Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Top 10 Ways To Bring Color In & Recession Chic Projects You Can Do

Right now I am enjoying a well deserved chocolate glazed donut, my reward after making it through my first on-air appearance! If you don't know what I am talking about, yesterday I did two live decorating segments on Channel 69 News at Sunrise: ‘Bring Color Into Your Home Quickly & Inexpensively’ and ‘Recession Chic Ways To Add Life To Your Home’. If you missed it, click here to see part 1 & 2  

I had a great time not just during the segment, but hanging out with the news crew prior to it.  It started at 7 am when I pulled up to the news station in my Honda Pilot packed full of all my decorating props.  I was greeted by the nicest guy who helped me unload my stuff.  I was shown the control room and given coffee (thank you!!!).  After I set up my table for the show I sat and watched the newscasters do their thing.  Isn't this a gorgeous bunch of people! (see above photo of Matt BroderickEve TanneryJaciel Cordoba, and little me in the back). 

Since the show aired there has been so much positive feedback and interest so I  am blogging about some of the most important ideas I touched on and further tips.


The photo above displays the decor items I used on the show. Using them, this worn neutral sofa just got 'colorfied!'  The 20"x20" throw pillow, tray, small patterned container, and lamp shade are from Target;  The large green and small blue ceramic outdoor containers are from Ollies;  And two garden stools are from Big Lots.  Now here are my top 10 tips for bringing in color right now:

1.Change out your paint color.  You have heard it a zillion times-paint color is the easiest, fastest, and most economical way to bring color into a room.  Try one of the hot colors for spring 2010.  They include oranges, slightly green blues (turquoise), and purples.  I like Sherwin Williams Caribbean Coral, Plum Dandy, and Reflecting Pool.  If you only paint one wall one of these ‘hot’ colors, try a grey or gold toned neutral on the rest. 

2. Turn your walls into a piece of art.  Wallpaper is back in a ‘big way’ with tons of designer patterns and colors to choose from.  If you don’t want the paper on your wall try painting your own wall treatment using a stencil or big bold stripes.

3. Less is more on your windows.  Take down those heavy layers of window treatments and replace them with simple panels or sheers.  Sheers don’t have to be boring.  They come in an assortment of colors and patterns.  This will open up your windows bringing in more light. 

4. Re-Accessorize.  Dust off the shelves and bring in a collection of light and bright pottery, floral plates, and glassware.  The more the merrier!  Add color to your kitchen and coffee tables through a table runner and trays.  Place strong colored accents throughout.  Designers this year have created an array of bold accent pieces because color is hot!

5. Re-Imagine wall photo galleries.  Take out the photos from your wall frames and replace them with artwork, decorative paper, fabric, or homemade art (kids make the cutest things); anything with color.  You can always put the photos back in later.

6. Add BIG throw pillows that have a bright fun pattern.  Throw pillows update any room, and add tons of color.  And there is nothing better for hiding a worn, shabby, dull piece of furniture, than hot new throw pillows.  My tip for buying sofa pillows, is to go for 20”20” ones instead of 18”x18”.  They make more of an impact.  And this year bigger and bolder patterns of floral motifs are hot.  Another tip to save money is to buy just the pillow cover.  More and more retail stores are selling pillow covers (Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ikea).  Now you can switch out your pillows as often as you like!

7. Keep your lamp base but change out the lamp shade.  The size, shape and color can make a HUGE difference.   I am always stressing how lighting creates a mood, now imagine colorful lighting.  Why should your lamp wear a plain white t-shirt when it could be dressed for the prom?    

8. Add color under your feet.  Place a cheery bright rug over worn neutral carpet and create wonderful fun color.    

9. Bring the outdoors in.  This not only means bringing in plants and fresh flowers; You can get your hands on tons of outdoor chairs with vibrant pillows & cushions, and ceramic garden stools.  And don’t even get me started on the amount of outdoor pottery that costs half of what you would pay for traditional indoor vases and accents.

10. Add color to your tabletops.  Place a colorful table runner on your dining table, then place a large bowl of bright fruit (fruit is a great way to add color because it lasts; or use   plastic fruit that looks real), or fresh flowers in the center.  Place a fun tray on a coffee table or ottoman (Pier 1 and Target has good options). 


These days we are all watching our wallets.  Recession Chic Style means adding new life to decor you already have so you don't have to spend your hard earned cash.  Go through your attic, closet and basement, to find frames, mirrors, and anything else you want to change up to love it again!
I showed some of the projects above on TV. Read below to find out how I did them, and more!

Pull together a brand new collection of framed art by grabbing all your odd and end frames of different sizes and finishes.  Spray them with a can of primer, then spray them with your favorite color this season.  For a frugal chic look, fill them with remnant fabric or wallpaper, homemade artwork, wrapping paper, or decorative paper.  Fill an entire wall!

See the cute little blue birdies above?  They were once a dark dull finish. Resuscitate accent pieces you have tucked away because they are just not exciting to you anymore.  Simply spray them a new finish, or sand and paint them, if wood.  Remember to prime first.  This method also works great for framed mirrors, accent furniture, knobs and hooks. Works great for old outdoor furniture!

I recycle old glass bottles and vases by spraying them the same finish with paint spray (prime spray first!) and set them together above an armoire, on a table, on top your kitchen cabinets, and my favorite thing to do is use them to hold my necklaces and bracelets.  

I purchased a yard of the colorful yellow bird fabric shown above for a bargain (see above). I wrapped it around a canvas and hot glued it tight to the back (you can staple it too).  I recommend   gluing trim along the back sides, over the fabric edges, so there is no fraying.  Frame the leftover pieces to create a another art piece.  Now you have a colorful fun wall collection!

Check out the book covers above.  This is a super easy way to clean up and brighten any bookcase! Using wrapping paper, decorative paper, or wallpaper, cover books you have  by laying each book open flat on the paper you choose, then trace it leaving a few extra inches on either side, cut it and fold around the book.  

I found this mirror on the side of the street.  I said 'you have potential so come with me!'.  I covered the mirror part with paper, primed it and spray painted it white.  Then using painters tape, I created stripes and painted them purple.  Lastly I used a clear coat of sealer.  It is now fun, bright and useful again!!
I have more Recession Chic projects going on including an old dresser I picked up recently at a 'nearly used' sale.  It was a great deal that I couldn't pass up but getting it home by myself was challenging..... BUT worth it!  I will blog about the makeover soon.  

Decadently Yours,
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