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Gazette Premium Content Give your home new look for the new year

by ALAINA BRANDENBURGER Special to The Gazette - Published: January 25, 2014

Now that the new year is underway, you may be feeling like a fresh start. Why not your decor?

Thankfully, you don't need a big renovation to revitalize your home. There are several quick, easy and affordable changes that do the trick.

Brighten up your space

Changing out some lamps and/or light fixtures here and there can brighten up your home. It can cost whatever you're willing to pay, although $100 to $250 is a good rule of thumb for a nice lamp. If you're really trying to get the most for your budget, head to thrift shops. You may be surprised by the gems you can find.

You can also can switch out your plain old bulbs with ones in a warm or cool white tone, a change that can markedly shift the experience of the room.

Roll on a fresh coat of paint

For about $35 a gallon, you can find a new paint color that will make your room look completely different.

Martha Patterson from Foxworth Galbraith Lumber Co. in Woodland Park says that paint can "create a mood in a room. For instance, a bedroom can be calm and relaxing by using pastels. And bright colors add a energetic feel."

She also advises, "Color trends for 2014 are tending toward soothing colors like earth tones and soft pastels."

Light-colored paint can make a small room appear bigger and darker paint can make a large room appear cozy and more inviting.

Don't want to repaint the whole room? Add an accent wall - that is, a wall with a pattern or coordinating color, which will refocus and punch up the room.

Modernize your fixtures

Changing out the fixtures on sinks, bathtubs, cabinets and more can create a much-needed face-lift for any room.

Karen Yates of Beacon Hill Hardware in downtown Colorado Springs says, "Most hardware is thought of as the

jewelry of your home and can tell people a lot about you. High glam or rustic comfort, anything can be portrayed and communicated through your hardware.

"You can spice up kitchens and baths with new cabinet hardware. It can be lighthearted with a sense of humor or inspire relaxation in a spa-like setting. Your imagination is your only limit."

Treat those windows

There is no easier way to change the feel of a room than by switching out the window treatments. If you have drapes now and you want a new look that's easier to control, install wood blinds or Roman shades. Blinds allow more nuanced control of ambient light and can offer more privacy than curtains. Blinds range from about $100 to $200, depending on the size of the window and the style of blinds.

Add a touch of class to your walls

Buying art doesn't have to break the bank. Work by local artists can be an inexpensive way to liven up a blank wall.

"There is affordable art out there, particularly in print," said Kathleen McFadden, photographer and owner of Range Gallery. "You can create your own space and your own style."

If you don't have hundreds of dollars to spend, investigate buying prints, including those generated by photography and printmaking. In addition to the longevity of the mediums, they offer an inexpensive way to begin collecting - and ultimately finding what you like and don't without a big ticket commitment.

And if you buy from a local artist, there will likely be only a limited number of prints, which could make yours more valuable.

"It's good to support a local artist," McFadden said. "That artist will be around to create more of what you like, and you'll become a collector."

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