(ARA) – Now is the time to throw out those wilting, brown plants you’ve been harboring all winter hoping they would regain consciousness, those pea green bathroom accessories that were purchased at the thrift store for $.99 – for the complete set, and that out-of-date Nagel print that no one has laid eyes on without wincing.

Though it’s difficult to renovate your home with the all the necessary furnishings and accessories without mortgaging an arm and a leg, you can make small, inexpensive changes that can make a dramatic difference.

Below are 7 ways that allow you to decorate your home, the way you want, without getting a second job to pay for it.



1. Dim your lights

Believe it or not, just changing where light shines into a room can transform the entire place, Most people don’t pay attention to the lighting in their home, and opt to use the fixtures that came with it. But rather than using overhead lighting, you may want to place lamps intermittently throughout your home. Throwing light from the side, rather than from above, will cast a cozy and homey feel. The warmest looks can be achieved with paper lamps, which diffuse and soften the light, and provide more atmosphere in your room.

2. Paint your walls

The newest colors for this season are greens and terra cotta, according to color expert and designer Jean Van Wie of Home Depot Minneapolis, Minn. “Greens are the new neutral. Greens that are grayed, neutralized and earthy are being used quite a bit. I’m seeing a lot of terra cotta shades – not the blue-reds, but russet-reds – especially in the kitchen.”

You’re not limited to just brushing paint on the walls either – Home Depot offers free training on techniques for decorative painting, such as stenciling and sponge painting. “Decorative paint techniques are a great way to add color and texture,” adds Van Wie.

Of course, no one says you must follow the color experts. If green is not your favorite color, try something new. Try to stay away from plain white, however, which can make rooms feel stark.

3. Rejuvenate your bathroom

A place where we probably spend too much time is the bathroom. Walking into some bathrooms is like walking into a bad thrift store – nothing matches, there are usually three different patterns, and toiletries are everywhere. You can take control of your bathroom by replacing small accessories, such as toothbrush holders, cups and lotion dispensers in the same design.

4. Decorate with wall murals

Rather than wallpaper, why not try a wall mural? Walls murals are easier and take a significantly shorter time to put up than wallpaper. Murals come with a non-toxic, environmentally safe, biodegradable starch paste that is safe enough to eat. All you need is a smoothing brush, bucket, sponge, a little elbow grease and two to three hours of your time.

5. Hang prints or mirrors

Nothing opens up a room like mirrors. This is perfect for renters to make a small hallway or living room appear larger. Place an unusual mirror at the end of a short hallway to elongate it, or place a few thrift store finds in a small room to make it appear larger Prints and pictures are also a great idea to make your home fee) like your haven. You can hang photographs of friends and family in small groups along your wall to make one

large collage, or you can hang large, prominent pieces throughout your house and mix it up with smaller frames. If you’re tired of banging nails into the walls to hang your frames.

6. Buy some plants

Nothing says home like green plants. If you don’t have a green thumb, try a low maintenance plant like a philodendron or pothos. They don’t require much light or care, and thrive welt indoors. Buy several tall palm varieties to place next to chairs and windows to bring the outdoors inside. Smaller plants look great on tables, shelves, and windowsills. Adding a hanging basket with cascading leaves will add a dramatic flair in large entryways. You can purchase plants at your local garden center, as well as receive free expert gardening tips. Visit Planetgarden.com (www.planetgarden.com) for ideas, tips and care for your plants.

7. Move your furniture around

For those that are really on a shoestring budget, rearranging your current furniture in a completely different way will make it seem as if you’ve walked into a brand new home. This requires no money and only a little bit of creativity and work on your part.


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