Give Any Room a “Facelift” Without Spending a Fortune


Like many homeowners, you may think that you’ll never find the budget or the time to turn your mundane living room or bathroom with 30-year old flooring into a functional and up-to-date space that you love.  Spring  is the perfect time to complete projects around the house, but it can also be among the busiest times of the year!  Luckily, there are hundreds of quick, relatively inexpensive and simple ways to make a dramatic impact on any room in your home.


Many consumers think that redecorating their home will cost thousands of dollars and take months.  Fortunatly, there are countless simple solutions that help change the whole look of a room with a minimal amount of effort and at a low cost.


Start at the Bottom

New flooring can change the entire look and feel of a room.  Soft carpeting will make a living room feel more comfortable and inviting, while choosing hardwood or natural-looking laminate flooring will add elegance to an entryway or dining room. 


For a quick and easy change, adding a brightly colored or textured area rug on top of a hard surface.  Area rugs are available in a range of prices and in different sizes and shapes to fit any space.  Recently, there has been a trend towards less expensive area rugs that look remarkably like the high-priced styles.  You can find a range of designs with an expensive hand-tufted wool appearance that are actually made from polypropylene fibers. This is a great option if you’re trying to decorate within a budget!


There are also great options for homeowners who want a high-quality wall to wall carpet but don’t want to spend a fortune, such as,  the Good Housekeeping collection of carpeting.  This collection is available in a variety of styles and colors and, more importantly, it has been tested for durability and performance by the Good Housekeeping Institute.  Only products that meet Good Housekeeping’s high standards are backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal. 


If you prefer the look of a hard surface, you may want to choose laminate or vinyl over more costly hard surface flooring.  You can achieve the look of hardwood or ceramic tile, with vinyl or laminate flooring, which tend to be more affordable and still very durable.  Opting for laminate or vinyl flooring can save as much as $10 per square foot!  This cost savings is mainly because it costs less to purchase the materials for a laminate or vinyl floor than hardwood or tile.  Earthscapes, for instance, is an extremely affordable and durrable, scratch and wear-resistant vinyl flooring.  The Earthscapes designs bear a striking resemblance to real ceramic tile and hardwood flooring and cost a fraction of the price. 


Color & Lighting

Another quick and inexpensive way to give your room a “facelift” is to alter the colors and lighting.  Are you plagued by boring white walls and nervous about making a dramatic change?  Designers suggest to try painting one wall or just the ceiling with a rich, bold color, like cranberry, a warm gold tone, or a deep blue or to try giving your room some dimension by alternating complementing colors on each wall.  Simply adding color to one surface – which requires less time and much less paint – will give the room a whole new energy. 


Another option is to give the room a sophisticated colonial look with wainscoting (the white or neutral colored board that usually comes about halfway up the wall).  Whether your walls are already apple green, or you decide to paint all four of them a new color, wainscoting will break up the color in the space and create clean, modern elegance in the room.  Wainscoting is easy to install and usually comes in pre-cut lengths and a variety of heights. 


Lighting can control the ambiance and set the mood of the room, so you may need to try a few different options before finding what you like.  But the good news is that you can change the light by simply choosing different types of light bulbs, using dimmers or opening unused windows.  If your room is illuminated mostly by fluorescent lighting, you may want to add a few light fixtures or lamps to soften the harsh fluorescent bulbs. 


The Big Pieces

In many rooms, especially if it’s a bedroom or a living room, the furniture occupies most of the space.  So, if you have an old couch with a loud pattern or a dark wood dresser, it may be dominating the décor and hindering your ability to create your own style.  If you’re decorating on a budget, it’s difficult to justify purchasing a new bedroom set or living room furniture, especially if what you own is still in good condition!  But there are some low-cost alternatives:


·         Change the color and style of your couch and chair with slipcovers.  They come in a variety of styles, colors and prices and can be adjusted to fit your furniture perfectly.  Plus, it’s easy to remove a slipcover and throw it in the laundry!

·         Make that old brown couch a little more exciting by adding accent pillows in bright colors or a soft throw.  You can do the same to change the look of your bedding. 

·         Although some bedding can be very expensive, you can usually find a duvet cover and matching pillow shams for a reasonable price.  You can stuff the duvet and shams with your existing comforter and pillows to create an entirely new look!

·         Try rearranging your existing furniture.  Simply shifting your bed to the opposite wall or turning your couch to face a window can make it feel like a whole new room.  Also, try to get rid of extra furniture or clutter so there is a logical and comfortable “flow” to the space.

·         If your dresser and nightstand aren’t family heirlooms passed down from your great-grandmother, you may want to consider painting them.  Try a clean white or a bold green to make them stand out in the space.  For a more subtle look, try black or a neutral off-white shade.

·         If you need to add some new pieces to a room, look for unfinished furniture and re-finish it yourself.  It may take a little longer and require more effort, but unfinished furniture is generally much less expensive than the alternative!


So, now you have no excuses for living amongst plain white walls or subjecting your friends to that orange striped couch from 1979!  These tips will help you to remodel even the most atrocious of rooms to reveal a modern look that reflects your lifestyle – without breaking the bank!


For more decorating ideas and all your flooring needs, visit


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