Six Tips for a Spring Home Makeover

Six Home Fashion Tips from the Expert

In the May/June issue of The Saturday Evening Post, Lisa LaPorta, HGTV’s interior designer for the hit show Designed to Sell, revealed top secrets for staging a home promised to put on a show for potential buyers.

But for those who don’t plan to sell, spring (after all that cleaning, of course) is the perfect time for a fresh new look in the home. Here, LaPorta shares some of her favorite budget-friendly guidelines and tips for sprucing up the place, just in time for summer entertaining.

Finding Your Style
It’s my job to help clients cross this bridge with what I like to call “transitional” style. People often tell me, ‘I like eclectic because I like lots of different styles’ or ‘I like open and airy spaces.’ We all like different styles, and who doesn’t like open and airy? What I like to do is help them find a nice balance of specific things they like. A favorite design exercise of mine is having them go through several magazines and point out what they like and don’t like. This way, we establish a pattern of colors and styles that appeal to them.

Color Coordinating
I can’t tell you how many people have color trouble. My advice to clients is to look at your wardrobe and how you might pair colors and styles. Think about how you might dress up a pair of black pants. … Would you wear pearls with plaid pants? Probably not. The same principles should be applied to styles and patterns around the home.

Keeping It Simple
The best way to keep your home looking up-to-date is to invest wisely from the beginning, which will also work to your advantage when it comes to resale. I like to buy big ticket items in classic styles and in colors that are earthy and natural. This lends to a versatile scheme for quick and easy updates. I like to shop at discount stores for throw pillows and lighting accessories. Just changing the pillows or lamp shades can make a big difference. If your furnishings have loud prints, commit to the pattern by working with the paint color on the wall. Note that slip covers for couches or chairs are tricky and don’t always fit properly. They require lots of primping and stick pins.

Kitchen Upgrade
Dated kitchen cabinets are a big turnoff. There’s a fine line between ‘classic’ and ‘old.’ If your budget doesn’t allow for replacing them, stain them. First, apply the stain in even strokes, going with the grain of the wood. Add some stylish new hardware, and your kitchen will have a whole new look.

Bathroom Update
There’s a simple solution for dated tile: coat the tiles with a high-adhesion prime and brush on a special ceramic epoxy covering. Pedestal sinks are a big hit because they show off square footage in small bathrooms beautifully. First, your old vanity has to go. Next, just hook up your new sink and your bathroom will have dramatic appeal.

Patio Refurbishment
Spray paint and a topcoat can go a long way when rescuing old patio furniture. Or sometimes it just requires a good cleaning. Vinegar and water is a resourceful and effective way to scrub outdoor furniture. If you have a red-brick patio, freshen it up by first rolling a light coat of paint onto the bricks. Next, gently spray them with water and dab to dry.

Also, there are some really nice and affordable outdoor fabrics on the market. Replacing old cushions and power spraying the patio is always a good idea for creating an inviting entertaining area.