Dear Debbie: I am hooked on my pure-white super-soft bed sheets, expensive but worth every penny. How can I get some pattern and color without replacing the sheets? My budget is limited. - Francoise
Dear Francoise: The biggest investment in your bedroom should be your mattress, and then your sheets. Go for the best quality you can afford, and you will enjoy the nightly benefits of a restful and rejuvenating sleep. You can bring style to the room in many ways, starting with the accent pillows and blankets. Fabric designs and colors change annually, showing off what’s new for the season. You can shop at your local bedding and home stores for ready-made products. Another option is to check out fabric stores in your area or online. I guarantee the selection will inspire you!
Animal prints continue to be a hot design choice, with a variety of faux patterns available. Waverly shows you how to produce a rich safari style with its Couture Kingdom collection shown here.
Decide on a mood you would like to create. Work with what you have and build from there. You can mix prints, introduce solid colors and layer as much as you please. Buy the fabric and make your own accessories. Pillow shams and cushion covers are easy to sew. Have a chair upholstered, or fashion a lampshade for the bedside table. It doesn’t take much to set the scene. Once you have the fabrics selected, finish the transformation with a fresh coat of paint on the walls.
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Dear Debbie: Our fireplace surround is pink marble from the ’80s. Is there a product that we can apply to change the color? We have done a lot of updating to our townhouse and cannot afford to replace the marble right now, but it just doesn’t fit. Any ideas? – Karen
Dear Karen: Because this is a working gas fireplace and the marble is on the hearth and surround that butts up to the firebox, painting is not recommended. I suggest you look for a suitable fireproof product that can be applied over the marble, such as stone veneer. The neutral shading and texture found in stone is certain to complement your new decor. Flexible stone veneers are thin enough to install within the outer wood trim of your fireplace without having to change the face. These veneers are cut from real stone, so no two sheets will be exactly alike, providing a beautiful, classic, natural appearance. Check installation instructions for different manufacturers. You will require a strong adhesive, and might need to etch the existing marble to ensure solid adhesion.
A special note: Happy New Year to all my faithful readers! In 2011, along with my newest adventures and projects, I plan to celebrate all your wonderful talents. I will feature your most innovative and intriguing decorating ideas right here in my column. Whether you have the passion to decorate as a hobby or it is your profession, go to www.debbietravis.com to learn more.
Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. You can follow Debbie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Debbie_Travis. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com.