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Try simple changes in home design to keep rooms fresh

May 09, 2014

When you have hickory hardwood flooring like Anderson's Vintage mixed-width planks, you want your home decor to live up to that quality and style. Your upgrade doesn't have to be extensive or pricey. A few well-placed decorative changes will freshen a room that's in need of a new look.

One of the most common complaints that homeowners have is that there's never enough space for their family's needs. Low-ceiling rooms can make a small room look even smaller, but there's and easy way to give the illusion of a higher ceiling. Hang drapes or a valance above the window frame and that creates an impression of the window being located higher on the wall than it truly is.

This Old House magazine advised homeowners to adopt the philosophy of eliminating room design features that don't work and replacing them with those that fill a current need. One featured re-do showed how homeowners took an old, double-door closet, removed the doors and created a storage area in their children's room that provided plenty of drawer space, a room mirror and an attractive asset to the room.

The same approach can be taken with an old bookcase that looks drab and outdated. Wallpapering the back of the case brightens up an otherwise utilitarian piece of furniture, and creates a beautiful backdrop for the books and collectibles displayed there.

Light and space
Everyone takes lighting for granted as a necessary part of the room. As a result, it often gets overlooked as a feature that can be played up from a decorative standpoint. But Better Homes and Gardens magazine has found a different way to accentuate lighting.

The magazine recommended that home decorators place a main light fixture in a spot that complements the natural light that streams into a room. The effect creates a layered look of lighting, punctuated in other parts of the room by task lights that give accent to specific areas.

While you're at it, think about ways to upgrade your lamps. Painting the base of a lamp or changing the lamp shade may be all you need to create a new style that fits best with your furnishings.

If your furniture arrangement has become boring, simply moving furniture around may be the answer. Often, homeowners have too much furniture in a single space. Think about which piece is needed least and remove it. The rest of the arrangement will likely fall into place quickly with more space available.