Tag Archive 'budget decorating'

May 29 2012

How to Organize Your Nursery on a Budget

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

 

When a new baby enters your life, you are filled with wonder, amazement and joy; however one thing is bound to go out of your life, organization. From the constant need to change diapers and outfits to the short attention span your little one has with his or her toys, there will always be a trail of evidence that you have a baby in your home.

It’s good to know that without much investment and with a few simple tricks you can make clean up quick and easy, by incorporating some inexpensive ways to store and organize your nursery.

Re-use old furniture 

Most of us have left over furniture items in our garage or storage. Usually, we associate those items with rooms they never looked good in, or file them under “ugly things that Aunt Eunice gave”, but the truth is that with a can of paint and a little love, you can turn those furniture pieces into wonderful storage units. If you have an old bookcase, paint it with colors that match your nursery, invest in some cheap baskets from a second hand store and presto- you have a chic storage unit.

Buy under crib shelving 

Finding places that would otherwise go un-used is another way to de-clutter your nursery on a dime. You can get a custom shelving system on wheels if you have an unusual-sized crib, but for standard crib sizes you can easily order some sliding drawers that fit under the crib. Some cribs come with these for just a few dollars more if you add them to your order. They roll out easily and hide toys and clothes from sight. If an entire drawer isn’t in your budget, baskets or even oversized plastic salad bowls that fit your décor are inexpensive ways to hide away common nursery spillover.

Baby Hangers go a Long Way 

Something as simple as investing in a bunch of plastic child hangers which range from $1-$5 a bundle can help provide some much needed organization to your closet. Also, if you’re an organized person in general save all of those hangers that you get from your baby shower. They usually have the age of the clothing on the hanger. These can come in handy when you want to organize by age, or to clean out the closet freeing up room for a new set of sizes instead. 

Clean and organize clothes for storage 

Your child will have loads and loads of cute clothes- so much so, that the chances are he may not get to wear all of them before he outgrows them. Since every child grows according to his own time line, save your grocery bags. The next time you begin noticing that your child’s onesies are a little tight, it’s time for a closet clean out. Take out clothes according to size and put them in a bag marked with the same number. That way if you have another child you can easily pull out a bag marked 3-6 months or newborn for use and everything will already be organized. If you don’t plan on having any more children, you will be doing the successor of your clothes a huge favor!

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Feb 24 2012

Do-it-Yourself Tips for Transforming a Bedroom on a Budget

You want your bedroom to be beautiful, relaxing and comfortable.  If you’re tired of the current look but cannot afford a complete remodel, there are many affordable, small touches you can add that make a noticeable impact.  This article offers a few tips and ideas to help make your tired bedroom a beautiful, relaxing retreat that you will enjoy; whether reading, watching television or slumbering.

Add color to the focal point of the room – the bed!

Dressing up your bed is easy, and you can do it without spending more than your budget can handle.

Make throw pillows yourself!  This can easily be accomplished with felt or any other fabric you like, scissors, fiberfill and a needle and thread.  Simply cut out any patterns you like (square, round, etc.), sew together with what will be the outside of the pillow facing together, and leave a 4 inch section open so that you can stuff the pillow with fiberfill.

Once you have completed your pillows, you can embroider, stencil or add appliqués to give them additional personality and color.

Have a boring lamp on your nightstand?

Lamps are easy to transform; in fact, you can do so much to a lamp that anyone who sees it would never think it was the same lamp you had before.

If your lampshade is a solid color or white, consider painting it or gluing a boldly patterned piece of fabric to the shade!  This is easy to do.

Once you have your lampshade covered with fabric or painted, glue crystals, beads, lace or anything else that lends to your decor to the shade.  You can even string beads so that they hang in a fringe-type fashion around the perimeter of the lamp.

If the base of your lamp is crafted of wood, paint it a different color which still matches your decor.  If you like a rustic or worn look, whitewash the lamp or sand around the edges slightly for a distressed look.

Throw in a couple of new rugs

Rugs can dramatically transform the look of a room, and the bedroom is no exception.  Whether you like rag rugs, braided rugs or hand-knotted oriental rugs, the options are endless.

