Surprising Advice about 1st Step of Redecorating from Designers

Is your house showing signs of wear and tear? Wish you had the time and money to redecorate? Don’t. Interior designers have all told me the same thing when I ask what can a homeowner do to improve a room’s appeal without costing anything. The answer: Get rid of stuff. Whether it’s an over-decorated living room, a well used family room, or a cluttered kitchen or bathroom, the advise has always been the same. Pare down the decorations on the shelves and walls, remove excess clutter and eliminate all but the most necessary items on countertops.

I know it works because I’ve done it in my home and seen the transformation when friends have put their house on the market and followed the advice.

For all the day-to-day things a family uses designers suggest containing them in one place, magazines in a basket, toys in a container, flower pots in a grouping. A room, no matter its size looks larger and more appealing when there aren’t countless distractions that catch the eye. When you can see the floor and surfaces in a room its appearance is attractive and welcoming.

We hope you’ll visit us at to compare the cost of doing a project yourself with hiring a pro.


Gene and Katie Hamilton are authors of 20 home improvement books and creators of, a website that compares the DIY and contractor costs of hundreds of repair, decorating and remodeling projects. Their weekly column Do It Yourself or Not is syndicated by Tribune Content Agency.
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