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Published: Friday, 6/25/2010

Six Decorating Secrets for Under $100

(ARA) - From the front door to the back deck, simple, cost-effective improvements and decorator touches can enhance your enjoyment of your home or attract buyer interest if you're trying to sell it. Here are six ideas for simple, easy, budget-friendly changes:

Give the front door a fresh coat of paint. If you live in a community with a homeowner's association, you may be required to repaint the door in its original color. But if not, consider painting it red. Not only is it eye-catching and cheerful, red on a door is considered good luck in the ancient Chinese tradition of feng shui.

Add solar lights along flower beds or the walk leading up to your front door. Solar lights are not only eco-friendly, they create a gentle, welcoming glow at night. Most designs are as easy to install as pushing a stake into the ground. Buy them at a club or discount store and you may pay as little as $50 for a set of lights.

In the kitchen, give cabinets a good scrub. You may not realize how dingy accumulated grime can make wood cabinets appear. After you clean them, switch out old hardware with new, chic handles and pulls. With home improvement stores carrying a wide variety, it's possible to replace all your kitchen cabinet hardware for well under $100.

Add a decorative wallpaper mural. A favorite technique of interior designers, wallpaper murals can go virtually anywhere -- kitchen, bedroom, dining room, bath, or even on an outdoor patio. They're easy to install, and you can find a range of murals for less than $100, and many for as little as $80.

If your wood floor is scratched and shabby, or your carpet is stained and smelly, it's unlikely you could refinish the floor or replace the carpet for less than $100. But you can paint the entire wood floor, or add a painted border for that price. It's also possible to paint a design on the carpet, or rip it up and paint the wooden floor beneath it. You'll probably need a gallon or two of paint, depending on the size of the room, so your costs will range around $50 to $75.

Artwork is a great way to dress up any room. Create a meaningful, personalized gallery in your own kitchen by buying several frames in varying sizes and shapes at your local dollar, home goods or crafts store. Paint them all the same color and fill them with hand-written recipes collected from family members. Ask contributors to write out their favorite recipe on the paper of their choice -- or provide them with eye-catching paper and colorful pens.

The days of redecorating for pennies may be long gone and big-ticket renovations are far in the future for many economy-stressed homeowners. But with some creativity, elbow grease -- and less than $100 -- it's possible to make simple decorating changes that will help your home look like a million bucks. Courtesy of ARAcontent



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