A thousand dollars, or even $500, can go a long way toward transforming a room -- and your attitude toward your home. Whether it's contemporary lamp shades or new doors, upgrades make a difference. We asked three interior designers to suggest things that homeowners can do immediately to rekindle their romance with their homes.
* Reframe your artwork. "Do five to 10 pieces," says Ken Dietz, principal designer at Dietz & Associates in Jamaica Plain, Mass. "Get coordinating frames and create a gallery wall. Look through family photos that you've wanted to frame and create a family gallery. If your photos are spread all over the house, condensing them in one place creates more visual comfort and less distraction."
* Change the vanity in your bathroom. "You might think of getting a vessel sink, which sits on top of a pedestal," says Edwina Drummond Boose, owner of Edwina Drummond Interiors in Waltham, Mass. "It can be a dramatic change without too much trouble. I saw one at Home Goods recently for $75. It was glass with silver leaf. It was stunning."
* Purchase a new chandelier for the dining room. "Most people think of the traditional iron with beads," says John Stefanon, principal designer at JFS Design Inc. in the South End. "But there are places that sell simple chandeliers with parchment shades. You can customize that shade with trim on the bottom. Or you can get an iron chandelier and wrap flat grosgrain around it to create a different texture. I found two huge bamboo baskets and had someone wire them to create a chandelier. It personalizes the room and creates a great conversation piece."
* Funk up the headboard on your bed. "You can get an Ultrasuede headboard," says Drummond Boose. "You can put mosquito netting over it. You can get a slipcover. There are wonderful options now. Target has very reasonably priced headboards. In fact, I just bought one for my spare bedroom for $199. It comes in lots of colors. Mine is tan."
* Get a new backsplash for the space between your counter top and upper kitchen cabinets. Backsplashes can be made of glass, stainless steel, even leather. "You can pick tiny tiles in red and splatter those around," said Drummond Boose. "You can do a horizontal border or a mosaic. Many people's backsplashes are old-fashioned looking. Why not pewter or bronze or copper?"