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Make small changes in existing decor to give room designs new life

March 27, 2014

Handcrafted Hardwood FlooringThe oak flooring in Anderson's Vintage Coastal Art collection comes in a sand dollar finish that fits as well with traditional country decor as it does with contemporary style. When house features have this kind of versatility, homeowners can vary their home design according to the seasons, their decorating whims or when a room needs an upgrade.

For Florida interior decorator Wrenda Goodwyn, decorating changes should always begin with a decluttering plan for the areas that need a makeover. Start small by ridding the refrigerator of magnets or tackling the years-old stack of magazines. Then assess rooms to see if there's furniture that can be removed from spaces that are too crowded.

On her website, Spectacular Spaces, Goodwyn counsels home decorators to take stock of furniture that's cherished and revolve new purchases around these pieces. Quick changes are often all that's needed if the core furnishings still make homeowners happy.

Reverse colors
When Philadelphia decorator Donna Hoffman begins a room makeover, her first step is to "deconstruct" the existing color palette. By reversing a room's main wall color with an existing accent shade, a new accent hue is introduced. An added benefit is that this reversal allows homeowners to keep the same furnishings, because the color scheme essentially stays the same.

Once the new accent color is in place, Hoffman recommended removing any other accents that may take attention away from the new look.

Remove dated styles
Getting rid of out-of-style window coverings and reupholstering furniture are two ways to instantly improve the appearance of a room design. But older upholstered furniture can also get new life from neutral-colored accent pillows in different shapes and sizes, according to House Beautiful magazine. Pillows may be one of the most inexpensive elements in a room, but they are highly visible and useful as well.

Nothing dates a room faster than a window treatment that's out of style. While intricate drapery may still have a place in formal settings, most rooms benefit from a lighter look that comes from shades used alone or simple, classic curtains that go with many furniture styles.

Making a window the focal point of a room is easy considering the number of treatments available. From the rich traditional look of wooden blinds - that can be matched to a room's wood floors - to stylish roman shades, homeowners have a wide range of styles from which to choose.