easy home decor ideas

Photo: Simon Brown - Thrifty Chic

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If You Have 1.5 Days...
Turn your dreary staircase into a work of art. "Carpet can be one of the most expensive elements of decorating a hall, but a painted 'runner' will give you the same fashionable look for a fraction of the cost of the real thing," said Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell in their book Thrifty Chic. You can replicate theirs (at left) by following these steps: First, clean and sand your steps thoroughly. Then, apply two coats of a white paint to brighten up the hall. Once that's dry, measure and mark the stripes with 1-inch masking tape—ensuring that no two lines are the exact same size. Paint the stripes using a selection of dark, medium and pale green paints. Once the stripes are dry, tape over them and fill in the white lines that separate the green stripes with pale pink. After the pink dries, remove the tape and paint two thin black lines on top of the pale green stripe.