows to give a room a more vi­brant look. Pat­terns can be mixed and matched to pro­vide some con­trast and trans­form a room from some­where to spend time into a sight to be­hold.

• Pa­per the walls. While many of to­day’s home­own­ers pre­fer paint to wall­pa­per, those who want a less per­ma­nent so­lu­tion to brighten up their homes may want to con­sider re­mov­able wall­pa­per. Such pa­per is less ex­pen­sive than tra­di­tional wall­pa­per, and many do-it-your­selfers find re­mov­able wall­pa­per is easy to both in­stall and re­move. Choose a col­or­ful pat­tern that can turn an oth­er­wise plain wall into a po­tent pal­ette that adds some life to your home’s in­te­rior. Be­cause re­mov­able wall­pa­per does not re­quire a sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment, you can ex­per­i­ment with var­i­ous col­ors or change things up each month if you so de­sire.

• Add some art­work. Another way to add color to the walls in­side your home with­out dust­ing off your paint­brush is to hang some col­or­ful art­work. Paint­ings that fea­ture bold col­ors tend to draw your im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion when you en­ter a room, and that qual­ity can make you for­get the room is not ben­e­fit­ting from nat­u­ral light. If you want to go the ex­tra mile, find a paint­ing that fea­tures col­ors which match throw pil­lows or other ac­ces­sories in the room. This way your walls and your ac­ces­sories are work­ing in con­cert to make a room more col­or­ful.

• Rug it out. A pat­terned throw rug is another ac­ces­sory that can ef­fec­tively brighten a room with­out much ef­fort or fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment on the part of home­own­ers. When choos­ing a throw rug, find one that’s col­or­ful but does not clash con­sid- er­ably with ex­ist­ing fur­nish­ings, as you don’t want the rug to draw at­ten­tion for all the wrong rea­sons. You have more free­dom with re­gard to rugs if you’re fur­nish­ing an empty room, as you can choose which­ever rug you look and then choose ad­di­tional fur­nish­ings based on the rug.

Homes tend to darken as late fall turns into win­ter. But home­own­ers can brighten their homes in var­i­ous ways, even if they pre­fer not to paint.

METRO CREATIVE CONNTECTION PHOTO

Col­or­ful flow­ers and throw pil­lows can brighten a home’s in­te­rior with min­i­mal fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment on the part of home­own­ers.

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