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Move forward with simple changes to give rooms a new look

June 21, 2013

Hardwood FloorsSome of the best quick changes that homeowners can make to rejuvenate the decor in their homes are not only stylish but functional and affordable. Choosing new hardwood flooring like Anderson's Dellamano collection, for instance, achieves all three of those goals. Other changes can do the same.

Easy changes
For Florida interior decorator Wrenda Goodwyn, decorating changes begin with a design scheme that's simple and direct and a decluttering plan for all the areas that need a makeover.

Start small by ridding the refrigerator of magnets or recycling the years-old stack of magazines. Then assess rooms to see if there is furniture that can be removed from spaces that are too crowded.

"I always offer some tips that my audience can actually go home that day and either try them out or include them in the decorating plan in their own homes," Goodwyn writes on her blog, Spectacular Spaces.

As with flooring, window treatments can be made easily into decorative focal points as long as they address functional factors such as light streaming into a room, privacy issues and coordination with colors and textures of the other design elements.

Divide and color
Like many designers, Goodwyn has found that allotting a particular color for a certain amount of space or a category of furnishings is a no-fail way to balance different hues in a room design. She distributes color this way - 20 percent walls, 30 percent furniture and 10 percent accessories.

Goodwyn also has a number of quick hints that can be part of any room re-do. They include grouping collections together instead of scattering them, using the same color and style frame for all photos on display, getting rid of standard door knobs and electric switch plates and hanging chandeliers no lower than 36 inches above a table.

Unexpected touches
Some designer tips are ones that few homeowners think of making. Designer Jim Howard, for instance, told House Beautiful magazine that painting curtain rods the same color as the walls where they are hung prevents them from standing out and taking away from the beauty of the window covering. Painting on the color with a cloth instead of a brush creates a softer effect.

To create a really standout treatment on standard shelving and cabinets, interior decorator Jean Larette often wallpapers the backs of the units and cabinets.

"Paint can't come close to the impact," she told the magazine. "It will inspire you to rearrange your shelves."