Monday, February 18, 2013

With a little creativity you can add luxury to your home

Maintenance projects are things that homeowners have to do but when it comes to things people want to do - it’s all about decorating. 

“Seventy-two percent of homeowners plan to decorate or redecorate in the next two years,” according to the 2012 Houzz and Home Survey. “Eighty-six percent said that improving the look and feel of the space was their most important goal.”

If you need décor inspiration there are plenty of sources. Houzz.com is a cool site (newly discovered) that features finished rooms (literally thousands of photos proudly posted by area designers) to inspire and even guide you. Tip: Have a room picked out before you venture into the site or you’ll be there forever, surfing through the wonderful examples. Once you see something you like there’s no reason you can’t make it your own - with the right materials and a little creativity.

Below are a few ideas to get you started:
* Razzmatazz pink or Trompe L’oeil -- The quickest way to add a fresh look to a room or any part of a home (door or even a floor) is a fresh coat of paint. Every year - paint manufacturers come out with a new color to satisfy whatever trends might be going on. “Neutrals such as C2’s Scout - which is a kind of taupe and Reindeer which is a darker brown, are still popular. But eggplant and lime green are among the trendy colors this year,” said Frank Agrusa, who owns Van Jaarsveld Decorating Center in Utica. 

You can also add richness and depth by applying a specialty paint treatment. As one decorator explains Trompe L’oeil is French for an art technique that involves using realistic imagery to create an optical illusion. Instead of rolling out two coats of flat paint you can use several paints to create the look of linen or leather. There are also metallic paints that can be used to create patterns. One of the home office photos on Houzz showed a walls covered with a black paint - once dry becomes a chalkboard surface.

* Trendy textiles - Fabrics are another way to add drama to a room. If you visit IKEA you’ll see they use fabrics not only as accents but to create walls of color and design that can be used as practical tools to divide a room or hide something as ugly as a basement sump pump. Don’t forget about the furniture. You could replace it - but that’s a huge expense. Instead consider having a piece reupholstered with a fabric that looks beautiful but is also durable. I love white but I’m also a mom so I need something that will hold up. Today’s technology using microfibers has enabled textile manufactures to produce fabrics such as Sensuede (www.sensuede.com) - which has the luxurious look of suede but is easy to clean and child- and pet-friendly. If you’re looking to reupholster something yourself visit a store such as Calico Corners in St. Clair Shores for ideas and perhaps even help with the project.

* Luxurious accents - A chandelier hanging from the ceiling or white satin pillows added to a black sofa. Jewels clipped to a lampshade or a brightly colored throw tossed over a comfortable chair. Little accents can go a long way to dress up a room. My mum used to swap out her accessories - with every change of season. She had a box marked fall, winter, spring, summer and red (for Christmas). Once in a while she would go through the boxes and sort out items that were worn, out of style, or out-of-favor.

* Floor coverings - People often forget that flooring is another design element. Then they see a house with rich cherry wood or ceramic tile floors and they realize the impact a beautiful floor can have on a room. If you have hardwood floors - consider having them refinished. You can also add new area rugs or trim. Got an area that has lost its luster because of wear? Consider cutting it out and reworking the floor to include a wood design or mosaic tile.

It’s surprising how a few changes can add luxury to one’s living spaces.

Send comments to gina.joseph@macombdaily.com, follow her on twitter @ginaljoseph and visit her blog at macomblife.blogspot.com

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