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Mar 12 - Mar 18, 2011
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HOMEZONE


BASK IN spring sunshine

Winter can get cold and grey, and your home's been in hibernation. Throw off the rugs and quilts and step into a home with bright colours and sensuous fabrics.

There's still a nip in the air, but the mellow, warmth of the sun provides as sure a sign as any that a change of season is around the corner. Winter brought along colours like grey and black, but spring entails you brighten your home up just a bit. No, your home décor doesn't need a complete overhaul; a dash of colour, attractive knick-knacks and luxurious furnishings are all it takes to give your home an end-of-winter makeover. Our experts present a few tricks and tips you can use to give your home a makeover befitting spring.

Small Is Big
Small changes or additions can go a long way. If it's still cool where you are, you can add one or two dressy little pieces. Take apart the ceiling fan in your bedroom if you have space to store it. In its place, hang a sexy chandelier. For the living area, bring in an artificial fireplace – an excellent conversation starter at house parties.

A Sprinkling Of Charm
Get into the little details that add character to your home. Start on those little artifacts after you have a fair idea of what you want to do with your walls, beds and sofas. Candles, silk flowers, napkin rings and tableware make for great finishing touches.

Material World
Furnishings are meant to be comfortable and sensuous. Go for soft velvets and silks. Add warmth with designer faux silk used with satin on chairs, settees and curtains.

Get Your Walls Up
If you think hanging a pretty picture or painting is the only way to brighten up your wall, think again. Walls define the look of a living space. Take your paintings off the wall and do it up to give your living space a dramatic edge. Choose a wall you'd like to highlight. Use materials like velvet, woodwork, mirror work, or Swarovski crystals to add opulence to a room. You could also paint over a wallpapered wall to create a special effect.

Go Toxic!
Get bold with your palette this season. Pick toxic yellow to set the theme of interiors this year. Browns were a major trend last season, but are being used as a neutral colour this season. Colours used to highlight a space are coral, turquoise or teal, brick, fuchsia, and, of course, bright and lemony, toxic yellow. Work with one family of colour in its various shades. Set up bright colours against sober browns to bring out the warmth and vibrancy of toxic shades.

TOP TIP
Add candles, little decorative artifacts, lamps, magazine holders and other small items that add a dash of colour to your home.

3 HOME STYLE TIPS

HOMEZONEIf you dream of adding style to your home but don't have a lot of cash on hand to make it happen – don't despair! Here are three different things you can do that will help your house look beautiful without spending much money.

Declutter Your Home
Nothing zaps a great look like clutter. Look around you: Do you have paper piles or mail stacks? Do you just add to your knickknack collection rather than rotate your select favourites? And seriously: When was the last time you saw the entire front of your refrigerator?
Simple solutions that cost very little money are to invest in nice office trays, pretty bulletin boards and frames for your child's artwork. Make the trashcans or a shredder handy to immediately toss unwanted mail. Taking away the clutter will make your space appear larger, and help your treasured objects be emphasised rather than lost.

Make Display Surfaces Pretty
A key element in houses that are decorated by a professional rather than a wanna-be decorator is a true understanding of the art of accessorising.

Flat surfaces such as mantels, bookcases, and coffee tables are the perfect places to restyle for less. The one important point here is to keep it simple. Bookcases should only be two thirds full. Place no more than three items on an end table – cluster these varied but related items together for more impact.

Paint To Impress
Paint, as you probably know, makes the most dramatic change for the money. Be bold, be daring and most importantly – don't do white! Choose a complex colour. This generally means that if you would use several different words to describe the colour, it is probably complex. For example, if you said it was "a sort of gold, straw, beigey colour," it is probably a complex colour. If you said "just yellow," it probably is not a very inspiring look.
A beautiful colour on the walls (or even one wall) can make the room go from ordinary to extraordinary in less than a day.

All Of This You Can Do!
Decorate your home by spending time – not money – in decluttering, painting and accessorising. By following these simple tips, you can make a huge impact by bringing your home from average to spectacular for very little money.


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