A Room Remake on the Cheap

Sometimes the only thing we need to re-energize is a change of scenery.   Remaking a room offers you the opportunity to maximize the benefit of that change in scenery.  It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, and the rewards far outweigh the expenditures.

The very first thing you should consider is which room to remake.  Why?  If you remake a guest bedroom, odds are you will seldom reap the benefits.  After all, how often are you actually in the guest bedroom?  So how do you choose?  Ask yourself what your goal is.  Are you desperate for some peace and restoration?  Do you crave some extra energy and inspiration?  Depending on your answer, the room you should choose should start becoming evident.  For example, bedrooms are our sanctuaries, places where we derive our peace and restoration.  Living rooms, offices and dining rooms are some of the most energetic sites in our homes, where we find inspiration and a sense of connection with what is important to us.  Of course, the room you dread to enter just might be exactly the room you most need to remake.

Once you’ve decided on your room, you need to decide what the goal is.  Are you hoping to get more inspiration?  Your goal will help determine the course of your remake.

Ok, so you’ve got the room; you’ve got the goal…let’s make a change!

The two cheapest ways to change a room involve accessories and organization.  The first thing you’ll need to do is to figure out what in the room is not part of the purpose of the room.  Take a look at my earlier post on clearing out the clutter.

Once you’ve determined that you are clutter free, take a look at your goal…are you looking for encouragement and energy or rest and relaxation?  The areas that you need to consider are:

  1. How does the placement of the room furniture allow me to accomplish my goal?  If you have everyone sitting in corners, it is pretty hard to get a conversation going.  Have a home office, but half the office equipment is on different sides of the room?  Not very efficient is it?
  2. What is the lighting like?  Do you have bright lights in rooms where you are trying to create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility?  Nothing can ruin relaxation more than a blaring light in your face.  Trying to carry a conversation, but having trouble reading the other person’s facial expressions?  That’s a problem.
  3. What effect does the room color have on the overall mood of the room?  How does that compare with your goal?
  4. Do the accessories in the room help or hinder accomplishing your goal?  If you have the painting of an owl in hot pursuit of its prey, odds are you won’t feel compelled to relax.  Too many comfy pillow may lead your guests to wish they could sleep on your couch rather than talk to their host.

Make a note of what you discover…then make changes.

One way to make a lasting change to a room is to create a focal point.  What is a focal point?  According to HGTV.com, a focal point is an element in the room around which the furniture will revolve.  The focal point has its biggest “wow” impact when it is the first thing your eyes see when entering a room.  The focal point grounds the room, gives it purpose and maximizes the impact of that purpose.  Sometimes a focal point is built around a fireplace, picture or landscape and provides a mutual experience for the rooms occupants which in turn promotes bonding and conversation. Another example of the use of a focal point is by placing a desk facing the door in a home office.  The placement of the desk sets the stage for power.  The user of the desk has the comfort of knowing his focus is in front of him rather than all around and any guest is psychologically inclined to defer to the person behind the desk.  Focal points set the stage.

Adjust the placement of your furniture to maximize your focal point and maximize your goal.  For rooms where you want to stimulate conversation try to place furniture seating either across from each other or in triangular or U-shaped patterns.  Remember to include placement of smaller furniture that allows for placement those items like refreshments that encourage your guests to continue their conversation without having to leave the room.  In rooms where relaxation and restoration are the theme, less is better.  The least amount of items surrounding an individual, the less the stimulation.  Again, placement of supporting furniture which allows for placement of magazines or refreshments helps minimize disruption.  (Manage what magazines and refreshments are available to these areas, however, to minimize stimulation.)

Have you adjusted your lighting to meet the goals of your room and your new furniture placement?  Do you have softer lighting for relaxation and brighter lighting for rooms where you hope to energize the occupants?  Have you placed lighting that is conveniently located so that those needing more or less lighting can change it without the inconvenience?  If you are providing lighting for magazine or book readers, ensure the lighting maximizes the print and not blind the reader.  Are you guests having trouble concentrating on your conversation because your lamp’s rays permeate their face rather than highlight their expression?  Sit down and experience your lighting placement first hand to ensure what you think your lighting is doing is actually accomplishing the goal.