Do you prefer soft, subdued colors or bright bold patterns? Rugs can take your floor from drab to colorful and warm.  Don’t hog all of the rugs for the floor – throw one on the wall to create a unique focal point!

Buy an affordable throw for the bed at one of the big-box stores, add some storage bins under the bed to remove the clutter from the dresser and night stand, and your bedroom takes on a whole new look!

Crafting your own curtains, refinishing your current bedroom furniture, adding a new mirror above the dresser – there are dozens of things you can do to freshen up the decor of your bedroom without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars!

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Aug 02 2011

Create Your Dream Kitchen on a Shoestring Budget

Published by under Kitchens

Remodeling a kitchen is one of the most expensive projects you can take on in your home.  In fact, having a professional complete the renovations can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on what you have done.

You can do much of the renovation yourself and save a bundle of money.  For about 1/2 or less of what you would pay a professional, there are some things you can do that will give your kitchen a whole new look, and greatly add to the value of your home.

In the sink area

A tile backsplash adds color and pizzazz to your kitchen, and pullout faucets offer a modern look while making your sink more functional.

For about $4 per square foot, tile can brighten the room and add interest.  Consider a checkerboard pattern or alternating colors that lend to the decor of the room.  Also keep in mind that tiles do not have to match counter tops; a contrasting look is interesting and adds depth.  You can find floral and abstract patterned tiles, even tiles with fruit motifs.

A pullout faucet can be purchased for around $250, and offers a variety of looks, from traditional to sleek and contemporary.  Not only can you find chrome finishes, today’s pullout faucets are available in brushed stainless steel and copper as well.

The look of new cabinets

Having cabinets built is one of the most expensive aspects of remodeling your kitchen, but you can reface or refinish them yourself if the structure is still good for about 1/2 the price of new cabinetry.

If you decide to refinish your cabinets, this will require stripping the finish and then staining or painting the surface.  For re-facing, you will need to remove cabinet and door fronts and replace them with matching veneers.  Changing the hardware on your drawers and cabinets will also give them an updated new look.

Jazz up the walls

Bland colored walls are becoming a thing of the past.  One of the quickest and most affordable ways to give your kitchen a new look is to paint, stencil or wallpaper the walls using vibrant colors and appealing designs.

Instead of a white or off-white wall, consider bold colors such as green, blue and rustic red.  Soft yellow is nice if you have a small kitchen that needs a bright color; trim out the walls in contrasting or complementary colors to really set off the walls.  Stenciling and sponging techniques allow you to give the walls texture and added design.

Update appliances

Sure, a new refrigerator or stove is expensive – but you don’t have to buy a new one if the one you have now still works well.

If your appliances look a bit outdated or don’t really blend well with your new decor, consider painting them with appliance paint.  You can also buy new panels to put on your appliances so that they blend with your cabinets and lend to the new look of your kitchen.

As you can see, you don’t have to spend a fortune to create your dream kitchen!  Update the windows with new window treatments; consider a porcelain or stainless steel sink.  There are dozens of budget-friendly ways you can transform the look of your kitchen.

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Jul 24 2011

Decorating Your Home on a Budget – Easy Tips and Ideas That Give Your Home Personality

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

In today’s economic environment, many people simply do not have the money for a complete home remodel – but they are tired of the same boring look they have had for years.  Now, you can update the look of your home as often as you like, and the simple ideas below will help make it easy.  Whether you change things up only once every few years, or like to mix it up for every season, the tips below will give you some fresh new ideas.

Paint – cheap but effective

Paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to dramatically change the appearance of your home.  Today, people are using color on the walls in place of white or off-white shades.  Rich shades of honey, pumpkin and other earth tones give the walls an elegant look.  Trim baseboards and door facings in white or other contrasting colors to really set the walls off.

There are many uses for paint other than the walls.  Paint old furniture to give it a new look; stenciling, rag rolling and other techniques add texture and interest.

Make a small room or apartment appear larger

If your living room or apartment seems tiny, there are a couple of easy ways to make it appear much more open and spacious.

Mirrors can work magic for making small rooms look bright and airy.  Place a mirror directly opposite a window for a “sunny” appearance.  You can also place a mirror behind a lamp; the reflection of the light will make the room appear twice as bright in the evenings.

