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Give your old space a new face

by Alex Haseltine

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The thoughtful placement of accessories can give new life to any area, as shown in these before and after pictures of a space designed by Elaine Moore.

A home is more than walls, a roof and a foundation. Home is a place where we store our memories and the relics of our ancestors, where we train a new generation to carry on our family name or retreat to peace and solitude after a long day. By investing a little time and a lot of thought, home can also be a window into your nature, putting one’s passions, character and personal style on display for the world to see.

A little advice from a professional couldn’t hurt either. As someone whose idea of wallpaper has thus far been limited to a Bob Dylan poster duct-taped over the La-Z-Boy, I embarked on my foray into the world of interior decorating in the most logical way I could come up with: ask the experts. Three area designers answered my call for help, and agreed to share some tricks of the trade with an admittedly clueless writer.

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The owners of this house on Indian Creek chose an aquatic theme that is continued throughout the house. Model sailboats and duck decoys make this vacation home, designed by Todd and Tim Booth, an ideal riverside escape for the weekenders.

As the national economy continues to flounder, and housing markets across the country suffer, fewer people are buying new houses. While this might mean you have to temporarily put plans to buy that dream home on hold, these times present a great opportunity to work with what you have and put a fresh face on your current space. These are some simple tips to improve your home without breaking the bank.

Through the course of my research, one theme rose to the top as the most important aspect of any home improvement project. While seemingly obvious, it proved an invaluable starting point: It is your home, so let yourself shine through. It is easy to focus on what you think others will find pleasing or beautiful, but you are the one who will ultimately have to live with it. As penned by the famed German poet and playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.”

posted 03.27.2009

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