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RISMedia, May 19, 2011—Donna Hoffman, a Philadelphia interior designer, offers tips for those looking to refresh their dated decor without starting from scratch or incurring sky-high expenses. “As real estate values have fallen, many people are concerned with how much money to put into their homes. Yet discerning clients recognize that a dated interior really lowers the value of their home,” Hoffman says.

To reclaim your enjoyment of your home, here are five fool proof and fiscally prudent design tip secrets that Hoffman says are the budget savvy penicillin for outdated interiors:

• Deconstruct The Color Palette. Don’t throw out an existing color palette; deconstruct it. To do this, create a new color strategy that flips the existing main room color into the secondary position of “accent color.” For example, if it’s a blue and mauve interior that’s at issue, turn the blue into the new accent color.

• Neutralize The Room. Now that you’ve isolated your new accent color, remove all strong colors in the room except for your one accent. “This includes removing area rugs, throw pillows, accessories, dated wallpapers —anything that sings too loudly in the old color palette,” Hoffman says. “Keep only the ‘new’ accent color, letting everything else go neutral. By project’s end, you’ll be left with an ‘accent’ color that gorgeously pops amidst a new palette of neutrals. Paint the walls in a rich neutral like latte or one of the new chameleon neutrals of 2011 for a crisp current look.”

• Elicit The Power of Throw Pillows. “Custom is ideal for variety and impact, but if it’s beyond your budget, look for little jewels at retail,” Hoffman explains. “Sprinkle mostly neutral accent pillows in varied shapes and sizes through the room to move classic color, create interest and reinvigorate older upholstery.”

• Evaluate Draperies. If draperies boast the old color scheme, look tired or overly swagged and dated, take them down. “Go bare if you must,” Hoffman cautions, “because nothing in a room is better than something bad.” If you can afford to do custom in the new color strategy, this is the place to invest. “Custom draperies give tremendous aesthetic return on the dollar,” Hoffman explains. “But if custom is out, then to go for the best quality you can afford at retail, not the cheapest.”

• Examine The Sofa. Pillows can tone down a loud sofa, but they can’t hide a worn eyesore or a thoroughly outdated silhouette. Opt to update a dated sofa, even if at a budget retailer. Select a solid in a classic style, like a track arm or English arm. “These have the staying power of that little black dress. Keep it simple and dress it with accessories. In our case we’re doing pillows instead of pearls,” says Hoffman.

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