Ideas that call for a little imagination, and little money, add instant style to any decor.
Canvas the Area
Hang canvases painted with interior latex paint to brighten blank walls. Think big: The canvases should fill the wall.
Create a Side Table
Stack modular storage units to make a stepped side table with surfaces for displays and lighting. Create miniature still lifes in the cubbies, or stack reading material that you’re going to get to…someday.
Plates in unexpected colors make a fresh wall arrangement. Vary hues (within a family), sizes, textures. Put the most dramatic plate toward the center (lay out the plates first to experiment); attach wire plate hangers and hang plates on picture nails.
Lighten Up With Wicker
Inexpensive wicker that looks as if it belongs outdoors changes the mood of any room. Put chairs in a sunny corner of their own or mix them with your upholstered pieces.
Make Your Own Art
Even photocopied art looks sophisticated when it floats between two pieces of glass in Umbra’s Document Frames. The wall color shows through the glass, creating the illusion of a custom mat.
Use shells and other beach bounty to warm up a kitchen, an entryway, or a stairwell by creating a rustic, relaxed display.
Add interest to a store-bought lamp shade with the help of ribbon, glue, and an eye chart. (Print one for free online, then have it enlarged at a copy center.)
Fake a Headboard
An easy paint project: Create a trompe l’oeil headboard. Cost: about LKR.5,000 and zero floor space.
Hang a Gallery of Photos
Mine your albums for your best shots (pick a theme: weddings, birthday parties, vacations) and put them in identical frames. Hang in a tight grid or a long line—you can’t go wrong if you stick to a geometric arrangement.
Reflect Your Style
Define a space—here, a foyer—with a mirror that adds both drama and light. This one is a hand-me-down dressed up with one coat of spray paint.
Bring in Shades of Colors
Colored lamp shades can make a bold statement. Limit the colors to one per room, and select other lamp shades in neutral tones, such as parchment and white.
Stack Your Books
Piled books draw the eye. If shelves aren’t high enough or deep enough to accommodate oversize books, stack them on a flat surface, such as a bench or an end table.