One Room at a Time

One Room at a Time
by Jennifer LB Leese

Not all home decorating ideas require a heavy investment of time and money. If you're looking for a few affordable home interior decorating ideas to freshen up the rooms in your home...try the ones below and remember...take one room at a time.

Foyer- Naturally, the foyer is the first thing people see when they walk into your home. Is your foyer so crowded with shoes that you forget what color the floor is? Are there jackets everywhere? Has it become a catch-all? If so, it may be time to rethink the design of your entryway. The first thing you should do is to define your storage needs in this room. Clear away all the unnecessary items then measure and plan. If you can add storage organizers such as shoe bins and/or cabinets, do so. Make your foyer a room your guests will remember.

Living Room- In the home, the living area, or the receiving room, is one of the busiest rooms. It's also one of the main rooms guests initially see and form a lasting impression about the home. Because of this, the living area should be well-decorated, well-laid out and inviting to guests and family members. It should project a homey, comfortable image while portraying your family's likes.

There are several ways you can decorate your living area to create an inviting place: rearrange the furniture, paint the walls and decorate with warm colors, add mirrors to add space and depth, and lay out statues and unique lighting for a touch of elegance.

Dining Room- Whether you use the room occasionally or every night, maximize the function and style of your dining room layout. Some say that the dining room can be the easiest rooms of all to improve. A little paint, some chair rails, new light fixtures, window treatments, flooring...

When remodeling or rearranging remember that the absence of accessories keeps the look simple. The floor's diagonal lines draw the eye into the space. White walls and upholstery contribute to a contemporary feel, and vaulted ceilings add height and volume to this such a small room.

Kitchen- The kitchen is where everyone gathers; it is the heart of the home. For someone who has just remodeled her kitchen...I can tell you it is worth the time spent in planning and the aggravation of dusting and sweeping several times a day. My kitchen wasn't big by any means...but when my husband and I redesigned the layout, we added a huge amount of floor and wall space.

An increasing number of Americans are remodeling, upgrading, and uplifting their kitchens. But if you're like many in the early phases, you have no clue how to get started. Experts say the most important thing you can do is give yourself plenty of time to plan and budget your project.

Updating an old kitchen with new modern appliances is a great way to get more money out of any home. New stainless steel appliances are always a hit, and the value they add means they more than pay for themselves.

Master Bedroom- Adding new life to your old bedroom every few years is an essential. Start by removing all the old clutter in the closets. Add a fresh coat of paint and new carpet or give the hardwood floor a makeover.

Surround yourself with objects that inspire and comfort you--items you love. Your bedroom should feel comfortable and romantic. Make the room reflect your personality. If you have a collection, this is a perfect spot for it. Collections are best when displayed in groupings--create a visual impact. If space is tight, and your collection is large, include only the best for your display.

Kids' Bedrooms- Your child's room is where they hang out the most. Therefore, just like adults, they want their surroundings to be comfortable, relaxing, and reflect who they are and what they like. When redecorating your child's room, be sure to include them...after all, it is their room.

Bathroom- The bathroom is one of the most visited rooms in the house. It is also the room that should be clear of clutter. If you're looking to update and brighten your about adding fresh paint and pictures to the walls. Accessorize--just like the right jewelry adds the perfect finishing touch to an outfit, a new set of accessories can dramatically change the look of a bath and bring a style together. And don't forget those easy, low-cost decorative touches that can create a whole new look, such as new window treatments, a colorful shower curtain, towels and bathmats, or even small items such as soaps and candles. If you're still looking for more, install a new faucet and light fixture.

Basement- Finishing an unfinished basement, or adding new rooms to an existing finished basement, is a great way to improve your family's enjoyment of your home. A finished basement greatly increases the living space, and the value of any home.

Little Touches

Hardwood floors- Tearing up old, dirty or worn out carpet and replacing it with new hardwood flooring is one of the least expensive and most valuable of all home improvements. Many home buyers prefer the elegance and ease of cleaning of hardwood floors to carpets, and this one change can enhance a home's value many thousands of dollars. This is doubly true if the existing carpet is stained or fouled with pet and other odors.

Lighting fixtures- Unlike fixing the roof, installing new lighting fixtures is a very inexpensive home improvement project. Despite its low cost, however, the installation of new lighting products like ceiling fans, chandeliers or pole lights can do much to enhance the beauty and charm of any home.

New wallpaper- Like paint, new wallpaper is one of the least expensive, yet most valuable, ways to make an old home look new. In the course of daily living, the wallpaper on the walls of your home can take a beating, especially from furniture rubbing up against it or toys being carelessly tossed aside.

Hiring a decorator- An interior decorator can be a wise investment for any homeowner. A trained eye can spot many areas for improvement.

Jazz it Up- Add snappy new drawer pulls to cabinets. Replace Lamps, seeking out new and fresh lamps that make a statement. Add decorative pillows using different textures and patterns. Greenery always adds a breath of fresh air to a room. An area rug is a wonderful way of defining a conversation area. Try one that complements the room. Hang pictures that reflect your personality or hang a mirror for space.

However you choose to update your home sure it reflects you and your family's wants and needs.