Catch a bad case of the decorating doldrums? (It couldn't have come at a worse time, with guests about to politely barge in for the holidays.) Lucky for you, the cure could be as easy as an impromptu trip to an unlikely place-your local home improvement center. There are loads of decorating secrets lurking in aisle after aisle, just waiting for you to acknowledge their creative potential. Keep an open mind, and you'll be able to change your interiors tremendously with a minimal outlay of both effort and cash. All you need are a few gallons of paint, stock molding, and some hardware. Here, our contributing editor John Loecke leads the way.1. Seek out wooden post caps and finials Keep them natural or paint a bright hue. Use them as bookends to prop up favorite paperbacks or colorful journals, or group them together on a table for a rustic centerpiece.
2. Replace outdated doorknobs with some striking handles. Keep the finishes consistent throughout your home for a unified look.
3. Upgrade your shades Ditch those ordinary aluminum blinds for more streamlined roller shades. Then personalize with fabric paint and fun ribbons, trims, or tassels.4. Give dimension to dull walls by paneling them with precut sections of garden trellis. Paint the trellis a bright hue for contrast.
5. Plant a little green in your indoor color scheme. Place potted orchids (home stores sell many varieties for under $20 each) in a hallway or on a dining room table.
6. Craft a coatrack out of cabinet knobs and blocks of precut wood trim. Drill a hole through the front of the wood, screw a knob into the bottom, screw the wood to the wall, and fill hole with putty and paint over for a clean finish.
7. Transform your Sunday-afternoon armchair Cover it with a loose-fitting slipcover made from a canvas dustcover. Pin back where necessary.8. Make a small space seem larger Fool the eye and cover an entire wall from floor to ceiling with mirrored-tile squares. Use liquid construction adhesive to glue the mirrors to the wall.
9. Liven up a bare wall Hang several rows of elegant crown molding, creating the framework for a gorgeous picture gallery. Home centers will custom-cut wood to any length.10. Create a sturdy worktable or rustic desk by mounting a firm, flat surface-a door, heavy piece of glass, or piece of plywood-on a pair of sawhorses. Leave as is, or cover with a fun fabric (just staple in place).
…Continued in the November 2003 issue of Home Magazine