It's hard to find the time to take on big decorating projects at this time of the year, so I've complied three simple decorating touches that you can do on a budget and in less than an afternoon.

Impress guests with some drama when they arrive for the holidays by painting your front door a deep, luxurious colour. The trend of a dark, pronounced exterior door is coming back in style as these colours add a sense of grandeur and sophistication to the front entry. Choose a dark hue that is almost black in its tone. Dark purples, greens and navy blue top my list. If you view the door from the road and it looks almost black then you have the right tone!

Choose a high-gloss paint finish. It will add durability and a glamorous sheen to the door.

And while you are painting, why not wrap the colour around to the inside of the door? Adding that dark impact will do wonders to wake up your front foyer.

Looking for an easy way to choose the right paint colour for the front door? Look at the colour of the body of the house and choose the opposite on the colour wheel. For example, if you have yellow-ish brick or siding, then choose a purple colour. If you have orange brick choose a blue or green colour. Finally, if you have greenish siding then choose a burgundy-red colour. Opposites do attract!

Is the bedroom looking a little bare without a headboard? With a bit of paint, some edging tape and a level you can create a faux headboard which will add a focal point to your room. For the best proportions, measure the faux headboard six inches wider than your bed and at a height of around 52" -- that is standard size. To make the painted headboard blend into the room, choose a paint colour similar to the shade of your bed skirt or bed base. When the paint is dry, lean some large pillows across the top of your mattress. That touch will add a luxurious layered look to your bedroom.

You can use the same paint blocking trick to make artwork look larger.

Artwork is often purchased for the subject matter or colours, but it may not be the right proportion for the wall space you intend to use it on. A simple way to make a small piece of art look larger or to tie together a collection of smaller pieces is to tape off an area slightly larger than the art and paint a block of colour. Visually, the overall scale of your artwork will appear larger.

Slipcovering your furniture with store-bought or custom-tailored covers is a great way to change the look of your furniture seasonally, hide outdate pieces or protect valuable furniture from fading as well as wear and tear.

Store bought slipcovers range from $35 - $200. They do not offer a tailored fit, but can give a clean, fresh look to worn or outdated furnishings. The look will be casual and they are recommended for utility over high fashion. Find Sure Fit Slipcovers online and at Sears.

The labor for making custom-made slipcovers can cost from $50 to cover a dining chair up to $600 for a sofa, plus the fabric you choose. It will also take approximately one to four weeks to create a couture cover for your well-loved furniture.

Here are a list of custom slipcover companies that can have your old furniture covered by Christmas:

  • Vancouver, Edmonton & Calgary: Chintz and Company
  • Winnipeg: Recovery Slipcovers
  • Toronto: Potato Skins
  • Ottawa and Gatineau: Old Chelsea Slipcovers
  • Montreal: Four Season Slipcovers
  • Halifax: Magic Touch Upholstery

Products that will help with simple decor upgrades

New knobs and pulls. Add sparkle and shine to an old, built-in cabinet, dresser or kitchen cupboards. We are seeing a return to a soft gold metal tone in hardware, sometimes even ultra-traditional in style. For a blend of knobs and handles keep in mind that KNOBS go on doors and PULLS go on drawers.

Ceiling medallions. Adding a simple ceiling medallion can give a finished look to a hanging light fixture. By painting the medallion the same colour as the light fixture, you allow the fixture to look more substantial. Match the colour of your light to a spray-paint colour and give a shot at the pre-primed medallions.

Products and sources featured on the show

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