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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

A spring of style for home décor
Update your look without breaking the bank
 
Published Friday, April 4, 2014
by Michaela L. Duckett

PHOTO COURTESY CHERYL LUCKETT
For more tips on budget design and home decor, visit Cheryl Luckett's blog DwellByCheryl.com 

Charlotte-based interior designer Cheryl Luckett has always had an eye for design.

Even as a child growing up in Gulfport, Miss., when slumber party guests discarded their shoes haphazardly, she would line them up along the wall because she couldn’t stand the visual clutter.

Luckett continues to like a clutter-free lifestyle. The budget-conscious designer is also obsessed with creating lavish looks for less and sharing frugal decorating ideas. In 2012, she launched Dwell by Cheryl, an interior design business focused on budget design. She also writes a home décor blog, DwellByCheryl.com, and guest blogs for Metrolina Habitat ReStores, a collection of 11 outlets in the Charlotte area.

“I typically work with first-time homebuyers and new home owners who want to create a space that’s a little more them,” she said. “Obviously budget is their number one concern.”

Whether you are a new homeowner, renting an apartment or simply want to update your home’s interior with a fresh new look for spring, Luckett said it is easy to make a drastic impact with minimal investment.

She advises beginning with a fresh coat of paint.

“Paint is probably the biggest bang for your buck,” she said, adding that with so many advances in technology, selecting the right color for your space is easier than ever. “Just about all of the major paint brands have ways that you can try out a color in a space by uploading a photo. Those tools are really helpful.”

Another tip, if you’re not painting a large space or an entire room, is to save money by purchasing “oops paint,” which is a termed coined by The Home Depot that refers to the mixed paint customers return when it didn’t work or because they purchased too much.

Another simple way to change décor without breaking the bank is to update your textiles. Simply swapping out pillows, bedding, shower curtains, rugs or drapery can make a huge impact on the look of a space. 

“They can also be changed in and out seasonally,” said Luckett. She said the ReStores are a great place to start because they have great options for textiles, especially rugs and fabrics.

“Just hanging a new piece of fabric on the wall can really change a look drastically,” she said. “You can do a no-sew drape, and right now that’s what’s in style – the clean lines and just a drapery panel without all of the fru fru and valiances. You can do that without even being able to sew.”

Luckett said another tip that people often overlook is repositioning furniture for the season.

“When it’s winter, you may have to make some changes to accommodate the Christmas tree and holiday décor, and you may want to position yourself a little closer to the fireplace,” she said. “This time of year, especially if you’ve got excellent views in your living space, you may want to turn the sofa to face the outdoors or really think about if the furniture arrangement is in the right space for the season.”

When it comes to staying on trend, Luckett said don’t bother.

“The trends come and go,” she said. “Radiant orchid is the color of the year. Is that going to be the color next year? Probably not.”

Her advice is to invest in decorating with what you love so you’re less likely to grow tired of it.

“Chances are, if it’s not on trend now, it will be pretty soon,” she said. “I think the most important thing is to stay true to who you are and what you like. At the end of the day you are trying to create a home that you love.”

Whether it’s on her blog, social media or when working with clients, Luckett said one of the most common questions she’s asked is how does she always find such good deals at thrift and second-hand stores. She said the secret to finding “the good stuff” is frequency.

“I don’t find great stuff every time I go,” she said. “But because I go frequently, I increase my chances of finding something great exponentially. I think you have to go often, even if you just run in for a few minutes and look around. The more often you go, the more great stuff you are going to find.”

Luckett said it’s also important to do your homework. Browse catalogs and magazines. Find inspiration from your favorite Pinterest accounts.

“Flip through magazines and the catalogs you receive in the mail,” she said. “See what they have on the coffee table. What are the lamps shaped like? What kind of rug do they have? That way when you go to the ReStore or go out thrifting you will have an eye for what they are using that’s old and has become new again. I think that’s key because it’s so easy to overlook something if it’s in a space that’s not staged… I’ve even taken catalogs with me to the store.”

Her last tip is to take your time.

“You’ve got to look high and look low,” she said. “Touch everything. Look at everything, even when you are at the register. Check out the things behind the counter that people have put back.”

Habitat for Humanity has 11 ReStores in the Charlotte area which accept donations of new and gently used items, including building materials, furniture, appliances and home items, which are resold to the public at a reduced cost (usually 50-80 percent of the original retail value). All proceeds go towards building affordable houses in the community through local Habitat affiliates. Visit www.metrolinarestores.org for locations or more information. 

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