You’ll find no dirty dozen here; this is the real deal. Within this article you can explore, expound, complain or thrill to 12 different things you can do to spruce up the old homestead. (That’s what Midwesterners used to call their pad. Pad is what aging Yuppies used to call their home before they sold out or, as they like to put it, bought in to Whitey.)
Color wash a wall. Color washing is a painting effect that lends the wall a translucent, dappled texture that lends a little life to a boring wall.
Lend your plain curtains or drapes a little life through the process of appliqué. Cut out the shapes of your choice and attach to your window covering with simple hot glue from a gun.
Installing a chandelier is a DIY project that isn’t nearly as complicated as you might think if you already have an overhead light fixture. A chandelier instantly lends class to a dining room and instantly makes a bedroom ripe for, shall we say, midnight snacking?
Transform a walk-in closet into a sitting room by taking out the railings and shelving and installing a recessed banquette. Decorate the back wall with a bold wallpaper design, add some pillows and some recessed lighting and you’ve got an oasis in which to disappear for an hour or so with your Kindle or one of them there old-fashioned things…what are they called…oh yeah, books.
Add a sense of authenticity to your rustic decorating design with the addition of homemade twig baskets. All you need to make twig baskets are twigs from your backyard or the local park, wire nails or brads and a tack hammer. What can you keep in this utilitarian rustic device: silverware, pens and pencils, fruit, cell phones and keys. Heck what can’t you keep in an appropriately-sized twig basket.
Add a sense of the past to your décor by splurging on a piece of furniture that seems to have been perpetually frozen in time. The most interesting period for furniture that is of its own time is the 1960s with its psychedelic-hippie-futuristic-functional groove. Buy a red couch shaped like a pair of lips or molded white plastic dining room chairs.
Hang a hammock between two walls in your living room. Kids will love watching SpongeBob SquarePants from the not-entirely-safe confines of a stretched hammock. And you catch reruns of Gilligan’s Island and decide for yourself the ultimate question of life: Ginger or Mary Ann?
A country kitchen should be a showcase for country décor. Head to the flea market, antique store, junk store, pawn ship, eBay or yard sales in search of authentic Country Style pots and pans and hang them decoratively on the wall of your Country kitchen or dining room.
Head back to that antique shop and splurge on a genuinely authentic piece of old, well-crafted furniture. It can be a writing desk, a cabinet, an armoire…anything. Make the restoration of your antique furnishing a family affair. Look into the eyes of wide-eyed kids as your strip off not just layers of finish, but decades of memories. Stain or paint this item to bring it up to date.
A large room with no natural divider between living spaces gives you the opportunity to divide it according to your own taste rather than the builder’s. Use a Japanese shoji screen to create a Zen division. Situate a bookcase with both sides open and utilize your expansive collection of Michener, King and Steele tomes to create a division between mind space and TV space. Head to a junk store and buy spindle legs that you attach to each other and then attach between the floor and ceiling to create an old-western looking jail effect.
Create your own personalized and customized storage cabinets with nothing more than ¾-inch plywood cut 18 inches square and 8 inches deep. Decorate the boxes with the paper or paint design of your choice. Stack them vertically, horizontally or in the geometric shape of your dreams.
Next time you visit the beach, collect seashells, driftwood, starfish and anything else from the sea that grabs your fancy. Take them home and clean and then apply to the walls of your bathroom to give it a nautical effect that no wallpaper can beat.