We received Speed Decorating in the mail and want to share it with you as it's good inspiration for the Fall Cure. In the book, Jill Vegas shares the tips and tricks she learned from staging homes to sell, including five fast cleaning tips and instructions for a closet makeover. Here are some of our favorite tips...While we think that a home's design evolves over an extended period of time, Speed Decorating: A Pro Stager's Tips and Trade Secrets for a Fabulous Home in a Week or Less (Taunton, 2009) by Jill Vegas offers the kind of tips that help quickly make spaces more welcoming &mdash whether you're getting ready to sell, getting ready for a party, or just want to make your spaces better.
• 2 Details count: Aesthetically pleasing displays and vignettes give a home an edited sense of style.
• 3 Add color: "Adding color can be the fastest way to breathe new life into a room." Here, Vegas uses sapphire-blue chairs, a matching vase and a coordinating throw. We agree, matching accent colors is the first step towards a home looking cohesive and lived-in.
• 4 The entrance says everything: Vegas advocates for clutter-free surfaces, brilliant light, a nice-looking floor, clean walls and a fabulous front door. Notice that most of her entryway and landing strip tips involving cleaning. Vegas says cleaning is always the first step.
• 5 Updating can be inexpensive and creative: Did Vegas throw out this "wonky sofa"? No, she covered it with an ikat and jewel-toned pillows.
• 6 Make your bathroom memorable: So your bathroom has silver-colored fixtures, a white wall, white subway tile and a white waffle-weave shower curtain? You and everybody else. Vegas put a vintage map, botanical prints and piled towels on to a chair to make this bathroom unique.
• 7 Walls don't have to be boring: If you have (and prefer) white walls, go bold with accessories. We have two turquoise foo dogs that guard books on top of a white bookcase. The bright color pops in front of a white wall.
• 8 Spoil your bedroom: When we moved in to our apartment in April, we had no furniture. We bought a bed frame and mattress first, even though few others would see it. We're pleased that Vegas agrees with our strategy: In this room, Italian linens are layered over a bed from Sweden. Gray velvet curtains keep it dark. The lamp is a Flos. Treat yourself!
• 9 Max out storage: Be creative, Vegas says. She uses an étagère here in place of a hutch. She also advocates for plate racks in cupboards and adding extra shelves to cabinets.
• 10 Dining chairs don't have to match: Here, Vegas uses a bench and two chairs. We love this idea and think it would help add interest to a dining room.
For tons more tips, check out Vegas' book. We think each section would be a good guide for a weekend project. If you're really dedicated, or have a week to work on your house, we think you could use tips for each room and take your home to that next level of comfy-ness and stylishnes.
(Images: Lindsey Roberts)