When it comes to furniture and accessories for smaller rooms, keep things light.  Light colored walls and furnishings give the room an open, airy look.  If you cannot afford new furniture and what you currently have is dark, today’s slipcovers fit like a dream and come in countless patterns, colors and designs.

Accessories add up – how to accessorize on a budget

All of those wall paintings and hangings, whatnots which sit on shelves and tables and other accents can really add up to a bundle of money.  Want to know to decorate without breaking the bank?

Art for the walls can be made of anything.  Photos of the family, pictures you have taken of nature, even the artwork of your children.  Or, get out a poster board and go wild with abstract patterns!  You can even cut out those beautiful pictures you often see in magazines, put a glass on top and frame it out.

Make the frames yourself!  This is easily accomplished with a few strips of wood.  The neat thing about this is that you can leave the wood smooth and stain it for an elegant look, or paint the wood then hammer it for a “weathered” effect.

Instead of costly accents to set upon coffee tables and shelves, think nature.  Beautiful stones, branches, dried flowers as well as pine cones and greenery make some of the most beautiful accents you can find.  Place several large bare branches in a large floor vase in a corner for a contemporary look.  Fresh flowers placed in an old cracked pitcher are the perfect touch in a country or cottage setting.

Candles, old books, quilts – there are plenty of imaginative things you can do to give your home a personal touch without spending a great deal of money.

These are just a few ideas that come to mind.  Get those creative juices flowing and you will come up with many of your own unique designs!

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Jul 22 2011

Step by Step Guide to Decorating On a Budget

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Today, nearly everyone is on a tight budget.  The economy is the worst it’s been in years, and buying all new decorating items for your home just isn’t possible.  Sure, you can go for one of those “buy now, pay later” deals, but what will that do to your already tight budget once the credit card charges start rolling in?  Probably not a smart move.

Here are a few tips for decorating on a budget.

Recognize your own decorating style before you do anything else.  If you do not know what your personal decorating style is, chances are that the things you do decide to spend money on will not work together or may be too trendy, going out of style as fast as it came in.

Determine your style, and spend those precious few dollars you do spend on decorating items that will stand the test of time.

Be innovative with those things you already have

Sometimes you can go shopping without leaving home!  Look in the storage shed, attic or basement; there are often old mirrors, tables or furniture that you may have forgotten about.

Also, be a bit creative and try items that are normally used in one room in another room of your home.  For example, if you have a china cabinet that really serves no purpose in your dining room, move it to a girl’s room and display dolls or other collectibles.

Give your existing furniture new life

Many people choose to re-purpose and recreate the furniture they already have.  Strip the finish and give something a new coat of paint.  Take it down to the bare wood and give it a rich luster with stain.  Stencil it for a worn cottage chic look – use your imagination!

You can also find slipcovers that are fitted, so give your sofa and love seat a new look.

Remember that window treatments can break the bank

Many window treatments are extremely expensive, and before you know it you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the windows.

Look around; some of your windows may be facing in a direction that doesn’t need any cover at all.  Let the natural light come through!

Other windows may need only a blind or shade.  If you want to dress your windows up a bit, learn how to make valences yourself, or use sheets to create floor-length curtains that casually drape in a swag effect on the rod.

Good old paint is always a solution, and can change the look of the room more than anything else you do.  Paint the walls a warm shade and trim it out in white, or paint the walls a light shade and add baseboards and door facings trimmed out in bold, deep colors.

As you can see, there are endless things you can do to give your home a fresh new look without spending much money.  Get creative, be innovative.  By using your imagination, you will find that your home will look totally different with very little effort.

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Jun 27 2011

Budget Bedroom Decorating Ideas

If you’re tired of the present decor in your bedroom, there are plenty of affordable ways to give it a new look!  You don’t have to buy new furniture, replace the carpet or add expensive artwork.  This article offers tips and ideas for giving your bedroom a fresh new look without spending much money.

Change up the walls

The single most noticeable thing you can do to give your bedroom a new look is to change up the walls.

