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10 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Feel Special

  1. Garden lights -- These can be solar powered, environmentally friendly. Lights around the garden make your home seem special and mean you can enjoy favorite plants after dark.
  2. Bolder paintwork -- Make sure there are no planning restrictions first, but a more assertive color scheme will suit your more confident lifestyle. Make your front door stand out from others in your street.
  3. Low voltage lights -- Use low voltage lighting and lamps to create areas of light and shadow around your home. Many have built-in transformers so you can simply replace existing fittings. Others can be plugged into the wall.
  4. Cushions -- Large cushions scattered around your living room will make it easy to flop on the floor and get really comfortable. Great for romantic evenings!
  5. Mirrors -- Strategically placed mirrors (opposite windows) will make each room feel larger and lighter. This is a bonus if you have a small apartment, or simply want the place to feel lighter.
  6. Classic colors -- When decorating your home, choose colors that you know you can live with. Bold colors can look great in the can but shock you when on the wall. (Unless you buy a sample can to test first.) Think about your home, your style, your taste and if in doubt, err on the side of caution. What's important is that you choose the colors, rather than live with what's already there.
  7. Less is more -- It's always better to have a few very nice things than a house full of knick-knacks. Be brutal and throw some stuff out.
  8. Old is good -- Why not see if your parents or other older relatives have some nice things they'd let you have for your home. Alternatively, visit some junk shops in search of a bargain. The way old things wear over time creates a nice contrast with what is bright and new.
  9. Awards -- Without being boastful, it's good to display framed awards or photographs of you meeting someone famous. They create talking points as well as reminding you of special occasions.
  10. Flowers -- Why not make sure you always have some fresh flowers? You might put them on the table, or even beside your bed. Don't go overboard with big arrangements, just a few single stems in a vase will create the same effect.

From The Life Guide Copyright © 2008, FT Press. Used by permission of FT Press, and Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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