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Low-labor, High-impact Ideas for Freshening Your Decor

Area News Group

Pelham Windham News

April 13, 2012 Page 12

Open a design magazine or visit a home improvement website and they’ll extol the virtues of repainting as a great way to freshen a room’s decor. But there are plenty of less labor-intensive ways to give a room a new look. From paint accents to new window treatments, here are some ideas for upgrading your decor with a lot less work: * Easier painting tasks - While painting a room is well within the capabilities of most homeowners, it can be a labor-intensive job. One way to take advantage of paint’s power while minimizing the time spent prepping walls and taping trim is to paint a single accent wall. This works espe- cially well if you’re starting out with a neutral palette on the walls, which is often the case if you’ve recently bought your home. Another effective, fast option is to paint one or two pieces of wood furniture to add a quick, easy pop of color to a room. * Window treatments - Changing window treatments can

be a powerful way to give a room the look of a full facelift while altering only one design element. Consider venturing beyond simple drapes or sheers to window treatments such


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as cellular shades that offer natural light control and a pop of color.

Products like Simple Fit custom cellular shades by Redi Shade make achieving a custom look easy with cordless positioning and light filtering that create dramatic affects on a room’s ambiance. The honeycomb cellular fabric shades are available in more than 30 colors and three styles that provide light-filtering, blackout and privacy options. Even better, Simple Fit is designed for DIYers to install in less than a minute without drills or brackets. The patented compression mount system means you can install the shades with the touch of a button. Learn more at www.simplefit- * Update your accents - Accessories and accents are like jewelry for your room. Throw pillows, area rugs and uphol- stery afford you the opportunity to add layers of interest with patterns, textures and colors. Updating accents can help cre- ate a fresh new look for a room, and it’s a great way to add seasonal appeal to your decor. * Add a mural - Designers and homeowners have used

murals to create drama and interest in homes for centuries. But painting a traditional mural is a labor-intensive task that would challenge most DIYers. A wallpaper mural can be a much easier, faster option. You can find a wide selection of scenes and patterns online, or you can even customize a mural with your own original photos and artwork. These mu- rals are easy to install and some even cost less than $100. * Declutter - How often do we spend time - and money - creating a specific look for a room, only to have the decor fade away into the background behind the clutter of every- day life? Removing clutter is one of the fastest, easiest and cost-free ways to refresh the way a room looks. Decluttering allows a room’s design to shine through and can help even the most cramped space feel larger and more welcoming. With a few simple, low-labor projects, it’s possible to freshen your room’s decor quickly and easily, turning re- decorating into a fast, fun and rewarding project. - ARA Content

Contractor - continued from page 9

* How long the company has been in business

* License, bonding and insurance information * Contractor specialties * A credit review that will reveal any past collection or derogatory credit events * An easy-to-understand contractor


Additionally, reports include public record information such as liens or judgments against the business - important information considering that according to a recent review of Experian’s database, 8.4 percent of contractors had a lien on file and 6.2 per- cent had a judgment filed against them.

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to discount a job by a contractor who says he will use materials left over from a previous project. * Steer clear of contractors who expect you to obtain necessary permits for your project, or who want you to find them new customers in exchange for discounts. It’s his responsibility to obtain permits and new customers. * If a contractor’s offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Watch for warning signs like an extremely long guarantee period or an offer to discount your job as a “dem- onstration.” * Shut down contractors who engage in high-pressure pitches. If a contractor tells you he needs an immediate answer from you, tell him your answer is “no.” Or, if he or she wants you to fund your project through a preferred lender, consider taking your busi- ness to a more flexible contrac- tor. Finally, find out what others

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