Paint is one of the most affordable ways to transform any room in your home.  In the bedroom, consider painting two opposite walls a shade that complements the color scheme; alternatively, try giving the walls texture with techniques such as sponging or rag rolling.

If you’re artistic, paint a mural on the wall!  You might also consider taking some of your photographs, blowing them up and crafting frames yourself out of old worn wood.

Dress up the bed

Since the bed is usually the biggest piece of furniture in the room, it is often the focal point.

If you are tired of your headboard, remove it!  Paint your own headboard on the wall using bold colors, or create a romantic look by draping long satin or sheer curtains on the wall above the head of your bed.  If you don’t currently have a head board, make one out of an old door; you can paint it a bold color, sand it down to give it a worn look – just use your imagination!

Adding a few throw pillows to the top of the bed can also dress it up a bit.

Accents make the room

Tired of your old accents?  Use the things you have stored in the attic or basement.  Cracked pitchers and old vases are perfect for displaying fresh flowers on the dresser or nightstand.

Consider a new lampshade for your bedside lamp, paint the one you have or add tassels or bead-work to create a unique and appealing look.

Candles are a beautiful and affordable way to add a splash of color to the room.  Today, you can find solid colored candles as well as those with abstract and unique designs that really stand out.

Area rugs are another easy way to change the look of your bedroom.  Whether you have wood floors or carpeting you can place coordinating accent rugs on either side of the bed.

For a really noticeable difference, move your furniture away from the walls!  Place your bed in one corner at a diagonal; the look is unique and appealing.

Instead of a plain light fixture, consider a small and romantic looking chandelier.  You can often find accents like these at flea markets and second-hand stores.  These are great places to find new artwork for the walls as well, or even second-hand furniture that you can refinish yourself to create a new look for your bedroom.

Use your imagination and come up with a few creative ideas of your own.  You truly can create an entirely new look for your bedroom without busting your budget!

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Jun 22 2011

Create a Unique & Relaxing Bathroom On a Budget

Published by under Bathrooms

If you are one of those do-it-yourself kind of people, there are many ways you can give your bathroom a whole new look, even if you have little to no money to spend.  While your bath isn’t a room you worry about too much when it comes to decorating, you want it to look nice.  If yours has seen better days and you just don’t have the money to renovate it, here are a few easy ideas that will transform your bath to one you will love quickly and easily.

Cheap sheets equal a unique look

Have a few of those low thread count bed sheets stored away in a closet?  Nothing makes a better shower curtain!  Whether you have solids, stripes or florals, it’s easy to construct a new shower curtain for your bath.

Making the ties to attach to your shower curtain rod is easy as well; simply use bias tape cut into 8 inch strips and sew them to the sheet at 10 to 12 inch intervals.

Another great idea for those sheets you no longer use:  Cut long strips from a sheet that matches the “shower curtain” you made and then sew them along the bottom of your solid colored towels to create a border.  Your new towels will look great, and will really dress up the bathroom.

Garage type metal shelving makes a great addition to the bathroom

If your husband has more of those metal “utility shelves” in the garage than is necessary, steal one of them and create a unique shelve for the bathroom.  Spray paint it a glossy or flat shade that matches the bathroom decor, then add candles, spare wash cloths, jars and bottles of lotions, a basket filled with scented soaps, potpourri and other goodies.

Refinish a linoleum floor

Can’t afford new vinyl?  Just paint your old floors and add patterns with stencils!  You can use paint on tile and linoleum floors; just use 2 to 3 coats of paint, let them dry thoroughly and then apply 2 to 3 coats of polyurethane for shine and protection.

Add a relaxing and romantic touch to the tub

Here’s a really great idea that you will love!  Take a mirror that is approximately 4 feet long (like those you typically hang on the back of the door to check how you look after dressing) and hang it horizontally across the wall beside the tub!  This will make the bathroom look larger, and it adds a unique touch to the tub space.  Mount a shelf underneath the mirror to hold candles, shampoo, soap, body wash, and other toiletries.

There are many affordable ways to update the look of your bathroom without spending much money.  Craft curtains for the bathroom windows out of sheets or even old scraps of lace; clear the clutter off of the top of the vanity, add a large potted plant to one corner of the room.

