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Spring is in the air, and with it, the desire in many of us to freshen up our homes. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a gobs of money for a new look. Now, I love shopping for new things as much as the next gal (maybe more!)  but ready for a secret? You can update your home without breaking the bank. First, try some of these simple ideas that will make a big difference fast! by Paula Gaull

Fresh Fix #1-Paint your walls

Painting is by far the quickest and easiest way to transform a room. Here are some ways to narrow down color choices:

  • Use an inspiration piece that will stay in the room–like a painting, or rug–as a guide.
  • Choose a color from nature that you love.
  • Take a look in your closet. See all those blue shirts? Maybe they’re telling you something. Choose a paint color that looks good on you and you’ll always look good in that room.

Fresh Fix #2: Change your lighting

One of the most important, but overlooked elements in decorating is lighting. Lighting can really affect the look and feel of a room.

  • Arrange your lamps in a triangle pattern.
  • For dramatic effect, layer 3 light sources: floor/table lamp, chandelier on dimmer, candlelight.
  • Don’t overlook natural light. Pull back the drapes and let the light in.

Fresh Fix #3: Re-arrange your furniture

Often when a room doesn’t feel “right”, the issue is furniture placement.

  • Create a comfy conversation area.

    • Tip: Get furniture placement cues from your last gathering–did your guests move chairs to be able to better chat with each other or comfortably reach food on the coffee table?
  • Pull furniture off the walls for interesting feel.

Fresh Fix #4: Accessorize like a pro

Accessories are the most personal (and fun!) part of decorating and the key to making a room feel pulled together.

  • Shop your own house for pieces with similar colors, textures and themes.
  • Arrange pieces of varying heights.
  • Use groupings in odd numbers: 3 and 5 are common.

Fresh Fix #5: Surround yourself with things you love

Here’s the biggest secret of all: your room should be about what you love, not about rules or what someone else likes.

  • Have at least one piece in your room that makes you smile every time you look at it. For example, I have a delightfully cheesy “Cat Pirate” painting.
  • Make your room work for you and your family.
  • If you’re hanging onto a piece of furniture you hate, don’t agonize, or worse, decorate around it. Just get rid of it!
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About Paula Gaull Stylist Paula Gaull, founder of New Leaf Redesign, is a Certified Interior Staging Specialist (CISS) and an award-winning redesigner. She combines a background in real estate sales, marketing and advertising to bring a unique set of skills to her staging and redesign projects. Her one-day room makeovers have earned her national recognition.