Home Paint > Explore Colors and Brands > Tips and Advice > 3 Design Ideas Under $500
3 Design Ideas Under $500
Nathan Fischer, Ace’s Design Expert


By Nathan Fischer, Ace’s Design Expert

Need a fresh, new look for your room, but don’t want to spend a fortune? You can change your space for under $500 with just a few quick fixes and simple updates. Try a few of these tips to mix things up.

Start from the ground up: Getting the right sized rug is a great place to start. Most rugs in living or family rooms are too small. For a smaller room you should use an 8’x10’ rug. A 9’x12’ size tends to work perfectly for a larger room. Having your chair and sofa front legs on the rug gives the room a connected and cozy look. As a general rule of thumb, if your rug doesn’t continue under the legs of all furniture pieces in the seating area, then it’s too small.

Color is key: Picking the perfect color that expresses your personality in a room can be fun, but challenging. Bringing in a bold or rich color is a great idea but can also be visually overwhelming. Painting a single accent wall might be a good compromise.

If the walls in your room are white or a light neutral, the sky is the limit when picking your accent color. A classic deep Cape Cod blue such as Clark+Kensington® City Nights, can bring in a sophisticated look while a coral tone can be a fun way to add in a punch of color. A toned-down version of a coral color I love is Clark+Kensington Autumn Gourd 5018.

Light up your life: Don’t be timid about filling your room with lamps! Lamps fill up empty space, bring new materials and textures into the environment, and add height to a room.

Side and end tables are great places to add a lamp. If you have end tables on both sides of your sofa, bring in a matching pair to balance out the space. On a small side table, you can either add a small lamp or a taller lamp with a narrow stem. If you have an empty corner, a floor lamp is a great way to brighten it up and fill the space.

Keep your chin up: The ceiling is often overlooked as a space to play with color. If you are going to add a ceiling color, just keep it to a room or two in your home. One great ceiling color I like with a light or neutral wall color is Clark+Kensington Apple Tart 2062 - a blend of green and yellow that has a neutral feel, but also a nice pop of color. Another color I’d choose is Clark+Kensington Purple Energy 5056 – a rich, muted eggplant/purple tone.

Clark+Kensington® paint+primer in one is available exclusively at Ace Hardware. Our easy-to-live-with, designer colors harmonize perfectly and let you mix and match with confidence.

Posted: Aug. 20, 2012 in Simply Stated™, a blog from Real Simple®

REAL SIMPLE is a trademark of Time Inc., registered in the U.S and other countries.

Also seen on Simply Stated, a blog from Real Simple®
© 2014 Ace Hardware Corporation. Ace Hardware Corporation and Ace Hardware Corporation logo are registered trademarks of Ace Hardware Corporation
HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99% of hacker crime.

Add Item to To-Done List

To use this feature you must be signed-in to your account, please sign in now. If you do not have an account, please create an account to participate.

Ace Rewards

Ace Rewards is a free and rewarding membership program that lets you earn rewards with every purchase you make! Join now.