So what signals are your room color sending?  If you want energy and your room is painted grey, you can forget about getting anything out it.  So what color palettes fit your mantra?  Part of it is personal and part of it is science (click to read more about color choices, their effects and the proper use of color).     For example, blue colors are indicated in lowered blood pressure and decreased appetite while orange palettes have been shown to energize and stimulate.

Got the wrong color in your room?  Don’t despair.  You have lots of options.  Accessories like throw pillows, lamp shades, nick knacks, wall hangings, curtains and rugs can add that bit of color while changing the look of a room, providing a bridge between new and old styles and creating that “wow” factor.

Another option is the use of color on the walls or furniture.  Nothing feels greater than repurposing furniture or salvaging an ugly, but beloved piece.  It doesn’t have to be difficult to make a major impact.

For example, when I redid my kitchen instead of replacing all of the cabinetry, I painted it – black.  Black???  Yes, black.  I’ve received numerous compliments and truly believe it was the best decisions I ever made in that room.  The black paint I chose has a shiny finish and transformed 40 year old cabinets into brand new, stylish centerpieces.  The added feature of choosing black included being able to change my accent color at any time.  Perhaps the biggest reason for choosing black was that black tends to make the surface area seem smaller to the eye.  With a galley style kitchen, I need to feel like I have more room…and now I do.  The fact that I saved $1000’s on cabinets didn’t hurt either.

Over the years, I have painted beat up bookcases, tables and accent chairs even lamps with paint.  A boring brass chandelier transforms into a beloved centerpiece with a touch of paint.  The options for paint are practically limitless with paints coming in so many colors and textures from the usual color palette to metals, flats to hammered finishes and paints made for a variety of surfaces including those cheap, laminate bookcases like the one I repainted eight years ago that still looks brand new today.

Not interested in changing the color of your accessories?  Consider that paint is one the least expensive but highest impact changes you can make to a room.  Changing the paint color on even one wall can change everything.  You can even change the depth of the room by painting the ceiling.  A rule of thumb:  brighter colors create an airy feeling while giving the illusion of space; darker colors make spaces feel smaller and weightier.

Accessories that use or accent your new color palette are helpful in bridging old styles with new.  Colors pop in the room and create a sense of newness and, when carefully selected, cohesiveness.  The style of your accessories can pull together opposing styles of furniture and architecture.  Consider adding french country accessory pillows to rooms where the architecture is somewhat plain or Old World but the furniture is modern.  The key is in the details.  For instance, change the hardware on your furniture can totally change the style of the piece and ultimately whether or not it fits in with the room’s style.

Remember whatever is in the room or absent from it affects the total impact you have on the occupants.  If it doesn’t help, it hinders.

Have a helpful hint on a room remake?  Let us know!

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Mosey On Over To Mozy

If you are anything like me, you have had your fair share of disasters where your computer suddenly decided to take an unscheduled siesta.  Sometimes it returns and your valuable programs and data is restored; sometimes not.  Being the tightwad that I am, I have never invested in an online backup system (I’m also a bit paranoid about ANYONE having access to my information other than me).  However, after having gone through countless times when I had to pull out this CD or that CD or this backup or that backup, I’ve decided to take the plunge into an online backup supplier.  After careful reviewing and searching, I’ve decided to try Mozy.com.

Award-winning and with 2GB of FREE online backup space provided with little information requested, it seems like the optimal choice.  This is my first foray into this type of backup system.  So I wanted something easy to setup, use and access also.

So far it has been easy.  I completed a very easy registration form, clicked the emailed link, downloaded a quick program and already started backing up my files in just 5 minutes!  We’ll see how long it takes to upload all these files.

The Mozy program preselected some basic files to begin the process but promised to allow me to select any additional files I want after this initial file upload.  So far I am impressed by the ease of use.  On the main page, Mozy shows what computers I have backed up and offers the option of restoring files or deleting them.  The upload feature is retained on my home computer and offers another layer of protection against unwanted access…I control when and what gets backed up.

Mozy offers you two options in security, their 448-bit security encryption program or your own 228-bit personal password created program.

