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by Debbie Wiener

Even a Small Decorating Budget Can Yield Big Results.

1. Paint It!

The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to change a room. Use paint to make even empty, unfurnished rooms feel warmer and older room designs seem fresher. In one week-end, a small amount of money, time and effort can yield huge results:

  • Paint your ceilings!  That's a lot of real estate to leave in plain, old white.  Add some color instead.  My favorite blue for ceilings-Cumulus Cotton from Benjamin Moore.

  • Add color around your white fireplace.

  • Add color at the top of the room by striping your crown molding

  • Accent one wall with your favorite color.


2. Curtain Calls!

Give new life to older curtains that you can't yet replace. Buy colorful tie backs and decorative trim at your local fabric store. You can add tapes, scalloped edges and tassel trims to the inside or “lead” edges to make plain curtains look new again and “pop” with color and style. Add a valance over plain curtains to totally re-vamp the style.  My favorite on-line trim source? M&J Trimming. Got too much on your window? Take down curtains leaving shears or simple blinds to allow more light and spaciousness into your room.  If you're using thick rods and rings, re-hang your existing curtains on newer, smaller hardware.


3. Follow the three R’s!

Re-mat, re-frame and re-arrange your art and photos to update wall and table top displays. Replace white and off-white mats with something fresh and colorful- grass green, pumpkin orange or periwinkle blue. Try a few new frames to give new life to your photos. Check out the assortment at Framebridge.

4. Toss It! If you can’t afford to change the sofa and chairs, change your toss pillows! Soft, down-filled pillows in unexpected patterns and bold, solid colors will make the seating look new and feel luxurious. My favorite sources include Pier One, Bliss Studio, Company C.

5. Light it Up!

Nothing makes modest rooms look impressive like good lighting. Start by lighting up room perimeters to make small spaces look large and dramatic. Inexpensive canister up-lighting, purchased in home stores, fits in floor plants and behind furniture to add Hollywood style accent lighting along room walls. Battery-operated flameless votive candles use LED bulbs for realistic and long-lasting candle light that’s perfect in groupings. Add them down the middle of a long dining table, along a fireplace mantel or on shelving for soft, zen-like room lighting. Replace your old standard bulbs with LED versions at 3000K for whiter, brighter light in all of your existing fixtures.

6. Touch-ups! Keep a a few Touch-Up Paint Pens handy for quick corrections to white cabinetry, doors, wood trim and even white tile grout! It quickly covers flaws, dings and damage, making painted walls and trim look new again!  Got scratches on painted furniture and walls? Slobproof's Touch-Up Paint Pens fill can be used to camouflage marks on furniture legs, walls, picture frames…just about anything in color.


7. Do the Flip!

Rotate sofa cushions to hide wear and tear and to extend the life of your seating. Got a spot on that seat cushion? Turn it over and keep the clean side up when company comes. Rotate your area rug to extend its life span and even out the wear and tear. You may even be able to hide spots and stains under furniture with this simple move.

Debbie Wiener
Debbie Wiener

Debbie Wiener is the owner, creator and principal designer of Slobproof. While she is NOT a slob, she married one! Then she had two boys, a dog and a bird and they became slobs and well...... instead of losing her sanity and screaming at her family, she decided to design a SLOBPROOF home. Talk is cheap, but emails are free! Got a question, concern or a designing dilemma in search of a designing solution? Email me at and I’ll do my best to email you back thoughtful answers that you can really use.

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