- view all thumbnails
Give one wall in a room a dose of pattern with a stencil. It's less time-consuming than stenciling a whole room and you'll need less paint. For a subtle contrast, use a color for the pattern that is just a few shades lighter than the background.
Transform a tired hutch with paint and wallpaper. To start the makeover, remove all hardware and lightly sand the hutch to remove any flaking varnish and to give it a texture that will help the paint adhere. Remove all drawers and doors, and tape off exposed glass. Paint the inside and outside of the hutch. Next, clean the hardware and give it a few coats of high-gloss spray paint. Let dry and reattach. For a finishing touch, trim wallpaper to fit the back of the cabinet. Mount according to wallpaper packaging or use spray adhesive. After wallpapering, reinstall the doors.
Rescue thrift store frames with white paint and punchy paper. Paint the frames white and showcase pretty papers inside the frames. Choose coordinating patterns in different scales (small prints and large prints) to create a balanced look. Let the paper be the star or top it with a wooden letter, a photo, or any object you love.
Add extra seating or a foot rest to any room with a pretty pouf. Sometimes pricey in stores, this DIY version can be made for about $50 with our step-by-step instructions and free pattern.
Whether in an entryway or at the end of a hallway, a ledge table makes an graceful statement. Up the elegance by embellishing a table with embossed wallpaper (available at home centers). The paper on this table was given a DIY marble look by dipping crushed plastic wrap in gray paint, then gently daubing it on to the white-painted top. Draw the eye up with a trompe l'oeil ribbon. Paint a ribbon shape on the wall above the table, with a "bow" at the top. Hang a small mirror or series of frames inside the ribbon.
Dress up a plain pendant or lamp shade with wooden appliques. These intricate accents are available at home centers in the lumber department. Paint the appliques in your desired shade. Let dry and attach to your shade with a hot-glue gun. This embellishment works best with a square shade since the appliques will not bend to the curve of a round shade.
Kick up your walls with curvy circles. Arrange circular pieces on a wall, starting with the object you want to be in the middle. From there, build out your arrangement, ensuring that each piece touches an adjacent piece. This wall art installment features a mix of round mirrors and painted embroidery hoops, some of which have fabric stretched inside of them.
If you're going to hang wallpaper, look to see if the pattern has coordinating fabrics. Score a small portion of fabric to revamp a chair. Give the frame a few coats of glossy paint and cover the seat in the fabric.
Give a favorite photo prime placement in a room. Enlarge the photo and place it in an oversize frame. Surrounded by a crisp white mat and striking black frame, this textural photo of peonies commands attention.
Give a lamp a one-two punch of shine with ribbon and spray paint. Coat the base in a metallic-finish spray paint and wrap shiny satin ribbon around the shade, securing in place with hot glue or pins.
Look at everyday items as potential masterpieces. Take photographs of a few interesting objects and adjust the exposure, saturation, and color with a photo editing program. Order large prints and frame them on black mats and in white frames. A black-and-white display like this looks sleek against a white wall but would also look chic hanging on a wall painted with a saturated hue.
Disguise an unattractive ottoman with a simple slipcover. Cut a piece of fabric the size of the top plus 1/2 inch on all sides. Cut four side panels half the size of each side plus 1/2-inch seam allowances. Cut four skirt pieces the same width as the side panels, adding 1 inch for seams (for the length, measure from the bottom of the side panel to the floor; double and add 1 inch). Cut four skirt-length, 9-inch-wide pieces of fabric to insert in each corner. Stitch covered piping to each edge of the top piece and along the lower edge of each side panel. Sew side panels together and to the piped edges of the top piece. Fold skirt pieces in half lengthwise with right sides facing, and add 1/2-inch side seams. Turn and press. Repeat for corner pieces. Sew skirt pieces to piped edge of side pieces. Pin corner pieces over the skirt panels with centers aligned. Stitch and press.
Brighten a room without sacrificing privacy. Apply patterned window film to glass-front doors (or windows) to allow light from adjoining spaces to fill a dim room.
Easily update a bland fireplace wall with a zippy color. Paint the surround in a contrasting color. Use colorful accessories on the mantel and decals or stenciled patterns on the wall. If you use a bold pattern, edit the number of accessories you place on the mantel so you don't end up with an overly busy fireplace.
Dress a dresser with a large poster to give a plain piece punch. Prep the dresser front with a coat of primer. Let dry. Measure the width and height of the chest, including the legs. Trim the artwork to size, making sure the design falls where you want it to. Cut out the pieces that will go on the legs (you'll apply them separately). Remove drawers and adhere the artwork to the dresser front using spray adhesive. Press the artwork to the dresser, starting at one edge and working your way across the piece. Let dry. Trim the paper along the drawer openings. Spray the drawers with adhesive and apply the artwork to the drawer fronts. Trim and place the leg pieces onto the dresser. Use a nail to poke the knob holes through the paper and add decorative knobs.
Put a little zing in your powder room with wall decals. Easy to apply and affordable, these pockets of pattern give this bathroom just the right amount of shimmer.
Hide the contents of a console with pretty fabric panels. Cut pieces of fabric to fit the openings of your console, including seam allowances on all sides and enough fabric for a rod pocket. Hem the fabric on all sides and make a rod pocket on the top edge. Put a tension rod through the pocket and mount inside the console cubby.
Accent plain roller shades with fabric. Have a retailer cut the shades to fit your windows. For each shade, remove the weight from the bottom pocket. Cut fusible web to fit the width of the shade and iron it onto the back of fabric. Cut out the fabric and iron into place on the shade. Spray-paint a cafe curtain rod and insert into the bottom pocket.
Skip painting an entire chair and employ a dip-dye effect instead. Paint just the base or the tips of the legs in a standout color. If you're painting the tips of chair legs, measure how far up the leg you want to paint. That way, each leg will be evenly painted.
Save a basic hand-me-down dresser with fresh paint. Remove the hardware. Sand and prime the piece. Take out the top drawers and coat them with semigloss paint in a chosen hue; cover the rest of the unit in white semigloss. Add a monogram using a stencil. When the dresser is completely dry, replace the drawers and swap the wooden knobs for porcelain versions.
Add unique flair to a basic arrangement of photos with a tree motif. Achieve the silhouette with a wall decal, a stencil, or by freehand painting. Hang family pictures in the "branches" for a whimsical and fun look.