An old front door gives a new house instant character. This English pine door was salvaged from a ruined building. A stand-alone picket gate may seem out of place without a fence, but it adds cottage charm for less time and money.
For a custom look, try adding a three-inch band of striped fabric to the edge of inexpensive curtain panels. Play with levels of formality by using an unexpected material, such as rope or twine, to hang prized objects on the walls.
"If your house lacks interesting trim or crown molding, don't fret. Pump up the edges of a room with color by painting a three-inch border around all the windows and walls. It'll be like adding instant trim to your house, and it's a stylish alternative," says Steven.
An inexpensive wooden desk looks like a custom piece when painted to blend with a room's color palette. For a modern look, use contrasting colors on the drawers and table frame. Just be sure to use a stain-killing primer on finished wood -- the painted coat will be more durable.
Framing prints or other art on paper between panes of glass allows your wall color to show through. This trick creates an immediate visual dialogue between the room's color and the artwork.
Say goodbye to stainless steel filing cabinets and dark brown desks, and make your home office playful and inviting. We decoupaged this draftsman desk with inexpensive marine charts. The end result is a one-of-a-kind custom desk you can create in an afternoon.
If your trim is more interesting than the walls, go ahead and call it out with color. "I don't think you have to follow the old rule that trim has to be white and color is saved for the walls," reassures Steven.
Bored with a perfectly coordinated bedroom's monotony and symmetry? Try pairing mismatched bedside lamps. You can find inexpensive, interesting lamps and other accessories at flea markets; just remember to look for complementary shades that pull everything together.
Coat hooks are a thrifty and stylish answer to crowded, jumbled drawers. Stephen uses baskets, hooks, and open shelving to create a user-friendly kitchen, putting utensils (and utility) front and center. Toss out the knick-knacks and invest in well-designed, colorful appliances you can proudly display on your counter tops.