youíre blue or bored, a little thing like lunch with a friend can
lift your spirits. Little things can also go a long way to lift the
mood of a boring or humdrum space in your home, making a major
statement without a major cash outpouring. Here are 12 examples from
local design experts that are sure to inspire you.
1. Add character
"A lot of new construction doesnít
have a lot of character," says Trish Johnson, owner of Trish
Johnson Interiors in Genesee. "Add some crown molding or ceiling
medallions in your living room or master bedroom for some distinctive
style," she says.
2. Color me blue (and green)
"One thing that really makes a big
impact is the color of your walls," Johnson says. "Blue and
green are coming back strong this year in crisp, clear colors like
turquoise, kelly green, sky blue and even electric blue."
3. Bust a move
"If the furniture in your house is
still arranged in the same fashion as it was five years ago, itís
time for a change," says Sarah Steltenpohl, designer and buyer
for Swan Interiors in Wauwatosa. "Try a new floor plan.
Re-evaluate. Move things around. You might be surprised at the
difference it makes."
For something completely different,
gather all of your art and accessories and put them in one place. Then
redistribute the pieces in different parts of your home, suggests Greg
Holm, ASID, lead designer with Peabodyís Interiors in Whitefish Bay.
"Itís almost like having new things without the expense,"
5. A new outlook
How long have you had those window
treatments? "Think about getting new draperies or blinds,"
says Steltenpohl. "If you donít want to do that, just add a
scarf or some tassels to make another color in the room pop," she
"The trend is to open up those
windows with simple window treatments. Get as much light into the
space as possible," Johnson adds.
6. For artís sake
"If you have a piece of art that
is starting to look drab, consider changing the matting. A new mat
color can give a print or photo a fresh, new look," Holm
7. Under cover
days, you can find beautiful slipcovers that will give a brand new
look to dining room or kitchen chairs, Holm says. "You can find a
wide variety of fabrics and the slipcovers can be short or long,"
8. Mix it up
If all of the furniture in your living
room is part of a matching set, consider breaking up the family, says
Steltenpohl. "For a little more interest, bring in a chair with a
different look. Everything does not have to match," she says.
Along those same lines, slipcovers or reupholstering furniture with a
new fabric can really make a difference when things start to look
Mixing materials is also a good way to
liven up a space, says Johnson. "Itís more about your own taste
than about whatís in style," Johnson says. "Mix wicker and
wood, glass or metal with a woven material."
9. Shelve it
Many homes have built-in bookshelves or
cabinets that are rarely touched. "Some people never put books on
those shelves!" exclaims Steltenpohl. "Acquire some books.
Change the focus; change the height of the shelves. Rework your
shelves so you donít have the same thing you always had."
10. Just for kicks
To add the look of a piece of furniture
to kitchen cabinets or a bathroom vanity, Johnson suggests adding some
feet. "Add feet under the toe kick and it adds an architectural
element," she says.
11. Color blocks
spice up an area, add a punch of color, says Holm. "Put several
pieces of pottery in one color near the fireplace or add brightly
colored pillows to your sofa. Group some colorful items together to
make a big statement," he says.
12. Being green
Breathe some life into a room with
green plants or updated silk arrangements. "Sometimes Iím
amazed at how long people will keep the same floral arrangements in
their home," says Steltenpohl. "After a few years, you
really should bring in some new florals. Perhaps change them with the