Los Angeles Times

Paint it

This is one of the quickest ways you can change the look of a room. A gallon or two of paint can instantly refresh a space. Painting a small room can be accomplished in an afternoon, especially if you're using just one color. And if you have children or animals, a new coat of the same paint every few years will do wonders to make the room appear cleaner. A gallon of paint typically costs less than $50. Home Depot's Behr Premium Plus Ultra, which Consumer Reports identified as one of the best interior paints, costs just a little over $30 per gallon. If you want to use paint for dramatic effect in a room, spend an hour or two finding inspiration and new colors at websites like Pinterest.com or Houzz.com. The Pantone Color Institute recently selected Tangerine Tango, a vivid shade of red-orange (above), as the 2012 Color of the Year. If that's too bold, another trendy shade is Bellflower, an ornamental purple that would look stunning in a room with silver accents. Photo courtesy fo Pantone, BALTIMORE SUN
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