Monday, October 22, 2018
   
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Small Projects With Big Impact

Though I consider myself quite the homebody and an “indoorsy” sort of person, by this time of year I always feel pretty stir-crazy after being cooped up all winter. Spring Fever has me longing to put away my winter coat and boots and haul the patio furniture out of storage, but the lingering cold, rain and pervasive damp all too often keep me trapped indoors and feeling positively antsy. If you’re feeling the same way, why not take these last few homebound weekends to tackle a relatively small home-improvement project before the weather allows us to turn our attention to our gardens and sunny afternoons spent outdoors?   These relatively inexpensive updates can typically be completed in a single weekend and offer major style-impact for a minimal investment.

Swap out an Overhead Lighting Fixture

Whether it’s updating pendant lighting in a kitchen, finally replacing the “boob” lighting fixture in a hallway, or trading out a traditional chandelier with something more contemporary (or vice versa!), a new lighting fixture can give a room an entirely new look!  Shades of Light’s website offers hundreds of styles of pendants, lanterns, chandeliers, and semi-flush and flush-mount ceiling fixtures that you can order from your kitchen table and have delivered in a matter of days.  Don’t have any fixtures you want to update?  Try swapping out a plain lampshade for a colored or patterned one.  I always love black lampshades for their inherent drama and moody effect, while patterns like a vibrant ikat, muted stripe, or subtle floral can add another layer of depth and charm to a space.  Shades of Light also offers a variety of shades –  from luxe pheasant feathers to casual woven seagrass and brightly colored linens, they are sure to have something to suit your style and space.

Install Applied Moldings

One of the improvements I always recommend to clients who have a “lonely” chair rail in their home is to install paneling or applied moldings beneath it.  While true wainscoting or raised panels are certainly the ideal, if that level of investment isn’t in the budget, simple applied moldings can provide a similar look for a fraction of the cost and can be cut and installed onsite in a day or two.  Have the chair rail, the wall beneath it, and the applied moldings all painted the same color as the rest of the trim in the room for an elegant, timeless look.  White or cream always works in this application, but bolder colors can provide a high impact look as well! If you already have wallpaper above the chair rail, consider playing up one of the colors in its pattern.  If your upper walls are a solid color, consider using the same color but 2-3 shades lighter or darker on the lower half.  You will be amazed at how much these added moldings can dress up a room, hallway, or stairway and most contractors don’t charge much to cut and install these, given the relative ease of the project.

Paint the Powder Room

These small rooms can be painted in no time and are the perfect space in which to take a risk!  Given how quickly they can be painted or wallpapered, powder rooms provide the ideal opportunity to try out a deep, richly saturated color or a large-scale patterned paper that you might be hesitant to use in a larger space in which you spend a lot of time.  A few coats of paint can completely transform a powder room, and you’ll have an excuse to pick out a few pretty new hand towels to match your made-over room. Add one or two pieces of artwork to complement your new wall color, and the transformation is complete without any construction or costly fixtures.

Embrace these last few cold weekends to tackle a quick indoor project, and you’ll enjoy its lasting impact long after our weather has turned for the better!

Kitty Burruss is an interior designer, wife, and mother.

Follow her at www.Westchester Decorator.blogspot.com.

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