Toris Design Box

5 Affordable Makeover Tricks

For a list of the top 5 Affordable Makeover Tricks…..that do not involve staples or a glue gun…please read on!! Don’t get me wrong. If you’re a DIY warrior who decided this morning to run out to Home Depot or Lowes, for a glue gun, heavy duty staples and a gallon of paint – and ready to manifest your inner designer-on-a-dime avatar…….more power to you. However, for an affordable design makeover, the process involves a bit more than stapling, gluing and painting (as seen on TV).

It is about having a plan (of sorts)  – even a basic one will do – and following the list. This blog tells you how to get affordable done. How to stretch your decorating dollar to it’s max. At the same time, how not to make costly mistakes. Mistakes occur when we are lured by what appears affordable at first glance – but once you begin to see the big picture – stops being so! Contrarily, chief among the many myths of decorating is the belief that spend big and you won’t go wrong – right? Wrong! Design begins and ends with details details details and not in the pocket book. The key element is not what to do but how to do it. So, here’s my list of 5 affordable makeover tricks…..

Oversized Artwork –

Make Art matter. Whether you found it at a  swap meet while digging through piles of framed generic still life art pieces or a piece you chanced upon online while hunting for something else entirely – the scale of the piece is key.

“When in doubt go big”  was the advice one received from a design mentor early in my design career. It has never failed me when it comes to selecting art for my clients. Whether it’s black and white abstract art or a sepia-toned oil on canvas portrait of a nude or a simple still life of wine and fruits on a table – make it big in order to make it count.

Add an Accent Wall –

Paint – and I cannot stress this enough – is the quickest least expensive tool to makeover a space. So when you’re ready to make sweeping changes to your room – go one step further. Create a feature wall working with different colors.  A feature wall – or a feature room – can be created by painting horizontal stripes on a wall – or all four – of the house

Another option is to paint a mural. Don’t let the word mural intimidate you. Who says you need to be a budding Picasso to pull off a mural with flair? Do a little bit of planning. Understand the scale of the mural in relation to the scale of the room. Also consider the other furniture and fixtures. Plan what colors to use. Plan the theme. Then decide on your subject. Do a small pencil sketch on a sheet of paper – or a napkin – first.  Just keep in  mind be big, be bold and most of all, be you. Let the mural represent who you are. That room will become your feel-good room and your refuge as you marvel at your own creativity and can-do spirit!

Add a Function – Add a bar

Cooped indoors for the better part of two years, we have to work on squeezing out more usage from our homes and each of its rooms.  No matter how small a room, I create multiple areas for more than one task in each room I design. For instance, a living room could benefit from a chess table drawn up to the fire to enjoy a game.

Affordable design - bar cart

A family room could always use a bar area. When planning on bar furniture, if you are in the mood for splurging, go for a tall Chinoiserie Armoire. Or a William and Mary Secretary Hutch that can double as a desk during the day. You can switch it to a bar unit, come happy hour. Otherwise, spring for a bar cabinet with bar doors, interior lighting and all the bells and whistles if you have the space for it. If not and if you have a small to standard sized room think bar cart. A home bar will make even the smallest, most cramped rooms go from feeling claustrophobic to being a place to relax and unwind.

When choosing a bar cart, the style of  will be determined by what style you decided to decorate your room.  If the space is a modern Industrial style loft opt for a metal cart in a nickel finish.  if your preferred style is Hollywood Regency – with a twist of feminine yet powerful girl-boss – find a bar cart in vintage matte brass or bronze finish. A rattan or wicker bar cart works well with a British Colonial look with classic Ralph Lauren vibes. Next, make a list of basic bar supplies.  Keep a list of your favorite sundowners and what you need to make your drink.  Now start stocking

 Go Dark –

Dark hued walls or a dark toned wallpaper adds instant glamour and invites you in for some serious cozy nesting.  A navy blue bedroom is often my go-to for a quick dose of the classics – without making it look dated. Lacquered brown walls matched with snow white bed linen and pillows give the bedroom a decidedly hotel-like ambiance.  I have been known to cover all four walls of a client’s bedroom with a charcoal fabric with a large scale repeat pattern. 

Chalkboard wall

A black bedroom fills a room with drama and gives off chic upscale vibes. Keep in mind, the color you choose must be a shade –  a color mixed with black – which is more sophisticated rather than a tint – a color mixed with white – which is more playful.  In color theory, a tint is a mixture of a color with white, which increases lightness. A shade is a mixture with black, which increases darkness. Both affect the color’s saturation. In other words – how the surface behaves in relation to the light in the room.  Will the light be absorbed or will the light bounce off of it.

Go Up –

Last but not the least in my list of 5 affordable makeover tricks – bring in a tall piece of furniture.  This will make the space more functional. It will also help the aesthetics of the space by drawing the eye upwards thus creating a sense of spaciousness.  Horizontal lines make a space look casual while vertical lines make them dressy. For instance a tall piece of furniture. Like a ladder leaning against the wall, laden with magazines. An upright bookshelf styled with books, candles, vases and collectibles, will give your room the illusion of added height.

And those are just a few of my absolute top favorite 5 affordable makeover tricks. For more blogs on affordable design ideas for your home …..stay tuned!

Photo credits: Image of oversized artwork image credit Decoist.com – Traditional bar cart under Holiday wreath image courtesy – Southernliving.com – Hollywood Regency brass bar cart image courtesy Elledecor.com – Living Room with accent wall mural image courtesy Apartmenttherapy.com – Image of nursery with dark chalkboard wall courtesy Goodhousekeeping.com – Living room with tall bookshelves image courtesy Forbes.com

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