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Dream Home News, Issue #013 -- 7 Ways To Freshen Up Your Home For Little Or No Money
January 01, 2010
Welcome ...

... to your new (or your first!) issue of Dream Home Decorating News.
This month, it’s all about giving your home a fresh, clean, fun start into the New Year.

If you like this newsletter, please forward it to share it with your friends.
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Thanks for joining me today, and enjoy this issue!
Renate Hering-Shepherd

PS) If the newsletter is difficult to read as an e-mail,
read this issue online.

  1. Publisher’s Note
  2. Tip Of the Month:
    7 Ways To Freshen Up Your Home For Little Or No Money
  3. Interior Design Style Of The Moment: Hip Hotel Style
  4. List of the Month: Hip Hotel Color Schemes From Europe
  5. Legal Stuff

Publisher's Note

Happy, Happy New Year!

All new beginnings tend to give us a sense that we’re starting with a clean slate, and that the future holds brighter possibilities for us and those we love, and for the world at large.

Research has actually shown that the more we focus on positive stuff (both real and imagined!) the more we notice the real, concrete golden opportunities around us and then use them to best advantage.

So read on for some great ways to train our brains towards the good stuff – at home, and on a shoestring.


All the Best,

PS) “Whatever happened to the new site design?” – Ah, you may well ask. It’s taken a lot longer than I thought, but the process is now finally nearing completion. (Should you ever experience a strange craving for nightmares, I can very much recommend redesigning a website, learning a new coding language, and being ambitious about doing it all on your own!)

Still - now that the learning curve is going at a slightly more comfortable angle, I look forward to sharing the goodies with you again. So keep an eye on your RSS feed for news from Dream Home Decorating!

7 Ways To Freshen Up Your Home
For Little Or No Money

1. Rearrange It. Start small: Rearrange pictures, plants, accessories on a mantel or a shelf. Add something new, or edit a few items out. Or swap light fixtures, chairs, and other items between rooms. Just seeing a new, different view when you enter a room can help shift your perspective on other things, too.

2. Paint It. Paint one room only, maybe even just one wall. It’s an instant, cheap update. It’s also an opportunity to re-hang your pictures and create a brand-new vista on a wall. (Alternatively, paint a piece of furniture and give it a new lease of life.) Click here for help with finding good color schemes, and here for a step-by-step guide to fine-tuning paint colors for your room.

3. Scrub It. If your decorating budget is currently standing at about $10, buy some good cleaning products and scrub the place to a high shine. It's a great way of creating a sense of freshness and newness for your home. In the process, you may come across things you could get rid of, or shift around in the house. Which brings me to the next point:

4. Clear It. We're not talking major, weekend-long cleanouts that leave you exhausted. This is about purposeful, manageable, daily 20-minute cleanout installments. (Click the link to check it out!)

5. If You Don’t Use It – Lose It. Someone else might be looking for it already! Sell what you don’t need any more (on eBay, at yard sales, or in consignment shops). Enjoy the feeling of relief and all the free space you’ve created. And then …

6. Reinvest It. Spend the money you have made from selling no-longer-wanted stuff on something you really love, something that makes your home a more enjoyable, more livable, happier place. And finally:

7. Lighten It. Light is incredibly important for us humans. Many people suffer from depression in the dark months of the year, and good lighting can help alleviate that. An additional, inexpensive light source to illuminate a worktop, desk, or reading space can make a whole room feel more upbeat.

If you want to take the rejuvenation of your home a step further, read on below for more inspiration:

Interior Design Style
Of The Moment:
Hip Hotel Style

Hip hotels have influenced the way we live. They speak to our dreams of a simple, easy, privileged, even pampered life.

What makes a hotel ‘hip’?

It’s not necessarily the style, or the location, or even the type of people who stay there. Here’s what most hip hotels have in common:

1. Clarity & Simplicity.
Hotels aren’t supposed to look like homes, and that’s what makes them so attractive. They lack our personal history and anything that reminds us of our chores, problems and to-do lists.

At the same time, hip hotels surround us with a clean, clear, uplifting ‘envelope’ that can change the way we see ourselves and our lives. Have you ever come back from a stay at a beautiful place, and then looked at your home thinking, “gosh, I really gotta do something about those chairs/that wall/the mess in that room”?

Hip hotels remind us of what our lives could be like: clear, simple, relaxed, easy, clutter-free, and inspired. And there’s something else that hip hotels have (and ‘blah’ hotels don’t):

2. Personality.
They each have a well-edited, signature look and feel. And for that reason, they're often treasure troves for home decorating ideas.

Some hotels have a sophisticated take on local flavor. They ...
  • are decorated with locally inspired patterns and color schemes, or
  • showcase local art and craft: paintings, drawings, sculpture, weavings, photography, or handmade items of everyday use, or they
  • use local materials, styles, shapes and textures.
Other hip hotels cultivate a look that’s independent of the locale. Instead, they focus on a design ‘language’, for example …
  • a historical style reference (e.g. 40s Hollywood glamour in black-and-white, combined with edgy, contemporary colors)
  • an art style that is used throughout (e.g. only Flemish oils from the 17th/18th centuries, hung on irregular, whitewashed walls, and paired with minimalist furniture)
  • a subtle - or daring – or quirky - color scheme
  • a theme, for example ‘roses’, or ‘horses’, or ‘poetry’, or ‘boats’.
What makes your home special and ‘you-nique’? Is it something you could focus on more, and use as an editing tool? Because that’s the third characteristic of hip hotels: They’re …

3. Well-Edited.
Nothing messes up the ‘story’ of a hip hotel room. The look may be
  • raw,
  • elegant,
  • primitive,
  • warm,
  • edgy,
  • improvised,
  • theatrical,
  • madly eclectic, or
  • colorfully folksy.
Whatever it is, it has a clear focus and message.

What do you want yours to be? The secret to your home's style is choice and limitation.

Now, just for the heck of it, I thought I’d put a list of color scheme ideas together for you: Hip Hotel colors in Europe. Plus, I’ve snuck in a trip across the Mediterranean, to North Africa. They do heavenly color schemes, too ;-)

List of the Month:
Hip Hotel Colors


black accents
dusty plum
lipstick red


light China blue
kelly green


golden gray
yellow ochre
linen white
pale blue


(I’m serious!)
ruby red
majolica white
royal blue


brown leather
light dove gray
brick red
clean white
one quirky color that doesn’t ‘go’ with the rest


palest aqua
deep pomegranate red
marble white
weathered wood


chalky white
deepest cornflower blue
red ochre
bougainvillea pink
grayish green

Get Answers:

Looking for specific home decorating information, or want a question answered? Search Dream Home Decorating and the 'net here!

Legal Stuff

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Here's to a gorgeous home – yours!

"See" you again on March 1, 2010 -
Renate Hering-Shepherd

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