Freshen up your home with these thrifty design ideas

Freshen up your home with these thrifty design ideas

Submitted by Chantal Devane of Devane Design

Are you tired of staring at the same painting that has hung on your bedroom wall for the past 10 years?  Is your furniture bringing back memories of the mauve and baby blue era?  The good news is that there are a lot of things you can change in your home that won’t break the bank.


Paint is one of the easiest ways to make a big impact in a room. Most homeowners can do the work themselves, and if you really goof on the color, all you have to do is repaint. Choosing the right color and finish is key. If you are feeling deficient in this area, don’t be afraid to recruit a professional. There are some great new eco-friendly options available, many with low or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which means less odor. Try Benjamin Moore’s new eco-friendly Natura product line, or visit Natural Built Home in Minneapolis to explore various paint product lines that offer zero-VOC products and soy-based paints.


Purchasing new accessories and accents is an inexpensive way to breathe new life into a space. Think new pillows and a decorative throw for the sofa, changing curtains in a room or adding an area rug and a new lamp to your family room. New bedding is also a great way to revitalize a space for a few hundred dollars or less. Don’t be afraid to shop at discount stores such as Kohl’s or Target for these items. They offer a great selection of accessories and bedding, and the inexpensive prices justify mixing things up a couple of times a year.


This is a great way to use your own furniture and accessories by repurposing them. This process is almost like a treasure hunt in your own home. Go room to room and objectively look at your furniture and accessories. Would the artwork in the foyer look good in the office?  Could the lamp from the bedroom be switched with the one in the family room?  This is where it sometimes helps to recruit a friend or neighbor with an objective eye to work with you.

If you find you are in need of some new pieces to complete your room, consider buying secondhand. You can search online websites, such as, or you can stop by Turn Style Consignment’s new home stores. They sell gently used furniture and accessories in a retail setup, so you can shop like you would in a regular store. You can also consign items you no longer have use for.

“Light” remodeling

Can’t afford a full-fledged remodel?  Consider a cosmetic upgrade to your space by installing a new vanity top, sink and faucet in your bathroom or by adding a tile backsplash in your kitchen. Both Building Materials Outlet in Eagan, Minn., and The ReUse Centers in Minneapolis and Maplewood, Minn. offer salvaged, new and surplus building materials at bargain prices.

Devane is an interior designer and the owner of Devane Design located in Eden Prairie, Minn., which specializes in kitchen and bath remodeling and value based interior design. Devane’s work has been featured in “Eden Prairie Magazine,” DIY’s “Bathtastic!” and on the Twin Cities Remodeler’s Showcase tour. She is also a feature writer for’s interior decorator column. Her recent awards include Best Interior Designer and the Reader’s Choice Awards for Eagan, Rosemount, Apple Valley and Eden Prairie, Minn. Devane Design is also an Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner for 2009 and 2010.

As of June 14, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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Devane Design has an eye for paint color

Eden Prairie homeowner Marie Guillemette called Chantal Devane when she couldn't decide on a color after painting 15 samples. "Even now, she keeps an eye out for accessories and ideas she knows will fit my family's style."


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