6 Quick Decorating Changes

From slipcovers to stripes, these fast and easy makeover ideas refresh any room in a flash.


1. Try Reversible Pillows

Double-sided pillows are a quick and easy change. "You have your summer pattern, then flip them to the other side, to velvet - something richer - for winter," says designer Jesse Carrier. He and his wife, designer Mara Miller, chose them for the sofas in the living room of this 19th-century farmhouse in upstate New York. You can also try doing a combination of both, as they did here.

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2. Sew Handkerchief-Style Curtains


For a relaxed, breezy look, try making curtains similar to the ones that Carrier and Miller created for this dining room. Hang pre-hemmed shawls, tablecloths, or even pillowcases on hooks from one corner of the window. Or recycle old curtains: Simply measure and cut them into squares, adding buttonholes in the corners. "Just take one of the corners off, and it drops," Miller explains.

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3. Paint Horizontal Stripes


"Stripes have an amazing power to instantly transform a room," says designer Ken Fulk of the giant Breton stripe he chose for the guest room of a San Francisco Victorian. Tip: To keep the room from feeling too severe, loosen up the geometric lines with softer accessories. The curvy spots on the furry stools and rug add balance.

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4. Paint Framework Black


To make the great room in a South Carolina vacation home feel more intimate, designer Sally Markham applied a coat of black paint to the window mullions and door and chair frames. "Black gives the room a backbone, and it acts as a frame to the view," she says.

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5. Frame Artwork Identically

Using matching frames is a clever way to bring together different types of artwork, Fulk explains, who did that in the home's dining room. "Sometimes we take pieces that clients own but don't look like they belong together, pop them out of the frames they're in, and put them in unifying frames so they speak to one another," he says.

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6. Give Slipcovers a Shot


Slipcovers are a simple way to update traditional furniture. "Even though the ikat polka dot is totally graphic, it gives your eyes a break from the Windsor-ness of the spindles and lines," explains designer Lindsay Reid, who used them in her Southern California kitchen. Fabricadabra's Cheeky charcoal ikat actually makes them "look younger," she says.

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What DIY-inspired quick changes have you made to update your home?



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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.