Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Here's a great list for improvements you can make to your home today, for little money:

#5 - Less is more. Go into each room of your house and see if there is a clutter corner, an unused piece that is just taking up room. Get rid of it. There are lots of pick up services for unwanted items - recycle. As for clutter, take it one room at a time.

#4 - Cool it down. Take a look at your wall colours. Most people make the mistake of using warm/flesh tones, which instantly date your home. Sometimes a paint chip doesn't reveal the pink tone. Use a tester pot or giant chip and look at it in all types of light. Cool tones, like taupe and muddy greys, make your rooms look modern and expensive.

#3 - The fifth wall. Look at your ceilings. Most people ignore this "fifth wall" but a tired, yellowing popcorn ceiling makes even the loveliest furnishing look shabby (and not chic!). You can clean and/or paint most ceiling surfaces. Look up!

#2 - Staircases. Your staircases are the transitions between the levels of your home. Also, in most suburban homes, they are the first things guests see when they enter your home. There are lots of low costs ways to spruce them up. Firstly, you can paint the rails and risers - white usually looks clean and lovely. Secondly, a good cleaning and polishing can bring woodwork back to glory. If they are carpetted, you can consider removing and exposing the wood, or replacing with a stair runner.

#1 - Start outside. Your front porch makes a statement about your home before anyone has even seen it. What does your say? Check the paint colour of your door (see #4 for colour tips), add some container topiaries and make sure the space is spotless.

Now don't think you have to tackle these all at once. Try one or two and you'll realize that improving your home's appearance has more to do with good decisions and a little elbow grease than with spending tons of money. Good luck and have fun!

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