21 Instant Home Updates

Check out the ultimate resource for simple remodeling ideas that you can try today.

Accents and Artwork
1. Neutral doesn't have to be boring. Add color to your room in the form of artwork, fabrics, and accessories.

2. Don't be afraid of oversize artwork or architectural elements. In the right place, a big piece will make an even bigger impression.

3. Look for pieces that can work in multiple areas of the home, but have fun with less expensive items such as pillows and throws.

Bedroom Furniture
4. Try positioning your bed opposite the entry to the bedroom. This will focus the room on its most important function: being a place to rest.

5. Pull small tables or chests of drawers from other rooms to use as bedside tables.

6. Use angle to freshen up your space. Place furniture in a corner diagonally to open up the room and give it a different feel.

Window Treatments
7. Natural shades offer endless possibilities. Matchstick, bamboo, or grass are just a few examples of the available materials.

8. Worried about blocking light to protect furniture? Try lining your shades with light-filtering fabric. Add some color with decorative ribbon.

9. Getting the right fit is essential. Use a tape measure to get an accurate number, and read installation instructions carefully.

In the Bath
10. Add a chandelier to dress up the bath. As an alternative, go for a modern light fixture, or place lamps around the room.

11. Include furniture. Putting a small chair or ottoman next to the tub will create a comfortable look, and you'll have a place to sit after your bubble bath.

12. Repaint your bathroom, and try giving the trim a bold color. Be sure to use semigloss, eggshell, or washable paint that won't show water spots.

13. Purchase a good quality slipcover. To avoid a sloppy appearance, get one custom-made for your furniture.

14. Always wash the fabric before having a slipcover made in order to deal with any shrinkage that may occur.

15. Expect to pay around the same price for a custom-made slipcover as you would to upholster a piece of furniture. With proper care, it will last for years.

Shelving Accessories
16. Create depth on the shelves. For example, put a painting behind a stack of books, or place a compact plant in front of a tall grouping of candlesticks.

17. Display your photos in frames that are the same size and color. Vary the width, but not the color, of the matting.

18. Don't let books overtake every shelf. Lay some flat in neat piles; then mix in more substantial pieces, such as decorative plates or boxes.

On the Patio
19. Buy a weather-resistant rug for a touch of color in your outdoor room.

20. Build it, don't buy it. Have a buffet or bench custom built to fit your style.

21. If wiring your patio for more lighting is not in your budget, try hanging glass lanterns from heavy-gauge wire. Fill lanterns with candles, and get your alfresco party glowing.

From Southern Living Room-by-Room Makeovers

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