Refresh, renew what you already own

Cathy Hobbs
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

When it comes to decorating ones’ homes, it isn’t about how much money you spend, but about creating an appealing environment that reflects your personality and how you live.

Shopping your house not only saves money, but can be an opportunity to refresh and renew items you already own. To create a repurposed design solution for your home, edit out all of the unnecessary items, such as excess furniture, clothing, books and other items.

Start shopping: There is an art to choosing the right pieces for your home. Good design isn’t just about buying a bunch of furniture and tossing it into a room. Before you begin to shop your house, create a floor plan. This invaluable planning tool will serve as your design road map.

Shop your house for primary pieces such as sofas and beds, knowing that about a third of your redesign budget may be needed to purchase affordable accessories. Accessories such as toss pillows, vases and throws add a finishing touch to a space.

Create a color palette: An ideal color palette consists of at last three colors. In using color, look to create the ideal color balance, using 60 percent of a primary color, 30 percent of a secondary color and 10 percent of an accent color. After selecting furniture and accessories that relate to this ideal color mix, use a technique called color mapping, which makes a room feel more cohesive by repeating or mapping a particular color or colors throughout various parts of a space.

To successfully shop your house, here’s my design recipe:

■Pack away all unnecessary furniture and accessories

■Create a floor plan

■Shop the house for your large items first

■Select pieces that coordinate, but do not necessarily “match”

■Fill in rooms with art and accessories

■Incorporate color

■Step back and evaluate

■Edit if necessary

Cathy Hobbs is a nationally known interior design and home staging expert. Contact her at