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You've Moved! Five Quick Design Ideas to Make Your New House a Home


Moving into a new home is exciting, but also exhausting and stressful. Here are five great decorating projects to add personal touch to your new space -- without wiping out you or your bank account!

1. Chances are good that the very idea of painting after your move tires you out just thinking about it! Thankfully, there are easy ways to add color and charm to the walls in any room until you are ready to add paint or wallpaper.

Because your walls are one of the largest decorating areas in a room, you want to tackle these first for the greatest impact. Try hanging a large piece of nontraditional "art" such as a pretty quilt your grandmother made, or a collection of hockey sticks for the game room. Invest $30 in some dollar-store picture frames, print out some attractive black and white photos off your computer, and then hang them gallery-style on a focal wall. Remember, you do not have to hang something in every empty space.

2. Windows in a new home can often look cold and uninviting, especially at night. Decorating your windows usually should wait until you have a full decorating plan in place, but there are things you can do to avoid the "tacked-up sheet" syndrome that many new homes contend with.

If you don't already have blinds for privacy, pick up some inexpensive vinyl ones ... they install in minutes and are an easy do-it-yourself job. Soften your windows without having to install curtain hardware by adding small cup hooks at the corner of each window, then simply swag a pretty piece of fabric over the top as a valance, held by the hooks. The cup hooks can easily be removed later and the tiny hole spackled in.

3. How you arrange furniture within a room can make a huge impact on the decorating scheme. The right changes can take your room from "I just moved in" apologetic to "Wow, they've got style!"

First, to save your already aching back, work out a furniture arrangement on paper. Consider floating furniture away from the walls, creating conversational groupings, or placing furniture pieces (or the whole room) on the diagonal. Consider using nontraditional pieces as well; a loveseat for the dining table or a small snack table in the family room. Once you have it all on paper, use "sliders" that can be picked up at any discount store under the feet of heavy furniture to make moving easy.

4. Pillows and throw blankets are easily obtained at any discount store and add color and texture to a room in a matter of minutes. This decorating project requires very little work at all -- and after that move, you deserve an easy project with huge payoff!

Choose a color scheme for the room, and then pick up an odd number of pillows and a couple of blanket throws for the sofa, chair or loveseat. Don't worry about color commitment; because throw pillows are so inexpensive, you can change your mind later when you get your decorating plan finished. For now, the pillows and throws will bring in color and create a pulled-together look no matter what furniture you have in the room.

5. Having adequate lighting in a room is an easy secret of interior designers, but it is never truer than in a new home. Lighting your new home can not only make the rooms seem more warm and welcoming, but can also be used as a decorative touch that creates an upscale and pulled-together look without much cost.
The Budget Decorator's secret? "Can" lighting. Also known as up lights, they are simply a metal can light that sits on the floor and illuminates upwards. Placed behind a piece of furniture or a large plant, or to showcase a piece of art, up lights create a pool of light that is subtle, allows walls to seem to fall away, and adds a sense of custom design to any room. Best of all, they can be picked up at your local home improvement store for around $10!

Kathy Wilson is a home and garden writer, author and consultant and the home decorating expert for LifetimeTV.com. Visit her for more home and garden ideas at http://www.TheBudgetDecorator.com and http://www.TheGardenGlove.com.

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A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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