Put these ideas to use in your home and you will find that you can completely transform the look of your bath with very little expense.

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Jun 20 2011

How to Give Your Living Room a Whole New Look on a Shoestring Budget

Have designer tastes but no budget to go along with it?  You can give your living room a fresh, updated look without spending much money at all.  Your living room is where you relax with family, visit with guests, and generally live your life when it’s time to unwind after a busy day.  You want it to be beautiful and welcoming to all who enter.  This article offers lots of easy ideas for giving your living room an appealing new look without busting your budget.

Give a worn floor a colorful new look

If you have wood floors that have lost their luster, put a coat of polyurethane on to shine them up.

Have cracked tiles or worn carpet?  Decorative throw rugs can hide a multitude of sins!  Braided rugs, square, oval or oblong rugs with bright patterns – these all work to not only cover up a floor that has seen better days, they add color and texture as well.

Paint – one solution for many problems

Paint is one of the most affordable ways to spruce up your home!  If you currently have off-white walls, why not add a little fresh color?  Consider soft blues and greens if you tend toward cool colors.  Those who prefer warm shades should consider shades like rusty orange, warm amber or spring fawn to give the room dimension and interest.

If you decide a little texture for the walls would dress it up, use some of the popular techniques such as sponging, stenciling and rag rolling.

Paint is also a great way to freshen up your living room tables, especially if you like a country or shabby chic look.  Just paint over the existing finish, then do a little light sanding to naturally “wear” the edges.

Have a talent with a needle and thread?

Make your own throw pillows and curtains!  This is easily accomplished, since most pillows are square or oblong.  Buy some discounted fabric in shades that match your decor, then sew up your own original throw pillows.

For the windows, casually drape a long piece of hemmed fabric over the curtain rod leaving a curved “swag” in the center to add elegance, or use cotton or satin bed sheets!  No one will ever know the difference, and your windows will look beautiful.

Take a few ideas from nature

When it comes to accents, there are some easy ways to make your own!  Keep old canning jars, bottles and other glass pieces and fill them with shells, herbs, marbles, stones, nuts, potpourri or anything you like.

Take a few photos when you’re outdoors.  Pictures of nature are beautiful when blown up and framed – you can even craft your own wooden frames for an old-fashioned, unique look or, if you have a little artistic ability, paint your own pictures!  Abstracts, landscapes – whatever suits your decor tastes.

Have a few family heirlooms stored away?  Get them out and put them on display.

Need new lamps but just cannot afford them?  Changing the lamp shades or even the wattage of bulbs you use can make a dramatic difference in your living room.

There is no limit to what you can accomplish when you put your imagination to work!  Visit estate sales and flea markets to see what you can find.  Use any talents you have to create your own original accents.  The ideas above will get your creative juices flowing, and you will have a whole new living room – on a shoe-string budget!

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Jun 19 2011

Kitchen Decorating Ideas That Won’t Bust Your Budget

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

If you’re tired of the current decor in your kitchen and want to give it a fresh new look but you don’t have a lot of money to spend, there are plenty of ways to give your kitchen a new look!  Your kitchen is one of the most used room in your home.  It’s where your family shares meals and the happenings of the day, and where guests congregate to enjoy coffee, pastries and good conversation.

Everyone wants a warm, welcoming kitchen.  Below you will find a few ideas for giving your kitchen an updated and appealing new look.

Paint – the easiest way to transform your kitchen

For years, paint has been one of the most affordable ways to renovate your home, and it’s great for updating your kitchen as well.

Color sets the mood of the room; consider painting your walls a warm shade of amber or rustic red, trimmed in cream or sand.  Cool colors work as well to create a relaxing atmosphere; soft shades of blue and green create an inviting atmosphere.

If your cabinets are worn or dull, give them a face-lift with paint!  After painting, protect with a clear coat finish for a glossy new look.

Give your windows a unique touch

Curtains and blinds can get old, so why not update the look of your windows with a personal touch that is unique?

Consider brightly decorated dish towels as curtains; just hang them across a thin rod with wooden clothes pins!  This is a great look if your kitchen is decorated in a country or western theme.

