Your Ultimate Guide to Real Estate on Chicago's North Shore

7 Steps to a No-Cost Room Makeover

Home Sweet HomeDo you wonder how you ever fell in love with your home?  Does your home seem like a stranger, that no longer reflects your personality, your taste or your lifestyle? Are you bored and uninspired by your surroundings? Do you wish you could just move out and start over someplace else? Never fear….redesign is here!

Redesign is the art of giving your space a fresh new look and improved functionality using the things that you already have. Because usually it’s not the things you have that are the problem, but rather the way they are arranged or combined. A few simple changes using basic design principles can make a space more livable, more coherent and more visually pleasing.

Pick a room in your house and follow these seven steps. You’ll be surprised at the difference you can make without spending a dime.

1. Find the Focal Point

Every room needs a focal point. It can be a natural focal point, like a fireplace or a window with a view, or it can be an entertainment center with a TV. Once you have identified it, everything else in the room should revolve around it and focus on it.

2. Create a Conversation Area

Set up your seating in a U-shaped or L-shaped configuration facing the focal point. Anchor and unify the conversation area with a rug whose color coordinates with the upholstery of your seating, and place a coffee table within easy reach.

3, Use Pairs

Using pairs of armchairs, end tables and lamps can create a cohesive and balanced look in the room. If you don’t have matching and tables, you can use two of similar height and finish. Just don’t go overboard with pairs. If everything in the room is one of a pair, it can get monotonous, so mix it up a little.

4. Light It Up

Make sure the room has sufficient light, in the form of general lighting (recessed cans, chandeliers) and task lighting (table and floor lamps). Accent lighting can be used to highlight a painting or as an uplight on the foliage of a large plant. Put all the lighting on dimmers so you can control the overall mood and ambiance of the room.

5. Hang Art at the Right Height

Avoid the mistake of hanging your wall art too high. Art should be hung at eye level only in rooms where people are usually standing, like foyers and hallways. Otherwise, art should be 6-8 inches above a sofa back or 8-10 inches above a console, buffet or desk.

6. Accessorize in Odd Numbers

Placing accessories in groupings of 3, 5 or 7 is more dynamic and visually interesting than even numbered groupings. Use tall, medium and shorter items in the same grouping and place them in a triangular pattern, with the tallest on the end or in the middle.

7. Avoid Clutter

Don’t let accessories dominate. Add only those that will enhance the overall look and feel you are going for. Store the rest and rotate them in when you are ready for a fresh look.

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