A new look using home items you already have

May 3, 2010 10:08:38 AM PDT
Kelli Cuneo of West Chester, Pa., found bedding and curtains she loved to redecorate her Master Bedroom. But even with her new items, the room didn't have the decorator feel she wanted.

Still, with two young children, she didn't want to pay the high fees a decorator might charge. So, she opted instead for a "Redesign."

"What we do is we actually go shoppping in the people's homes."

That's how Terri Dougherty of Finishing Touches Redesign explains what she and partner Helen Hutelmyer do.

First they clear out the room.

"Most houses have too many things, too much clutter," Dougherty says. "So we do a lot of editing. We remove everything from the room and then piece by piece bring in the big items, then artwork, the lighting, and then the decorative objects."

In Kelli's bedroom, they liked the placement of the big pieces of furniture, but didn't like the hot pink accent pillows, lack of lighting or lack of nightstands.

Instead, they looked around the house for accessories and art in calming shades of pale blue, along with black-and-white pieces to go with Kelli's bedding.

"I just kind of gave them free range of the house and told them whatever they need, feel free to take off the walls or re-position however they need," Kelli said as she left the house with her son and daughter.

In the basement, Dougherty and Hutelmyer found black outside tables -- and turned them into night stands, then added light blue table toppers, candles, books and other accessories.

They created a sitting area using an extra chair and vanity stool and made the bedroom windows look taller by raising the existing valances.

After about four hours of arranging and rearranging, they let Kelli see the results.

Her first reaction: "It's beautiful" and she exclaimed over and over again about how much she liked the light blue with the black and white.

Finishing Touches Redesign charges $85 for an initial consultation and about $100 dollars per hour that they work on the project (labor-intensive work like re-arranging china or curio closets can be more). Kelli's new bedroom cost her around $500 -- far less than the cost of a decorator and new items.

To see before and after shots of other Finishing Touches Redesign projects, click here.