By Gail Belsky
The entertaining season is upon us, which means it’s a little too late to start a major home-makeover project. But a few small changes can make a dramatic difference in the way your living space looks -- and how you feel about having people over. In just a few hours, these simple ideas will help you make what’s old new again … before the doorbell rings.
Dress Your Drapes
Depending on how many windows you have -- and how big they are -- your drapery can account for nearly as much wall space as … well, your walls. Changing or enhancing what’s already there can make as big an impact as putting up a new paint color.
· Switch it up.
If you’ve got the time and money to shop for new drapes, try a totally different look than the one you have -- new color, pattern, texture, etc. Change the hardware too.
· Add swag.
For an even quicker fix, buy long hemmed scarves and create swag valances to go over your existing drapes. Don’t worry too much about being matchy-matchy; the bolder you go, the bigger the difference.
· Double down.
For short drapes, add some interest, color and drama by sewing on a bottom tier of contrasting fabric to make them floor-length.
Pick up Your Couch
You don’t need to re-upholster to completely change the look and feel of your sofa. Just go pillow crazy. Remove the originals that matched so perfectly, and replace with a contrasting potpourri of sizes, textures, colors and prints. Choose a wide assortment and start playing. Pink next to red and yellow? Try it. Silk alongside chenille and chintz? Could be great. Get creative and whatever you don’t use, return. Be sure to toss a few onto the love seat and armchairs too.
Change the Focus
When you walk into your living room or dining room, what do you see first? Give your guests something to look at other than a plain tablecloth or empty coffee table.
· Veg out.
A huge vase of fresh flowers can infuse a room with color.
Scatter smaller vases around the room to create an indoor garden.
· Light up.
Hang a new eye-grabbing lighting fixture over the dining room table.
· Spruce up.
Set an indoor tropical tree in an empty corner.
· Go big.
Replace a small framed print with a statement-making large one.
Play With Patterns
Solid colors -- on carpeting, tablecloths and upholstery -- tend to disappear and make the room look flat. Patterned surfaces add depth, especially when you layer them. For an instant makeover, put a bright Turkish area rug under the coffee table and a muted jacquard runner on top of it. Then drape a multi-stripe silk throw on the couch. You don’t have to pay a fortune either. Check out Craigslist and eBay, and hunt online for sample and warehouse sales.
In less time than it takes to make stuffing, bake pie and roast the turkey, you’ll have completed a one-day home makeover.
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