Are you tired of your dated, dull, or well-worn interior? If so, you may want to consider an update. Fortunately, there are many ways to create a new look without breaking the bank. With the following tips, you can create a fresh look by combining some of your existing furnishings with a few new or new-used pieces to achieve the atmosphere you desire.

Painted furniture.
This trend has come and gone and come around again. That’s excellent news for creating a whole new look without the expense of all new furniture. Several styles of painted furniture are currently popular, so there’s something to fit every personality. Painted styles include the worn look, matte finishes, and ceruse style. Colors range from the newly-popular earth tones and muted hues to bright and bold color paints

Toss the vertical blinds.
These lack appeal and have gone to the wayside. The trend is for windows to add to the beauty of a room. When windows are ignored, they make a room feel dull and uninviting. Look for elegant fabrics in solids or prints that compliment the colors and styles in your room. Another popular choice is bamboo shades, which add texture.

Mix patterns.
At one time, this was a strict no-no, but it’s become increasingly popular. There are several tricks to make it work, though. First, use patterns of various sizes. Use a large, medium, and small pattern to bring them together without conflict. Also, use patterns in odd numbers. For example, rather than 2 or 4 different patterns, use 3 or 5. Be sure to balance the patterns throughout the room rather than cramming them all in one area.

Earthy is in.
Warm, earthy tones are back in this year, and cool is out. For a larger room, you could paint it in a darker earthy shade. For smaller rooms, choose lighter warm shades of paint. White window casings and doors are also out. So consider stained wood, a color that complements the walls, or the same color as the walls.

Mix & match furniture.
Nothing says boring more than a living room full of matched seating and ottomans. Create contrast with complementary colors and patterns. If your sofa is solid beige, try adding a chair with a red, beige, and brown pattern.

Combine styles.
Gone are the days when everything in a room had to be of a singular style. Today, people are combining two or three of their favorite styles to create character and uniqueness. It’s merely a matter of choosing the right pieces from different styles that complement each other.

Minimal is more.
The decor is essential to any room. It adds personality and creates intrigue. But overdone can feel overwhelming and makes it difficult to notice anything. A few scattered pieces to create focal points is better.

Avoid ‘fast furniture.’
The era of throwing a room together with cheap, disposable furniture is over and for obvious reasons. Opt instead for quality pieces that will last and add value to a room. If the cost of new quality furniture isn’t in your budget, watch Craigslist and for like-new quality pieces at a fraction of the cost.

Mix metallics.
People commonly use only gold or only silver tones in a room. But the two combined can be very attractive.

Add plenty of texture.
Modern and contemporary is the in-thing. But too much of it makes for a dull, sterile look. This problem is easy to solve by adding texture, which creates dimension and makes a room more interesting. Add tufted or fur pillows to a sofa. Also, add a few objects with a rough finish and a shag rug to a hardwood floor. Don’t forget to bring in elements of nature with a couple of real plants or a stack of logs near the fireplace.

Avoid monochromatic color.
Rooms with monochromatic color schemes are out, whether the colors are pale, earthy, or bold. Choose a primary color, and then accent colors that are not in the same color family as the primary.

Mix tableware.
This is a great way to save money while adding interest to your table. One option is to choose one pattern for dinner plates, another for salad plates, and another for bowls that compliment each other. Alternatively, select several different place settings, each in different colors or patterns. These can be had for practically nothing at thrift stores, estate sales, or on clearance.

The right size art for your wall.
When choosing artwork, it should be proportional to the size of the wall. Large pieces go on large wall spaces, and small go in small areas. Also, hang art at the right height. An average height person’s head should come to the center of the art piece.

Add height.
There are several ways to make a ceiling appear higher. First, choose a ceiling color that’s light and at least a shade or two lighter than the walls. Use short furniture to make a room look taller. Finally, order extra long drapes so you can raise the curtain rod 5″ to 7″ above the window casing. ■

By: Kimberly Blaker