Design Dilemma: 5 Ways to Redecorate Lite | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: 5 Ways to Redecorate Lite

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Recently, I wanted to redo the bathroom. Completely. My thought was to change every surface — new tile in the shower, new tile floor, new vanity, new bathroom fixtures, minor repainting. It was a tiny bathroom, so I figured our budget could handle it. Until, that is, we had a contractor take a look at the job. The estimate for redoing our simple little bathroom rang up at a staggering $18,000. And I just couldn’t figure out where the money was going, since we were not planning on doing anything to the actual plumbing.

Knowing that an $18,000 remodeling job was totally out of our budget, we downsized the scale of our project and decided to do something I’m calling “redecorating lite.” Instead of changing out the tiles and the floors, the shower kit and the toilet, we opted to focus our hard-earned dollars on the areas that were most in need of some help, and that would provide the biggest bang for the buck. This meant reducing the reining in the work to simply replacing the vanity and faucet, and giving the bathroom a fresh coat of paint. Final cost of the project: about $1,000. On this much smaller sum, the bathroom looked fresh and revitalized and we were happy and relieved that we had chosen the simpler path.

Moral of the story is this: sometimes a lite remodel is all you really need. If you want to redo the kitchen, you may not need to totally revise the floor plan and go for all new appliances. Maybe you just need a new backsplash. If you want to redo your living room, maybe you only need to change the wall color. Wondering what a “lite” remodel might mean? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Rearrange the furniture.


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It’s the simplest and easiest way of all to get a totally different look without spending a dime: Play around with your room’s configuration for dramatic results. In the picture above, a fainting couch is the type of unique piece that has immense flexibility. While here it’s placed in the middle of the room, it could just as easily be placed near the window, or moved onto a diagonal in a corner of the room.


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Can’t afford new furniture? Reupholster what you have! While reupholstering can sometimes cost as much or more than buying new furniture, there are certain changes you can make to textiles and fabrics that are pretty inexpensive. In the photo above, for example, putting a fresh, vibrant fabric on each chair seat could be a simple Saturday afternoon do-it-yourself project. So, too, with the patterned drapes that lend this dining area a youthful, punchy vibrancy.

3. Rearrange your art.

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Here’s another free way to dramatically change any room’s look in record time. You can switch out multiple pieces of artwork and create a gallery wall, which can make any room feel “curated.” Or you can do the opposite, you can move one dramatic piece of art you may own — a painting or sculpture, from one room or location to another. If you don’t have much art to work with, you can create really nice pieces by framing magazine covers, botanical prints or old photos. If you are looking for larger scale, original art, check out numerous online sources for original art.
4. Repurpose.

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Chances are, you’ve got items floating around in your garage, basement or storage room that aren’t living their best life. Why not drag them out into the sunshine and find new uses? Clever and innovative ways of using old items can revitalize a space. For example, in the bedroom above, an old milk crate has been turned into a fun and funky bedside stand — a bedside table with character.

5. Swap out or invest in a new area rug.

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In my opinion, this is the number one change you can make for the biggest, most dramatic change of atmosphere. Area rugs define spaces in one powerful punch. Through color and pattern, they can breathe new life into a room.

So the takeaway is simple: you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars if you are looking to revitalize your home — repurpose, reuse, rearrange, and you may be surprised at how fresh and new your home feels!

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