Tuesday, March 24, 2009

recessionista revamp

Question Time! So we all know the economy sucks, but that does not mean we can always harness our desire for good design. Sometimes we have this undeniable urge to spend & spruce. So if you are in a pinch but can't stand being in your bedroom/kitchen/bathroom/general space anymore, take your piggy bank to Coinstar and lets get started!

"In a bad economy, what is the cheapest way to upgrade the design of your home?"

Sort of a broad subject but I think we are going to break it down space by space. Let's focus on a couple of key areas and hit some bullet points for each.

The Bedroom/Living Room
  1. If you have any sort of sheet, craft paper, garbage bag, or fabric being held up by tape, nails, or hot glue over your window and you are calling it "drapery" please, I beg you, TEAR IT DOWN! Drapery doesn't have to be expensive although it isn't cheap. West Elm is a great source for drapery. Their hardware is good looking & substantial, plus their panels are good quality. Please, remember to measure carefully. But starting with drapery can add a great softness to your room along with adding some vertical interest. If you have low ceilings it will help the ceiling feel higher then it actually is. If drapery isn't for you, keep reading, but please please rip down that damn sheet.
  2. Lighting. Places like Ikea, Z Gallerie & West Elm have made is so easy for you to get good looking, good quality, and affordable lighting. You will be amazed at how adding something as simple as two new reading lamps will make a difference in your space.
  3. If you are anything like me I always love buying new bedding. I am so indecisive sometimes I want something very boho chic with a vintage floral pattern and sometimes I want a sleek hotel look of simple clean white linens. Anyway, I am always up for changing my bedding and with fantastic companies like Dwell & Thomas O'Brian coming out with collections for Target you can't go wrong.
  4. If you want to update your living room, get yourself some new fluff. Meaning, get a slipcover to go over your old plaid college sofa (because buying a new sofa just isn't an option) and look for some really lovely throw pillows. West Elm has great pillows and throw blankets to beautify any sofa or seating group.
The Kitchen/Bathroom

  1. Start with the walls. Taking the weekend to throw up a coat of paint is the easiest and fastest way to make a change, it's also the least expensive. A couple of things to remember: 1. if you are going to add a bold color, try and keep clear starting and stopping points--meaning, make sure the color has a place to die into (preferably a corner) 2. get good paint and try to get low VOC paint, it's better for you and the environment! 3. remember if you don't like it, it's just paint so take a risk!
  2. Update your fixtures. If an entire remodel isn't the in cards (or wallet) for you, try updating your faucets, hardware, lighting, etc. It doesn't have to be expensive and you can find great deals on everything you need. Expo is going out of business and they have some really lovely faucets/shower heads/etc. One thing to remember, if you are changing bathroom sink or bathtub fixtures, make sure you change the drain hardware too (you don't' want a lovely new polished chrome faucet with an old brass drain--not cute) You can find really pretty hardware at Anthropologie, Target, and Home Depot and it's really easy to install yourself. If you are going to change out your lighting or plumbing fixtures I do suggest getting a professional to do that.
  3. Everyone knows the fastest way to make a change is with accessories. Which is why typically we at MWDA like to keep our broad spaces pretty neutral and hit it up with pops of color. So change out your shower curtain, bath mats, and towels (you probably need new ones anyway) and update your kitchen in the same fashion. Get new kitchen towels (help out the environment and stop using paper towels people!), and accessories (I for one would love a bright orange toaster)
  4. If you are feeling a bit more ambitious paint your kitchen or vanity cabinets! Everything looks great with a fresh coat of high gloss paint. If you are so over your 90's cherry kitchen cabinets and your builder standard white bath vanity, then change it! Make sure you sand and prime and all of that (I would hit up google for some formal instructions.)

To sum it all up in a couple sentences: Paint is inexpensive, so use it to your advantage. The entire world is having a sale, again, take advantage!


Jaz said...

Red maple cabinets can create a warm cherry kitchen if you order kitchen cabinets online.

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