Tue07222014

Your Home

Keep your home current without breaking the bank

Many homeowners describe lavish, luxurious homes filled with the latest interior design trends in one word – “unattainable.”

The dream homes that appear on television programs and grace the pages of magazines seem to be projects that can be executed only by affluent homeowners who chase trends and change decor with every season. But TV home design consultant Lisa LaPorta maintains that it’s easy to stay at the forefront of hot home design trends on any budget.

“Designer homes should be sources of inspiration and motivation,” she said. “When you’re researching home renovation and style, you should absolutely look to the most stylish and opulent examples. Then, once you know what you want, execute those ideas on a budget that works for you.”

According to LaPorta, the best way to keep a home up-to-date with current trends is to change elements that have high impact and are cost-effective.

“It might seem obvious, but painting can truly transform a home from being 20 years outdated to one on the cusp of modern decor,” she said. “Keep abreast of the design trends, but don’t forget to include your own personality.”

LaPorta advises homeowners to be introspective and look to their own personal sense of style to identify paint colors. A person’s wardrobe reflects him or her and can guide color selection for the home. Be confident in choices and run with them. But never select a final color while at the paint or hardware store.

“Too often I see people choose colors on the spot at a paint store, only to go home and realize it looks completely different on the wall,” LaPorta said. “There’s a reason you’re allowed to take color chips home. You need to test them.”

LaPorta cautions that many people think color selection is the most important part of painting. Once they select colors, they can grab a paintbrush and cover the wall, right? Wrong. An inferior brush can have a negative impact on the final result. LaPorta recommends high-quality painting tools such as Purdy brushes and rollers to produce a flawless finish. The appearance of a finished painting project depends on the quality of the applicators as well as the paints.

Once the trendy colors decorate the walls, it’s time to accessorize. LaPorta pointed out that many people have a tendency to overpopulate their rooms with too much furniture. Not only does it clutter the space, but it’s also quite costly. Instead, she suggests rotating larger pieces to reduce clutter.

“Design is cyclical,” LaPorta said. “Eventually, the couch you bought in the ’70s will be popular again. But that doesn’t mean it should be on display until that happens. Focus on a few pieces of large furniture, then chase the trends by purchasing smaller, less costly items such as throw pillows, rugs or inexpensive art and paintings. Then, as trends change and evolve, rotate the larger pieces into your decor. You’ll save money but still feel like your home is on-trend.”

A fresh coat of paint and some new accessories can create dramatic change, but simply changing the layout of a room can also make a big difference.

“Homeowners sometimes forget that rearranging furniture can completely change the appeal and feel of a space,” she said. “Step outside of the boundaries of your normal decorating style and see how you feel. Instead of having the television as the focal point of a living room, make the coffee table or fireplace the center. The best part is, it’s free. And if you don’t like how it looks, you can always change it back.”

These few simple design tips can help transform your home into a chic, trendy space that’s the envy of the neighborhood – at a price tag you can afford.

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