2. Create bold artwork worthy of a modern museum: Just wrap a large artist’s canvas with a patterned sheet or an eye-catching fabric remnant. Pull it tight and staple to the back of the frame.
3. Keep things versatile by covering major pieces—the couch, an armchair—in a neutral shade or plain white. Then you can add color and verve by changing out pillows and accessories rather than doing a total overhaul.
4. Find chic, unique pieces at flea markets, tag sales or surplus sales. Never been? Pros know to go early; the best pieces are sometimes gone even before the sale officially starts. This is cash and carry, so bring plenty of small bills and a strong back or cart. Have a measuring tape with you so you don’t have to pass on a great deal because you weren’t quite sure if it would fit in your space.
5. Paint a cabinet door or part of a wall with chalkboard paint to create a family message center.
6. Give old pressboard bookshelves (the kind with that fake wood-grain look that never fooled anyone), a fresh look. Cover them in self-stick paper in funky patterns or a quick coat of bright paint and add mod wall appliqués.
7. Turn a funny-looking lamp base or an odd vase into a conversation piece with a coat of flat black paint or high-gloss white paint. The look is hip, and draws attention to the piece’s shape rather than flaws like an atrocious pattern or color. Group several vases for a display with high impact and low cost.
8. Perk up a plain lamp shade with overlapping stencils in notice-me hues. DIY tip: Smaller stencil motifs are easier to hold down on a curved shade.
9. Pep up that tired chair from Grandma’s attic with a simple slipcover. Upholstered monstrosities transform into the comfiest seat in the house with large drape-and-tuck slipcovers. Hardback chairs feel dressier with new seat covers trimmed with wide grosgrain ribbons.
10. Don’t limit paint to the walls. A few quarts can give your floor a serious color boost and a touch of charm. Use a chalk line and a T-square to get perfect grids. Check a crafts store for thousands of stencils you can snag for a few bucks. Be sure to seal the deal with a protective coat of polyurethane.
11. Two words: throw rugs. Three more words: colorful, easy, cheap.
12. A small ceiling fan adds a pleasing element to a living area or bedroom. If you’re handy with a few electrical basics (or know someone who is), you can make this upgrade for under $100.
13. Puny windows are a perennial problem. Solve it with an old decorator’s trick: Hang stationary fabric panels on rods wider than the actual window frame to give the illusion of a much larger window.
14. Fill a large glass vessel (punch bowl, tall slender vase or squat pillar-candle chamber) with stones for a spa-inspired accent. Pick up pretty ones at a crafts store for less than $3 a bag, or take a walk by a lake or in the woods and pick some up for nothing.
15. Gather an armload of fallen leafy tree branches and make an instant arrangement in a sturdy vase or pitcher.
Ok really, I’ve got to stop googling and internet stalking all day–back to work =(
Did you attend at UTK? If so, when did you graduate? I am TN gal too, and just love my vols. Oh, and love the bedroom in your pic…very modern and chic.
I seriously cannot wait to see pictures of your new home when it's decorated. You seem to have such amazing taste!
Natasha, I LOVE all those pics. I'm so with you on being an interior designer…I really think it is my second calling in life, haha. I can't wait to see pics of your new home, I just know it will be fabulous!
Have a great day, pretty girl!
ooohhh, i love that first bathroom (it has my teal! :)) and i have been planning on doing a little fun with chalkboard paint in our kitchen! LOVE that idea!………i just have to fine a really big -maybe old and cheap frame! hmmmmm…..
I want my house to look like this 🙂
I'd love for my house to look that nice!! But with kids and a Great Dane those light colors would be the dumbest color choice I could ever make! One day I will have a house that looked as nice as that! 😉
You do have amazing taste!!
I wrap canvases all the time. Cheap and easy way to decorate!
beautiful pics! I can't wait to see pics of your house as you decorate, I am sure it is going to be beautiful!
I love learning cheap and easy ways to decorate because it's so expensive!!
Can you PLEASE come live here so you can help me! Please!??!
I seriously love that first bathroom! You have great taste 🙂
Oh my god I have totally drooled over those same pictures – even in my blog I think! I have actually gone to some classes for Interior Design too! 🙂
Oh! I love the #15 idea…actually have done this many times. Last year, my friend Mary(an interior designer) and I decorated someone's house for her Christmas party. She had a low piece of furniture with a blank wall, and to fill the space, we cut holly tree(the kind without leaves)branches and Quick-creted them in a cute metal bucket. That filled the space AND looked like a really expensive arrangement. You can buy Quickcrete at any hardware store.
Great tips and gorgeous pictures. I could use your decorating inspiration!
As much as I love design (I have a BFA in Interior Architecture), the whole field is full of back-stabbing meanies! I'm so glad to be out of it! The women really knock the life out of you!
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