How to Create an Envious Living Space

Consideration was given for this article to be reviewed and edited.

The living and dining rooms are the centerpieces of your home. Creating a warm and inviting room is easy, especially when you have an endless budget (which most of us don’t). There are fancy ideas all over the Internet talking about building wall extensions, when repurposing a bookcase will do just fine. The key is to use your crafting sense. Some of my favorite crafting things to have around include: paint, brushes and some basic tools like a hammer, nail, saw, tape measure, a drill and a level.

Prepare for some DIY and get your hands dirty, it’s all in good fun. You might end up with a summer project preparing for an autumn party.

Window Dressings

Windows are a chance for unexpected creativity. If you have vertical blinds, try wrapping them in fabric or hanging curtains to compliment them. You could also hang black-out curtains, or remove them in favor of sheer white drapes. They are great for blocking sunlight during summer months, and with proper care, blinds will last for years. Blind sets are also inexpensive solutions for large windows (like the window to your patio), so they are great for first time home buyers looking for budget friendly window coverings.

Stained wood blinds are particularly nice if you have a computer room or study room tucked away. They let sunlight in while fitting in with “office-like” mood.

Garage Sale Furniture

Bargain hunters love garage sales and the reason is that with a bit of varnish and antiquing glaze, you can find some really neat looking things. Someone’s old dresser can be lined with velvet colored felt and turned into a plate cabinet. Things to nab on sight include:

  • End tables
  • Bookcases
  • Vintage looking wall art
  • Vases

Wood stain is your best friend for end tables, just try to match the color as best as you can. Patch up rough spots by sanding things down and for jobs with serious problems (like a severely scuffed table face) consider low balling the seller, clipping art from the web and applying a thing glaze to create a mosaic table.

Growing Flowers

It’s a bit late to start growing flowers this summer, as most seeds will take about 50-90 days to flower, but you can start growing for autumn. If your local nursery has good plants (greatly depends on your location) you can cheat and whip up some nice summer flowers faster than the rest of us. Grow matching colors: purples, yellow, oranges. You could grow hibiscus, Echinacea, dahlias or salvias.

Place a small bunch of flowers into a thin vase for the minimalist dash of color in the dining room, or toss a bunch into a wicker basket for the living room. Flowers in the bathroom designed to match your towels also look and smell wonderful. Growing seed packets can be extremely inexpensive, so you might want to consider buying a planter from your local hardware store.

Make Your Own Clock

Another neat trick I like to use for my house is to make my own clock. You can by a box frame and clock parts online or at your local craft store. The clock mechanism is fairly simple to put together, but you might benefit from someone with graphic design experience. You can use a computer to create your own design, or find a high definition print of the kind of clock you want to design. If you have graphic design experience, it’s easy to add a clock face to any design that you might find around the web. Without this experience, you can paint over the plastic box, or look for decals to apply.

You will need to drill with a slower drill speed to avoid cracking the plastic box frame, and you can usually use a common wood drill bit to do the job. You can use the box that came with the box frame as the surface for your clock face, but be sure to place a hole in the center of the artwork and box to match up with the hole that you drilled. The clock face will usually screw into place, holding itself upright, but if you are concerned with it falling, you can apply a small amount of craft glue to hold the mechanism in place.

Maximize Space

The last part of your project is about maximizing space. If your table has a leaf, use it when guests aren’t eating with you. You can turn your dining room table into a drink or snack station, opening more of your house up for people to move and observe your amazing decorative flair. 

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