Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rekindle the Romance: How to Love Your Home Again

(MS) -- In today's slow economy, consumers are clamoring for new and inexpensive ways to refresh their homes. Many have found that the secret to living well for less is creative reuse, refurbishing and updating what they already own. Creative reuse saves money, reduces waste, and is a lot of fun, too. While money can't buy love, it's possible that with just a little time and creativity, you'll have a home you'll love.

Today's contemporary style begins with fresh colors and lots of texture. As savvy do-it-yourself decorators already know, paint is a fast and easy way to update a home. For today's interiors, they're also discovering that clay can be a fun and versatile way to add texture and personality. To help select a new color palette, page through home decor catalogs and magazines for inspiration. Don't be afraid of a bold, new color scheme -- you can never make a mistake with paint, as it's easy to repaint. Refresh the walls first, and then move on to updating your home accessories.

Bureaus, tables, chairs, bookcases, lamp bases, picture frames, and other accent pieces can all be easily updated. Add a splash of color with paint, and then layer on the texture with easy embellishments. Yesterday's colonial blue lamp base starts life anew when painted sunshine yellow; add a few dimensional flowers for additional impact and you're now totally trendy.

Today's craft stores offer an endless variety of materials to enhance a home. Stickers, rub-ons, ribbon, paper, buttons, beads, silk flowers, appliques, and other trims are all available in today's hot color schemes and trends. If you're craving rich colors and texture, consider embellishing your freshly-painted pieces with Studio(TM) by Sculpey(R), the first oven-bake clay for home decorating.

Introduced by Polyform, the world's leading manufacturer of oven-bake clay, Studio by Sculpey can be baked right in your home oven and, once baked, it's strong enough for everyday use. Studio by Sculpey is so versatile, you can decorate cardboard, plastic, glass, wood, ceramics, and numerous other surfaces. If you've never played with clay, don't be intimidated -- Studio by Sculpey is designed so that even beginners will have beautiful results.

First, the clay's soft, velvety texture is easy and pleasing to work with. The oven-bake clay is available in a sophisticated palette of 34 mix-and match colors, from bright green Wasabi and vivid red Poppy to soothing blue Raindrop and soft Patina. The Web site www.studiobysculpey.com offers inspiring mix-and-match color combinations.

The decorating styles are endless -- would you like an all-over mosaic of clay tiles, colorful splashes of flowers, or a simple braid along the edges? Fortunately, the Studio by Sculpey line also includes easy-to-use tools, designed just for working with oven-bake clay. You'll make mosaic tiles in minutes with the Texture Makers. For delightful daisies or other flowers and leaves, the Shape Makers deliver precise cut-outs every time.

Once you begin, you'll find that Studio by Sculpey is a unique way to customize many items in your home. Add color coordinated embellishments to a picture frame, vase and lamp for an eye-catching ensemble. That old bureau and mirror? Update the knobs and handles on the bureau, and add similar embellishments to the mirror.

If you'd like to fall in love with your home all over again, visit www.studiobysculpey.com for home decorating inspiration.

CAPTION: An outdated chalkboard and photo frames are now fresh as a daisy with the addition of colorful, dimensional flowers. This custom look was created in an afternoon and for less than $20.

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