Here's one of my favorite 'GREEN'  decorating tricks
and one that costs you little or nothing

rearrange your furniture
its the next best thing to remodeling
here are my tips...

1.  remove all of your accessories
(that includes everything on the wall)

while you have it all together, take a good long look
how does it look together? 
do you LOVE the things you see?

if you don't love it
or consider it beautiful, or useful
it shouldn't be in your home

now is the perfect time to edit your accessories
if you are like me, you probably have too many, anyway

2.  edit your accessories and wall art
now is the time to make some changes - it's a minimal cost. 
If your family photos are in those thin brass frames from the last decade,
or if you have multiple styles of frames, change to a more uniform look.
check out the frame selection at HomeGoods,
or Ikea where for just a few dollars
you can make some beautiful changes that will update and refresh your decor.
or use the frames you have - changing their look with paint to create uniformity

consider adding matting around your images, using larger wall frames
or changing the images you have on  your walls
how long have they been there???

you can mimic the look of an expensive oil painting
by taking a poster
having it mounted on foam core board
(Michael's or Joann's can do this inexpensively)
and then applying gel medium with brush strokes that mimic the original image
the gel medium shows the brush strokes - like an oil painting
and framing is less expensive because it doesn't require glass or matting
just a frame

Poster mounted on foam core board and treated with gel medium
has the look of an oil painting

3.  change out a few pieces
 like the end table, or an occasional chair. 
you can shop from the other rooms in your house
how would that bedside table look next to your chair?
or the chest of drawers from the spare room in your family room?
or those wing chairs at your dining room table? 

4.  move your furniture around to get a new perspective. 
i love to move furniture around. 
(it is a female thing - like shopping - it's in our genes... )

i saw a cartoon the other day entitled 'hell for women'
it depicted just 3 rules
1. no talking on the phone for more than 2 minutes
2. no shopping
3. no rearranging furniture
hell indeed!
(it occurs to me that hell for women might equal 'heaven' for men.... haha)

its also a good time to change some of the furniture you have.  this benign and inexpensive stool/ottoman from J C Penny's online catalog (Cindy Crawford's line) was transformed with a little paint and a little fabric into this:

two of those would make a great coffee table, with a tray on top
or additional seating in a living room

What furnitiure in your house could use a little facelift?

mary carol garrity living room

what is your focal point?

remember to create a focal point in your room, not just slap furniture down randomly. 
you may already have an existing focal point to work with -
like a fireplace or a large piece of furniture, or an impressive window. 
If not, you can create one by how you put your heavy furniture, your anchors, into the room. 

a focal point can also be an art installation

In a bedroom, for example, your focal point should always be your bed.

mary carol garrity

if you have heavy furniture (like me) use furniture movers -
I can move my heaviest furniture, by myself, with these.

its a great tool to have if your husband is a little resistant to change....

5.  pull in a rug from another room,
or try layering inexpensive seagrass or sisal on top of your carpet
(seagrass and sisal are sustainable 'green' products)
change lamps

or just the lampshade
change up the one you have with a little ribbon
recover it with new fabric
add fringe, beading or trim

 switch pillows, or sew up some quick slipcovers for the ones you have

6.  when you have placed your large pieces of furniture and have the look you like, start to bring in the accessories -

groupings of 3 are most pleasing

symmetry, an equal balance of things on each side
creates a more formal look

grouping a collection of like items together
has a bigger impact than scattering them about the room

7.  place your accessories carefully,
put them where they will accent and make a statement in a room

use books to give height and importance to smaller items
carry like items or like colors throughout a room
group to give visual impact
don't hang your pictures too high
(one of the most common mistakes)
the center of the art should be around 50" - average height eye level
except when creating a look with a piece of furniture
then it should be lower to refer to the furniture
sit back and enjoy your new look
p.s., fresh flowers are always a good choice

ready to tackle a little free or nearly free decorating?


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