Update Your Interiors With These Thrifty Tactics

If you’ve lived in your home for a while, you probably have a few interior-design tweaks you’d like to make. Maybe the closet off the garage isn’t large enough for jackets, backpacks AND athletic gear. Maybe you’re done scrubbing those white kitchen cabinets you thought would be simple to clean. We all run across design elements we liked when we moved in, but ultimately don’t fit our household. Changing them, however, doesn’t have to be expensive and time-consuming. Think quick and cheap! Read on for some thrifty tactics to update your interiors.

Paint ideas

For the cost of one gallon of good-quality paint (approximately $15-25) — and a few more dollars for more gallons, if needed — you can change the atmosphere, mood and color (s) of any room. Thrifty home upgradesAnd most interior architectural elements. So let’s get busy.

If you want a lighter color, first prime the surface to prevent the darker color from bleeding through. Just use a good-quality primer, which means a few more well-worth-it dollars.

If you want a darker color, paint the ceiling the same color to envelope the room in cozy/striking/dramatic warmth. Don’t leave the ceiling a stark white! Any windows add natural spotlights.

Banish boring interior doors! Paint them a notice-me red or yellow, or a color that contrasts or complements adjacent walls. Glue on pre-painted synthetic or wooden trim for a paneled effect.

If you have an interior staircase, paint the vertical face of each step with a shiny, sparkly or matte metallic hue such as bronze, silver or gold. It’ll brighten the climb — and make people smile.

Faux it

Skip the major renovation project (unless you have the time, talent and financial resources). Choose one of these options instead.

If your basketball-mad son loves the Boston Celtics, visit a craft store for decorative stencils. All you need is a plastic pattern outline, a small paint brush, and paint to encircle your son’s bedroom with a snappy border of the Celtics’ logo.

Wainscoting — decoratively-cut wooden panels that add extra oomph to interior walls — can be replicated using stock lumber from a hardware or home improvement store. If you’re handy with saws and a paint brush, design your own pattern and have at it. Try topping your creation with a shelf for knickknacks, or the five-year-old’s rock collection.

Remember the pre-painted decorative trim mentioned earlier? Cut your choice of trim — or have it cut to your liking — then create patterns on cabinet doors, blank walls or wherever boring surfaces exist. Glue it all on and be done!

The traditional touch

Consider one or more of these classic-design-features-done-cheap:

Crown molding where kitchen cabinets meet the ceiling. It lengthens the look, dresses up stock cabinets and provides a seamless, visual transition.

Subway tiles as a kitchen backsplash. Glazed white ceramic tile — or any color — lends a mirror effect. So do polished steel tiles. It’s a timeless pattern that works in dressy or casual settings.

More metal: try authentic, salvaged-tin ceiling tiles. Or, seek (cheaper) reproduced-tin tiles.

And the ultimate faux — an old-fashioned ceiling medallion that encircles light fixtures or fans. Made of urethane rather than labor-intensive plaster, they’re available in many designs and sizes.

Ready for a new home to decorate? ICI Homes is Florida’s Custom Home Builder. Start here.