The Great Depression was the time when modernism blossomed in the United States. Furniture designers Charles and Ray Eames created furniture out of inexpensive materials such as plastic, resin and plywood. The Eames chair, still popular today, is composed of three curved plywood shells. The shells are made up of seven thin layers of wood veneer. They are then glued together and shaped under heat and pressure. The original version of the Eames chair used Brazilian rosewood veneers and was constructed of five layers of plywood. • That is one example of something good that came out of bad times. But what do we do now? How can we make our homes look good without spending money we don't have? Well, here are a few tricks.
Use color. Paint is relatively cheap and color can really make a room come alive. Don't be afraid to be bold, if bold is appealing to you. Pastels work, too, if you have a soft-touch appetite. Try painting one wall an accent color and the other three walls of the room a complementary color. Color can also be brought in by other means. Throw pillows can perk up a sofa. A colorful afghan tossed over a chair or sofa could be just the right touch.
Use area rugs. Instead of re-carpeting, throw an area rug over the rough spots. First get the old carpet cleaned, then get an attractive rug to put over part of it. You will not only cover the messy, overused parts, but will also add newness to the room. An area rug can also define a room. If you have tile or marble that spans two or more rooms, an area rug can visually separate the rooms.
Accessorize. Instead of refurnishing a room, try getting rid of some of the old accessories and replacing them with fresh ones. That would be an inexpensive way to get a new look.
Bring the outdoors in. Small trees, plants and planted flowers make a room come alive. And they are relatively inexpensive. An ivy plant on a cocktail table might be all you need to finish the look on that table.
Decorate with family photos. You can make a room look homey with framed pictures of the family. The best pictures are candid rather than formal or posed. The candid shot really shows the person or persons as they are, giving the picture more of an artistic look.