- - Thursday, December 1, 2011

If you are hosting family and friends for the holidays, especially if this is a yearly tradition, you may be wishing your home looked a little fresher. While a total renovation may not be in the budget during these lean times, local interior designers have plenty of suggestions to add some pizazz without cutting into your gift-giving budget.

  • Upgrade your entrance

Jeff Akseizer, an interior designer with Akseizer Design Group in McLean, said, “My philosophy is that a great door knocker on an equally great front door really frames the space. These elements, along with classic planters or urns and updated lanterns or outside lights, define the lines of the entryway, bring your eyes to the front door and make the perfect first impression.”

Allie Mann, a project designer at Case Design/Remodeling in Bethesda, suggested perking up the front door with a wreath to add texture and warmth.

“Paint your front door a bold color for instant curb appeal,” said Denise Willard, owner and principal interior designer of Decor by Denise in Vienna.

  • Work with what you have

Lisa Adams, an interior designer with Adams Design in the District, said one of the simplest ways to perk up a space is to rearrange the furniture and artwork.

“You can rearrange your wall hangings, making groupings, including an additional item such as a mirror,” said Kelley Proxmire, principal of Kelley Interior Design in Bethesda.

Ms. Proxmire also suggested rearranging your bookshelves and adding a new bookend or two.

Ms. Willard said homeowners can decorate their walls with items they already own.

“Hang tapestries you may own to decorate your walls, or hang your plates to create decorative wall art,” said Ms. Willard. “Use decorative door knobs mounted to the wall as a coat rack in your entry.”

Shanon Munn, an interior designer and principal of Ambi Design Studio in McLean, said many people hang their artwork too high, which visually throws off the room’s proportions. She said the proper height for art in a room with an 8-foot ceiling is five feet from the floor.

Ms. Willard also suggested using your photos to create murals.

“You simply send in your photos and have … murals created to adorn your walls,” Ms. Willard said. “This is an inexpensive way too to have oversized artwork in your home that is also personalized.”

  • Get creative

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