4. Fix the flooring. Hardwood flooring offers a clean, contemporary look that carpet and tile just can't. While it's a good investment, it's often cost-prohibitive for those on a budget. Smart alternatives can be laminate flooring, engineered hardwood, direct print bamboo, vinyl tiles/planks, or porcelain (wood grain) tile. If any kind of new flooring is out of the question, you still have some options. Consider getting the carpets professionally cleaned or, if you have tile, re-grouting gets rid of unsightly stains and makes it look completely new. Add a new floor rug to tie together a seating or dining area and you're good to go!
5. Change out accessories. Whether it's lighting or frames, gold and brass has given way to more subtle and modern looking silver, chrome and brushed nickel. Replacing wall, floor or table lamps, as well as candle holders, and picture/art frames with decorative accessories in newer hues can create a dramatically new look.
6. Add crown molding. Relatively inexpensive, and available at home improvement stores everywhere, crown molding adds detail and character to a room, while tying the walls and ceiling together for a rich, finished appearance. (Tip: Choose a wider trim for a more expensive look.) In the kitchen, consider putting crown molding around the top of the kitchen cabinets to achieve the look of custom cabinetry.
7. Update fixtures. These little extras go a long way in creating a finished, upscale look in your home. While you may be tempted to scrimp on kitchen and bath fixtures... don't. The difference in cost between a medium- and high-quality faucet, for example, may not be much -- but the look and quality is. Since it's something you'll use every day for many years, it's best not to cut corners. When it comes to hardware finishes, however, it's easy and inexpensive to change out the drawer and cabinet pulls in the kitchen and bathrooms... replacing them with more unique pieces. Hardware stores, antique shops or even flea markets are a good place to start.
8. Replace window treatments. The right window treatments let in natural light, while offering privacy; they also can make or break a room. Replacing old or broken blinds and outdated window coverings can instantly spruce up a room. But what about the cost? If you like the idea of curtains, be sure to choose lined fabrics (for an upscale look) and instead of buying them off the rack, pick a style from specialty fabric store and have them help you create a custom look within your budget. If you like a more fitted, sleek look -- roller or roman shades are a simple, stylish, economical solution -- with natural woven shades in bamboo among the hottest new trends. If you can't afford to replace window coverings in the entire house, just do it in the most visible rooms, like the living room, entry way and kitchen.
To learn more about the latest decorating trends, or to browse the hottest new furniture collections and accessories, visit AshleyFurnitureHomeStore.com.
About Ashley Furniture HomeStore
Ashley Furniture HomeStore, the #1 furniture retailer in the United States, delivers furniture and mattresses to customers at over 450 independently owned and operated locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Japan. Ashley Furniture HomeStore is an exclusive provider of furniture from Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., the largest furniture manufacturer in the United States. "Like" Ashley Furniture HomeStore on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or see their design-focused boards on Pinterest.
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