Designing By Numbers: Six Easy Tips to Give Your Home a Makeover

The paint-by-numbers kits of childhood had a wonderful concept: by following clear and simple instructions, any child could create a well-done and coordinated color picture. Wanda Colon, the interior designer host of TLC’s Home Made Simple, took the paint-by-numbers idea and made it grow up. Knowing that many people are intimidated or just unskilled in interior design, Colon set out six steps to renovating and reenergizing the design of a home that are as easy as painting anything with a little number one blue.

Step 1: Focus on the Foyer

The foyer is the first entrance to a house, and thus the first impression that any guests will receive when they arrive and the final memory when they leave. Colon’s solution won’t break the bank at a mere $25-50, but it will have a rich impact. Invest in a console table that really makes a statement and top it with personal photos and a fragrant candle (just make sure that the scent matches the season; no cinnamon in May!).

Step 2: Pillows and Throws

There is no need to purchase new bedding with every changing design trend. Simply replacing the throw blankets and decorative pillows will freshen up the bedroom. Bedrooms are often neglected in the design world according to Colon, but as this is the room that is the most personal, it should be the most important instead. Occasionally changing up the color of the pillows and blanket will rejuvenate a room intended for winding down, without buying a whole new bedding set.

Step 3: Dress Up the Lights

Plain lampshades are only $10 and can easily be dressed up with unique and inexpensive fabrics. Apply the fabric to the lampshade with a hot glue gun, and decorate it with beads or maybe fringe to completely customize it. A custom piece not only a one-of-a-king treasure, but it is also a statement about the personality and creativity of the person who lives there.

Step 4: Don’t Fear the Color

Whether painting an entire room with a color, or following the trend of neutral walls and one colored accent wall, a hue is no longer taboo on the walls. Colon suggests picking up at least three different paint color samples and trying them out on a 3×3 ft square on the wall before committing to a gallon of paint. This way, the color can be seen at all hours of the day, which is important because light will reflect differently every hour and the best decision can be made.

Step 5: Mood Lighting

Stark white light is rarely flattering for a person nor a room. Match the lighting to the space based on the desired atmosphere; for example, Colon has used amber tinting lights in the dining room to create a warm and cozy glow for mealtimes.

Step 6: Remember the Memories

A home can be a travel journal of all the different places a family has visited. At each location, bring back something really personal or cultural. Stay away from the typical tourist fare. Decorating a room with items from around the world or around the country or even just around the state will tell a story of where the family has been and the possibilities for where it will go in the future.