8 Tips to
Spruce Up Your Home
February 4, 2009
Chances are the
decor in your home is a lot like most people's
wardrobes: There are a few items that went out
of style a decade ago, but they're so
comfortable that it's impossible to see them go.
We tend to grow accustomed to our space, and so,
we stop seeing it. People tend to become blind
to their own things, but, everything needs
updating eventually. Home owners should cast a
fresh eye on their living space, pretending that
they've just moved in and are assessing the
previous occupant's design choices.
Your Realtor can
have a big impact on updating a home's look by
helping their clients brainstorm new ideas and
by being straightforward about outmoded design
elements. The following tips can help get a home
up-to-date without breaking the bank.
1. Move it. Simply
rearranging the furniture can reenergize a room.
Add and remove furniture, lamps, rugs, and
accessories from other parts of the house to
create a whole new look. Mirrors are
particularly useful when it comes to updating a
room. Try one out in different rooms to see
where it fits best. Even just moving a mirror to
a different wall can create a more welcoming
2. Plant it.
Houseplants are a generally undervalued design
component that can add texture, warmth, and
color to any room. Just drop plants in their
store containers into decorative planters. Small
plants can be moved easily and regrouped to
change a room's look, while larger ones make a
statement on their own. Group plants of
differing heights, fullness, and color, for the
most dramatic effect. Jettison the scraggly
specimens. It's important to have plants that
are well maintained and in tip-top condition.
3. Paint it. Paint
is one of the easiest and most cost-effective
ways to make a substantial change. Use dramatic
colors in powder rooms and dining rooms, and
more neutral colors in living spaces. When
selecting colors, "be sure to ask, 'What am I
trying to do? How do I want this to feel?'" And
always, always do a test, before you paint the
it. "Clutter just happens, so neaten up!" Use a
variety of organizing tools to make a space feel
polished while maintaining utility. Hooks and
shelves inside the door give people a place to
hang coats and keys, while canvas bins or
natural baskets help contain magazines and
mail. Just a row of hooks pre - attached on a
board is so easy to install, and shelves are a
great way to neatly display collectibles.
5. Hide it. Have a
banged-up wall? It may be easy to camouflage.
Paintable wallpaper will smooth out an uneven
wall or hide minor dents and dings. Adventurous
home owners can even try a simple two-step
painting process for a more complex finish.
Caution: Your intent should never be to mislead
buyers; be sure to disclose flaws that would
affect home value.
6. Replace it.
Cabinet handles, switch plates, and other small
pieces of housing hardware can update a home for
just a few dollars a piece. Scan each room to
see what looks worn or outdated and then replace
it. Inexpensive quick-connect faucets can make
upgrading the look of your bathroom a snap. Just
be sure to measure before you go to the hardware
store. Some sinks are drilled for an eight-inch
spread. Others require just four inches. And
don't forget the toilet seat. Fresh towels and a
new toilet seat go a long way toward making a
bathroom feel clean and new.
7. Light it.
Lighting can have a major impact on a home's
look and feel. Whether a room seems dark or too
bright and harsh, try "layering" the lighting by
adding accent pendants and lamps. Make sure they
have independent controls, so that you can turn
them on and off at will. Light is such a mood
setter," and you can create a cozy feel just by
turning down the lights. Add dimmers in the
dining room, bathrooms, kitchen, and even the
hallways for less than $4 each. Then adjust the
lighting to create the mood you want.
8. Clean it. Turn a critical eye to the flooring
to make sure it's up to snuff. Scrub grout and
seal natural stone. Rub out scratches and nicks
on wood floors with scratch cover. Get down on
your hands and knees and detail the floors. It
takes a little elbow grease, but the results are
well worth it. Vinyl flooring is a bit harder to
spruce up but usually can be replaced easily and
Prudential CT Realty
2790 Main Street
Glastonbury, CT 06033
860-295-0546 home office
860-652-4575 24 hr office
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