Nine-minute solutions and elbow grease

Kim Lewis

In our busy lifestyle we have few precious moments of time to ourselves, snippets of space where we can breathe easy.

What do you do with your free moments? facebook? Bubble baths? Balance your cheque book? (I hope not!!)

If you find a few minutes with nothing to do, try a nine- minute makeover for your interior. It is faster than the 10-minute makeover but more thorough than the seven-minute makeover of the 1990’s. The nine-minute makeover is all in the accessories, my friends.

Lampshades/light fixtures – Take a critical look at your lighting. Is it fresh and funky or drab and dated? A well-loved lamp can be refurbished with a new lampshade in an exciting new shape. Neutrals and creams are a good choice and will match any finish. If your shades are still covered in the plastic from the manufacturer or have those ‘shower cap’ plastic covers on them – for the love of all good design PLEASE get rid of it! Shades on a ceiling fixture or chandelier transform it into a gorgeous boutique inspired feel.

Pillows/Candles/Pictures – Simple! Fast! Economical! Take a room and rework the accessories in a few short minutes. Buy a picture or print, take the most dominant colour from that picture and buy three amazing toss cushions.

These cushions can all be different in terms of print or fabric but they should all be the same colour. Buy a set of dynamic candlestick holders and add pillar candles in the same colour as the cushions. The nine-minute part comes in dressing the room – the shopping will take extra time! Put all these elements in a room and watch it transform. You have added three distinctive points of colour into a space which will give the room a completely different feel in just a few minutes.

Kitchen Hardware – Your kitchen looks dated and worn but you don’t have the time or the money to replace materials. The nine-minute solution is new handles plus a side order of elbow grease. If your cabinets are made of wood, give them a once over with orange oil to bring back their shine. Replace dated and even ugly cabinet pulls with the new colours of pewter/aged iron and bronze for an instant update. If cabinet pulls are metal and your budget is small – purchase a can of metal spray paint in these same colours and spray them new again. Your kitchen will love you.

Bedspread/Area Rug – Tackle your bedroom this weekend with a new bedspread and area rug. Even if you have carpet in your bedroom it can be covered with an area carpet and non skid underlay.

Co-ordinate a new duvet cover and area rug for a perfect perk in your boudoir. You can even try the pillow/candle/picture idea in addition to the new spread! Try something bold and daring, using the seasons as your guide. Consider warm intimate colours for fall, bright and cheerful for winter, soft and dreamy for spring and cool and clean for the hot days of summer.

Ok your minutes are almost up, and you have spent at least three reading this article! Go quickly and pick a space in your home to be revitalized – it is a perfect use of time for every busy person.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Feel free to contact her at 343-7711 ext 227, email her at or join her facebook group called “Ask a Designer”

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