Another great idea is to use cloth place mats.  Just layer them over each other, and hot glue against a flat curtain rod.

De-clutter and organize

One of the fastest ways to give your kitchen a breath of fresh air is to clean out the clutter!  Remove all small appliances from counter tops that you don’t use very often, and store them in a closet or underneath the counters.

If you have household bills, magazines and other “clutter” piled up on the counter or dining room table, find a drawer or basket to keep them in.  You would be amazed at how open, clean spaces change the look of a room!  Best of all, this transformation is free.

Some of your trash may be treasure!

If you throw away old bottles and jars, consider keeping a few as decorative items!  Fill them with pasta, dried beans, herbs, red peppers, olives and other colorful items and set them above your top cabinets if you have the type that are open to the ceiling.

Some old boxes make great decorative items as well; think of old-time cornstarch or baking soda boxes and cardboard canisters that are often sold in fundraisers and filled with jerky.

Throw rugs can beautify the floor

If you have burn spots, cracked tiles or signs of other mishaps on your kitchen floor, consider throw rugs.  Colorful throw rugs add color as well as texture, and can cover any bad spots so that no one knows they are there but you.

There are literally dozens of cheap things you can do to give your kitchen an entirely different look.  Use your imagination, and remember – your kitchen is yours, so do anything that shows off your personal tastes and decorating talents!

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Apr 12 2011

Budget Decorating Ideas for Your Entire Home

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Is your home getting a bit weary looking?  If you’re tired of the decor you have had for years, you can freshen up every room without spending a bundle of money!  Whether it’s your kitchen, living room, bath or bedroom (or a combination of them all) that could use an update, you will find some great ideas in this article for creating a fresh new look on a pauper’s budget!

Paint – a single solution for every room

There is no single trick to giving your home an entirely new look that is as affordable as paint.  With paint, you can accomplish many things; changing colors, adding texture or making a small room look large.

In the bathroom, use a soft white or pastel color to brighten and enlarge the room.  For the kitchen, consider using shades that blend with your decor; paint baseboards and trim a contrasting color for noticeable appeal.  Stencil on some fresh fruit or country accents, and your kitchen takes on an entirely new look!

Furniture – in the bedroom, kitchen, or living room DIY tips make it easy!

Furniture is a large investment for most families.  If you can afford it, go ahead and purchase new furnishings for those rooms you wish to update.  If you’re on a tight budget, here are a few tricks that will help you change the look of your current furniture.

For old-fashioned appeal – paint your accent and end tables in antique white or country blue, then lightly sand edges for a “worn” look.  Love cottage chic?  Stencil delicate floral patterns around doorknobs on cabinets and drawer pulls.

Want a modern, updated look?  Consider slip covers for your sofa and chairs.  Today, slip covers fit snugly so that you get a sleek, modern look instead of a messy “sheet thrown over the couch” look.  Choose solid colors, delicate or bold patterns depending on your preference.

Create a new bedroom!

In the bedroom, update the look of your bed by placing fabric over your headboard and foot board.  This can be denim, striped or checked patterns – anything you like.  Use beads or even sheets for the windows; colored or patterned sheets make great curtains – just drape them casually over a curtain rod, leaving a swath of fabric loose in the middle for a swag effect.

Paint a mural on the wall, or use a sponging or rag-rolling technique to add texture.

Your kitchen – the “hub” of your home

The kitchen is often the easiest room to re-decorate without spending a bundle.  Use new hand towels as curtains for the windows!  Simply hang a sturdy wire across the top of the window, choose hand towels in a color or theme that suits your decor, and attach them with wooden clothes pins for charm and country appeal.

Need new cabinets?  This can be a HUGE expense.  Sand your old cabinets, then stain or paint any color you like and follow up with polyurethane to protect the finish.  Add new cabinet door knobs and drawer pulls, and you have brand new cabinets – without the expense.

These are just a few ideas you can use in your home to freshen and update your look.  A new shower curtain in the bathroom makes a big difference; create your own centerpiece for the dining room table made from a bamboo basket or ceramic bowl filled with twigs, fruit, fresh flowers or whatever you like!  Put your creativity to work, and you will come up with dozens of easy ideas for transforming every room in your home.

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