Radford Words: Spruce Up for Spring

Radford Words
Spruce Up for Spring
by Stephanie Overton

It's time to think spring. At home that probably means cleaning, storing and reorganizing. After spending the winter months inside, you may have noticed a few spaces that could use some help and added a home improvement project or two to your list. It's amazing what a few changes can do to your home. Simple things like a new rug, colorful pillows or an added lamp can revitalize a space without spending a chunk of money.
So what do you want to do? Create more space? Add color? Accessorize? Radford University associate professor and interior design coordinator Holly Cline says the easiest way to spruce up a home or room is to paint. "Painting is the least expensive way to add impact in a home," says Cline. "You can use one color as an accent on a wall or add color to all four walls." She says another way to make an impact is to paint the ceiling. You don't have to use a bright color. Adding a light or subtle color to the ceiling can also change the way a room looks. The right shade of paint can make a room appear larger or more intimate.
Changing the lighting can give any room a lift. From natural to artificial lighting, there are lots of choices. Take a look at your windows. Is it time for new window treatments? There are so many styles, fabrics, colors and patterns available today. It's easy to find what suits your dĒcor or try mixing things up by adding different patterns and colors into the space. Blinds and decorative shades are great options, too. The right window treatment can add style and accentuate the natural light that flows into your home. Cline even recommends the elimination of window treatments to take full advantage of daylight and brighten a space.
Let's not forget about the lamp. A floor or table lamp can create a focal point in a room and is an easy and fun way to add drama. A lamp can be as traditional or as eclectic as you want it. With so many options available at your local department or home improvement store, it won't be difficult to find one that fits your home and your budget.
Cline says that people tend to neglect adding accessories to their home. "When people buy furniture, they're often disappointed when they get it home because their room doesn't look the same. That's because the furniture store has done a good job of accessorizing," she says. "Most people don't realize how important the right accessories are. Something as simple as using a complimentary color in furnishings can create emphasis." You can borrow some of those ideas from the furniture store, chances are the vase on the coffee table or framed art on the wall behind the sofa helped capture your attention. Those accessories that complete the showroom presentation may have helped sell you on that new sofa. Most of the time those accessories are for sale, too.
Want to spruce up your floors? Rugs are your best bet. Sure, you can really dress up a room with new carpet, tile or even wood flooring. But, if you're working on a budget, a new rug is an inexpensive way to add flavor to a room. "People tend to think using a dark colored area rug makes a room look smaller. It doesn't. Darker colors tend to blend with the floor adding depth but not normally taking away from the room," says Cline.

Article courtesy of Radford University (www.radford.edu).