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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Updating a room does not always mean a complete makeover


Raise your hand if you’ve spent the last few weeks preparing your child for college: driving to out-of-state campuses; shopping for dorm room accessories; finalizing student loans; or moving furniture, clothing and personal belongings up numerous flights of stairs.

Now you can relax. You’ve earned yourself a little “me” time.

When you start thinking about what you’re going to do with all of that extra space once occupied by your child, consider a makeover. Of course, your college student expects to have a bedroom to come home to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t utilize it for another purpose during the school year.

Most parents who have children attending college are strapped for funds, but updating a room does not always mean a complete makeover.

Take the window treatments, for example. Instead of the heavy denim that matches your son’s quilt, find something new and suited to how the room will be used. If it’s going to be a guest room, consider something contemporary such as faux wood, honeycomb blinds, roman or vertical shades. These would be appropriate for a home office, too.

If you want to brighten up the room, consider sheers. White is nice, but any color will allow more light into the room as well as give it a new look.

Instead of the full-length mirror, consider hanging several smaller funky mirrors. Look for big circles or little teardrops at stores such as IKEA, Lowe’s and even Home Depot and create a grouping of mirrors.
To create the illusion of having more windows in the room, hang a large mirror between two windows.
Now that the desk and old dresser drawers are gone or no longer in use, consider updating the furniture or replacing it with other pieces. For instance, move the old clunky entertainment center into the new room and replace the old center with something modern. This move creates a fresh look in two rooms. Z-Line Designs furniture is not only suited for today’s flat screen TVs, but easy to install. What’s nice about the newer entertainment centers is that they take up half the space.

Another way to update the room is to swap out accessories with items that are sure to give the room a new look. Throw pillows are always a great way to brighten up a room or tie in a theme such as gardening, books and travel. Swap out the picture frames or the peace poster for something suited to your theme.

Make things interesting. Look around the house and see if there are some familiar pieces that can be put to use in your new room. Consider something that has been stowed away, such as rare books or a collection of Fiesta bowls, as the focal point for a new grouping on a shelf or end table.

Finally, consider replacing the traditional bed with something multipurpose such as a futon or daybed. This will allow you to add the things you need for your room, be it exercise equipment or art supplies. When the prodigy son/daughter does return, the room will once again serve as a bedroom.

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