Their Terms of Service (TOS) is fairly standard.  I was annoyed to see that they offer a 3 day window of guarantee in trying to contact you should they discontinue service or terminate your account.  While this does not prohibit them from further efforts to contact you, it is the only time frame they have obligated themselves to provide legally.  This time frame is still better than most cyber-related information guarantees…most of which offer NO time frame or guarantee to the user.

One other feature to Mozy which I find appealing is the option of receiving an additional 1GB of FREE storage for your referrals to their program.  Unlike other referral programs that allow you to reap the benefits if your referral results in a sign-up, Mozy has used real business savvy in requiring that the referral actually create a backup prior to being considered a successful referral.

All-in-all, it has been a very pleasant online experience.  I wish the same for you.  And, of course, if you’d like to try Mozy out for yourself, visit Mozy.com.  I appreciate it if you entered my referral code:  7QUFNH.  After all, I’d appreciate that additional 1GB of FREE backup too! 🙂

Moving Forward…

Please let me apologize for the MONTHS, yes MONTHS, I have been away.  To those that have STILL remained, I cannot thank you enough!

Since January of last year, my oldest son has suffered three ICU stays as a result of hypoxic seizures lasting more than one hour.  This past one we had EMS responding within five minutes but no response to all the meds and intervention that modern medicine can offer.  After 1 1/2 hours of seizing, 100% Co2 in his blood and no response, my son miraculously recovered from the seizure.  We have since obtained an implant for him and are still working on getting his seizures down.

Though we haven’t found our footing completely yet, I am determined to get some semblance of a life back for each of us…and a return of blogging seems yet another great step in the right direction.

I hope in the coming months, I will provide a haven and an inspiration to you.

Thank you for taking time out of YOUR life to share mine.



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Follow Me Back Tuesday – August 17, 2010

Join us for
Follow Me Back Tuesday

Hosted by Survey Junkie,Little Yaya’s,

& this weeks Guest Host
( Please Do Not link your giveaways.. You only have to enter your link once.. Duplicate entries & giveaways will be deleted )


It’s a great way to start off your week & get more BF’s !!
We will draw a Guest Host every week from blogs linked
for the #5 Spot for the following week 🙂

How it Works
  • Follow all 4 Hosts & Guest Host – Spots 1-5  ( leave us a comment & we will follow u back- only leave a comment if you follow please )
  • Snag our button & and post about FMBT on your blog – You can get link code below
  • Add your blog to the list- using the link from your FMBT post( NOT YOUR BLOG HOP or GIVEAWAYS PLEASE  )
  • Follow as many blogs as you would like, Make sure you leave them a comment so they know you stopped by . Then Follow Back everyone that follows you & comments.

Crafty Craft Ideas for Children

1919 magazine illustration of actress Norma Ta...
Image via Wikipedia

Recently I ran across a rash of great ideas for children.  From teaching tools to playtime fun, I hope you’ll find these as exciting for your children as I have.

Place setting template:

Trying to teach your children the proper placement for utensils at the table?  Try printing out this template from Martha Stewart.  Whether you decided to laminate it and practice with the real items, cut out the pieces and practice at the table or do a combination of both, your little peach will soon be showing off their new found societal skills at dinnertime!

Paper Dolls:

Do you ever dream about a simpler time when simpler things made life fun and full of wonder?  Why not offer a slice of imagination and nostalgia to your little girl with a paper doll set?  These fun and cute! sets will have her using her noggin instead of watching the TV in no time.

My favorite collection is from Families Online Magazine and offers the opportunity to color the collection before play.  How can you beat that?

For period pieces like Marie Antoinette and the Juke Box Era, check out Origami Bears where you will find a plethera of paper doll collections for view.

Feeling a little overwhelmed?  For beginners, check out About.com‘s collection of simple paper doll templates.  Ready to be printed, colored and designed.

Still searching for more?  Check out the Paper Doll Printables site collection at Teas2Dine4.com where site after site is listed for you to search your way to the perfect paper doll!  From Victorian to Barbie, whatever the style you want, you’ll find the site that has them here.

Have any crafty ideas for children?  Drop us a line, leave us a comment, let us know!

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