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Interior design, one room at a time

Changing the deco in your house doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. If you tackle one room at a time, one area at a time, you can have what looks like a new home in a few months. Also, if you choose wisely, the changes you make don’t have to cost a lot.

We sought the help of Jill Abelman, local interior designer and owner of Inside Style, to pinpoint specific pieces throughout your house that will have the greatest design impact. Take a look. If you start now, walking in your front door could be an entirely different experience come spring.

The Bedroom

New bedding can cost a bundle. Change the look of your bed with quirky pillows. You can add character either with size, shape, fabric or embellishment. Any of those features will give your bed a little personality. If you have special photos hanging up or decorating your dressers, Abelman recommends switching out the frames. Trade out boring browns for accent colors or eye-popping patterns. Garage sales and thrift stores can be fine sources for antique or vintage frames, too. Last, cover a significant space of flooring with a colorful area rug to add a little flourish. If that doesn’t quite do the trick, patterned drapes certainly will. Damask, paisley or wide stripes can all instantly liven up a bland area.

the bathroom

It’s a smaller area than the other rooms in the house, so if you’re working with a one-person team you might consider wallpaper here. It’s always Abelman’s first choice for the bathroom as it’s a nice way to punch things up. Next, take a look at your light fixtures. If you can walk into this room and not notice them, it’s time for a change. Abelman suggests something that demands attention, like a chandelier over the bathtub. If that’s out of your economic reach, try something smaller. “New towels and big fragrant soap bars always make me feel pampered,” says Abelman. “And they can be picked up very inexpensively at a place like Home Goods.”

the living room

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to change out every piece of furniture in this room to make it look new again. In fact, you can just rearrange the furniture for a fresh feeling. Look for new ways to situate your furniture, add an ottoman or get rid of heavy pieces for a twist on things. If you can, add a bright accent chair. Don’t forget about lighting, either. Brightening up a space can give it a real makeover. Use decorative lamps or decorative candleholders for this. Last but not least, Abelman advises adding a nice piece of art to your living room. “I suggest a visit to the Arts District on First Friday,” she says. “There are many talented artists whose work is very reasonable and impactful.”

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