Home decor: Use what you have and buy few accent piece for new 2013 look, advises Haynes expert

If you’d like to start the New Year by transforming your home’s interior look, you don’t have to empty your wallet. 

“Rethinking how to use what you already have, perhaps incorporating just a few new pieces or elements, can dramatically change your home’s appearance,” said Mary Knight, corporate designer and visual director for Haynes Furniture, in a news release.

Changing furniture placement, mixing instead of matching, and putting standard pieces to creative uses all have impact, she says.  Knight oversees showroom concepts and design for Haynes; she holds a degree in fine arts with an interior design major from the University of Tennessee.

Among Knight’s suggestions:

  • Move a large piece or pieces, such as a couch or two chairs, away from the walls of the living room into the center.  Place a console or skirted table behind them.  This approach is called “floating.”
  • If you have matching end tables, replace one with a table that’s very different in appearance. For example, change out a solid-topped piece for one with glass or a solid-colored table for a piece painted with accent colors.
  • Remove the matching chairs on one side of the dining room table and replace them with a long bench. Or move the dining room table up against the wall and place the extra chairs elsewhere. Then use the remaining space for a different purpose; for example, bring a few pieces in from another room to create an intimate seating area.
  • Layer several area rugs with the largest on the bottom, to create an eye-catching array of colors and patterns.
  • Place a twin set of mattresses in the corner of any room to create a daybed feature; add a lofty comforter and lots of pillows and throws to complete the look.

“Besides saving money, coming up with new ways to use much of what you already have can be a very creative and fun process,” Knight says.  “It enables you to really make your furnishings and the look of your home very distinctively your own.

Haynes has locations in Virginia Beach, Newport News, Richmond, Richmond’s West End, and Kitty Hawk, N.C.  Its website is

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