Five Simple Ways to Change Your Home

Oct. 12, 2006 — -- Home designer Moll Anderson says that five "must-haves" can change the look of your home.

In her new book, "Change Your Home, Change Your Life," Anderson says that by using paint, lighting, music, flowers and fabric, you can make simple, inexpensive changes that will have a dramatic impact on your home and life

Anderson showed how a faux-leather paint treatment, hanging wastebasket lights, orchids in a basket, pillows, and the peppy "Wake Up and Dance" CD could transform a space.

For more suggestions, you can visit www.mollandersonhome.com.

Below are directions for creating the faux-leather paint treatment and and light fixture.

"SADDLE UP" FAUX-LEATHER PAINT TREATMENT

Like the look of leather? Here is a technique that uses glaze and plastic-drop cloths to achieve this luxuriously textured finish.

Shopping List:

Standard roller

2 poly-blend roller covers

Semigloss latex paint (base coat)

Glaze (top coat)

Several 1-mm-thick plastic-drop cloths (the number needed depends on the size of the room)

How-To:

1) Paint on your semigloss base coat, and allow it to dry.

2) Roll the glaze onto the wall in manageable sections. (Manageable means that you do not want the glaze to dry before you move to the next step!)

3) Press one of the 1-mm-thick plastic-drop cloths to the wall. The glaze will help the plastic sheet stick to the wall's surface.

4) "Smoosh" the plastic over the wet glaze. Allow the plastic to wrinkle.

5) Peel the plastic off the glaze while the glaze is still wet; discard the plastic.

6) Move to the next section and repeat steps 2 to 5. Overlap the areas of wet glaze to avoid distinctive marks between the sections.

The Finish Line:

Once all of the sections are complete, you will be left with a crinkled glaze effect that has the look of leather, minus the cost and animal cruelty.

"BASKET CASE" LIGHT FIXTURE

Think outside the box and turn unusual items into lighting fixtures. You can transform virtually any object into a lamp. Whether you buy a lamp-making kit, employ the assistance of your local lamp store, or use the simple method described below, you can take anything from an antique vase to an old fruit crate and turn it into a luminary masterpiece. It's easy -- so get creative!

For example, here's what you can do with an everyday wastebasket:

1) Get a wastebasket that fits your decor. One without a metal base makes it easier to puncture a hole.

2) Purchase a contractor light from your local home-improvement center.

3) Remove the clamp and the can from the light.

4) Punch through the bottom of the basket to make a hole just big enough to pull the lighting cord through. (A screwdriver or sharp knife will work. If not, you can always drill a hole that's the appropriate size.)

5) Turn the wastebasket upside down, and pull the cord through the hole, covering the cord with a chandelier cord cover.

6) Hang it up and plug it in!

Now you have a lighting fixture that's one-of-a-kind -- or, try three-of-a-kind! Make a statement by hanging several together in a group.

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