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Small decorating changes make big impact

By Anna Cronk, Staff Writer
Published On: May 23 2011 12:56:06 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 17 2013 12:42:29 PM CDT
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The following tips can be used to spice up your space and give your room a new appearance -- without spending your whole summer on the project.

Sarah O'Keefe, director of merchandise at Patrick Sutton Home in Baltimore, suggested that one way to begin a mini room makeover is by picking a single item and building your room's new look around it.

"The inspiration piece could be anything – a piece of art, a rug, a throw pillow or even your own back yard," she said. "Change out the throw pillows. Throw pillows are a great way to change the color scheme in a space. Find an inspirational pillow with a pattern that has different colors in it. Then look for coordinating pillows that pull from the inspiration pillow in different sizes, shapes and textures."

Color can also be added to a larger canvas -- a wall or two -- without the work of painting an entire room.

"Painting an accent wall will create a bold change without a week or two of taping, scraping, priming and painting," O'Keefe said.

The look and feel of a room can also be altered not only by adding items but simply by moving those that you already have."

Rearrange your furniture. Try different arrangements," she said. "Your furniture doesn't need to be placed against a wall -- if you have the space, pull the furniture out and try arranging it at an angle."

Just the illusion of something new can often be enough to make it feel fresh. Also, placing chairs, couches and beds near or facing a window will allow for added light, which can be a welcomed effect of rearranging in the short winter days.

Another option to revive a drab space is adding finishing touches to tie a room together.

"Accessorize. Once the paint is on the walls and the furniture is arranged, look around the space and see where there are holes," O'Keefe suggested. "Do the walls need a piece of art or a mirror, does the coffee table need a large decorative bowl, and could the bedside table use fresh flowers?"

Choosing basic items that can be flexible with the changing décor are handy in adding a finishing touch.

"My favorite accessories are large clear glass hurricanes," O'Keefe explained. "Just put a candle in the center of the hurricane and fill the space around the candle."

Because of the ease of revamping the contents of glass hurricane candleholders, these can be your piece that keeps the room ever-changing. Even when there's no time to paint or rearrange furniture, a quick swap of the contents can create a new look.

"What's great about hurricanes is that you can keep them out year-round and change the look with the seasons or when you feel like you just need a change," O'Keefe said."

For the fall, fill the hurricane with pine cones or acorns or both. For the winter, fill the hurricane with decorative berry branches or cranberries, a bag of mixed nuts in their shells, or cinnamon sticks. For the spring, fill the hurricane with fresh flowers or river rocks, and for the summer fill the hurricane with sand and sea shells.

"Implementing any or all of these suggestions is sure to add a spark of novelty to your home at a time where much of the world is shutting down for the winter. With a bit of color or an interesting accessory, home will be a place you look forward to spending time in the colder months.

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