Cheap “Do it Yourself” for Your Home 

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to really make somechanges. Here are some ideas from my upcoming book that won’t cost alot but that will make a big impact.

Paint-This is an inexpensive change that will radically transform a space forusually less than $50. Scientists have been studying the effect ofcolor on people for years and have found that culture plays a role indetermining individual’s feelings about color. For North Americans blueand green are calming and are used in bedrooms for their soothingaffect. Red and Orange are energetic colors with red stimulatingappetite. As light changes in your room – and in summer leaves are onthe trees and then those same trees are bare in winter – expect shadesof your chosen color to need tweaking. I tried to use the same shade ofbeige in bathrooms directly in line with each other, one upstairs andthen the downstairs room. A maple tree changed the light so much in thedownstairs room the color looked bad and I ended up using a totallydifferent color for the room.

Storage-Clutter affects people in different ways but if keeping a room or asection of a room tidy, probably indicates that you need less stuffand/or better storage. Have a firm talk with yourself or your familyand get rid of things that you don’t need. Then consider inexpensivestorage alternatives. This is the time of year to get great bargains ondressers, cabinets, etc. from yard sales and estate sales. Use adresser as a side table and store linens: paint a found cabinet andstore oversize items or seasonal items. I have a shelf above a window,where a valance would hang in a pass through pantry on which I storeserving trays. We’ll talk about storage for kitchen and bath in twoweeks.

Lighting- Winter is dark inMaine and without good lighting I get cranky. Especially in rooms wherespecific tasks are completed. Outdoor light is important for safety,too. Yard sales, antique shops are great places for inexpensivelighting. My husband and I have gotten large exterior &quot:carriage house&quot:style lamps for $10. They are usually brass, which isn’t the color Iwant, so we paint them black. We’ve gotten chandeliers for very littlemoney and we have one that we painted in a hammered pewter finish andit looks great. Don’t let high store costs deter you from havingexcellent and plentiful light

Marion R. Syversen, MBA



70 Main Road South

Hampden, ME 04444

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