Inexpensive Ways to Redo Your Living Room
Expert Author Suzy RubensteinReviving the decor in your living room does not require a large budget. It also doesn't necessitate a complete renovation of your space. There are many things you can do to freshen up your living room without spending a lot of money. Well thought out changes to key elements in your decor and a bit of creativity are all you need to change your living room's look, without breaking the bank.

One of the easiest ways to change the look of a room is to reposition the furniture. Move pieces around to get a different perspective of how the pieces can work in the space. Take into account traffic flow and how you use the room to best determine how to place the furnishings. After you are satisfied with the furniture placement, adjust your existing wall hangings and accessories to compliment the new layout. Moving things around can dramatically change the look of the room, without costing you a dime!

Another easy way to revive your space is to paint the walls a new shade. A fresh coat of paint will spruce up any space. By changing the color, your furnishings and the room in return will achieve a new look. For example, a light colored couch would pop against a dark wall. The accent color in your upholstery fabric can be brought out by a new wall shade. You can highlight an accent color present in the living room, or tie the room to a color scheme seen throughout the home.

Take a careful look at the furnishings in your living room. Determine how you are using the space. Is the furniture in the room what you need? Remove what isn't working and make a list of what would make the space better. Look in other rooms in your home and repurpose items that might work better in the living room. Repurposing items you already have is a wonderful, inexpensive way to add a new look to a space. It can also help to limit the purchases you might need to make.

Adding new wall décor is another inexpensive way to add a fresh look to your living room. One striking new piece on your wall can change the look of the space. A new piece of wall art will become a new focal point in the room. New wall décor can highlight colors in the space and tie together a style in the room. For example, the addition of a decorative mirror with a wrought iron frame will add light and depth to the room while tying together the Tuscan style of the sofas and tables. Candles in wall mounted candle holders can highlight the accent color used in the room.

Changing your window treatments is another way to change the look of your space, without completely replacing everything in the room. Using a different color or style of drape will alter the look of your living room and the furnishings in it. Going with a different type of window treatment can also dramatically change the appearance of your room. For example, going from cellular shades to drapes, or shutters. The amount of light in the space may also be affected by the change. More light may be brought in to the living room or more light might be filtered out. Also how you hang the window treatment can highlight high ceilings or a nice view, or conceal shortcomings.

Replacing one key furniture piece is another way to keep your budget low. Carefully determine what should be replaced due to wear or poor function. Adding one new item can make a large impact on the look and function of the space. For example, adding a new coffee table with storage drawers where there had previously been a beat up table. The addition will freshen the space, while reducing clutter with the useful storage for remotes, magazines, etc. in the drawers.

Overall, changing the look of your living room does not need to cost a lot. By making strategic changes to your space you can avoid the need for more costly renovations and still achieve a fresh new look to your room.

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Window Treatments for an In-Law Suite

In-law suites have become increasingly popular alternatives to senior citizen communities or assisted living facilities. Once the in-law suite is built or remodeled, the first decorating decision is how to dress the windows. The foremost criteria are the parent's individual needs. Keeping that in mind, the ideal window treatment does these six things.

1. Gives privacy
Older adults usually want complete privacy in the bedroom and bathroom, so these windows need coverings that can be completely closed. For the bathroom, light-filtering shades, blinds or draperies that don't need to be opened or closed are easiest for older adults.

2. Provides a pleasing view
Retired senior citizens often don't get outside as much as they used to, especially as they get older. Most seniors still crave a feeling of being outdoors. Windows with a view of the lawn or garden deserve draperies or shades that can be fully opened. Roman shades are a stylish alternative to blinds when homeowners want an uninterrupted view of the yard.
If the in-law suite has a French door or sliding glass door to a patio, full-length draperies that can be fully retracted allow the parent to stroll onto the patio. Avoid curtains that are difficult to move aside when opening the door.

3. Lets the light in
Many in-law suites are in daylight basements in which only one wall has windows. Since one side of the basement has to illuminate the entire in-law suite, homeowners should be cautious about purchasing anything that blocks the light. A pair of full-length retractable drapes across a wall of windows makes a daylight basement as stunning as a first-floor living area.

4. Is easy to open and close
Even if a parent is active now, an in-law suite should be completely handicapped accessible. Motorized window treatments with a remote control can even be operated from bed if the parent becomes ill. All draperies, blinds or shades should be able to be operated from a wheelchair if necessary.

5. Provides a good night's sleep
As people age, they may find it harder to go to sleep and stay asleep. Room-darkening shades and draperies can be a solution to this problem, especially when there are street lights outside.

6. Accommodates any special health problems
If the parent has breathing problems such as asthma or emphysema, the ideal solution is something that doesn't collect dust or require irritating cleaning solutions. Doctors usually recommend roller shades since dust won't accumulate on them. Although roller shades used to be bland, now they come in many styles and colors. Light-filtering shades with designs woven into the fabric are especially attractive. Wooden molding makes a striking top treatment that's easily cleaned.

Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about Roman shades, please visit

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