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Try small, stylish changes in a room design before remodeling

June 27, 2014

hardwood floorsInstead of costly remodeling, homeowners can focus on soft furnishings to help them achieve a faster, easier home makeover. If there are already strong elements like hardwood floors in place, decorating decisions can be based around them. The classic look of Anderson's Vintage floors with 5-inch planks, for instance, provide a classic base on which to build a new home design.

Window treatments allow homeowners to create a focal point with color and different textures by coordinating shades with flowing drapes or hanging them alone. Choosing an area rug that complements wood floors creates a mix of hard surfaces and soft fibers. Tying the colors and patterns of the rug into the overall color scheme gives a finished look to a well-furnished room.

Better Homes and Gardens magazine recommended layering a variety of textures and colors and arranging furniture of different heights in a way that encourages your eyes to travel up, down and all around a room. Boldly colored paintings, floor lamps with sculptural bases and pillows that offer contrast to sofas and chairs were some of the eye-catching ideas suggested.

Let personality show
By introducing simple changes, homeowners can delay house renovations or do them in stages, but still have a comfortable and stylish home in the meantime. Taking stock of their best permanent features, homeowners will be able to coordinate new furnishings with their existing decor.

Interior designer Joanna Everitt took this approach when she and her family moved to a mid-century house with great river views. She knew the house would eventually need significant reconstruction, but until a second story could be added to the 1950's-era home, a temporary makeover throughout the house reflected the dwelling's period and the family's personal taste.

Painting architectural features such as ceiling beams and worn brick walls in a fresh white allowed Everitt to bring in any color for accent, such as the bright blue corner chair in her living room. Bold colors in decorative pillows pop against the neutral upholstery of her sofa. She suggested that homeowners always begin with a plain palette, then add the colors they love in furniture and accessories.

In an Elle Decor feature, the magazine encouraged home decorators to try the unexpected. Incorporating some unlikely furnishings and accessories - a whimsical piece of furniture or a large artwork that takes up most of a wall - offers an element of surprise in a room design.