If you have guests arriving in an hour or two, you don't have time to makeover your entire living room or dining room. But, if your homes looks less inviting than you'd like, you still have for a few quick fixes. Try one of these 30 minute makeovers to freshen up your decor before the doorbell rings.
Paint Door or Drawer Fronts
If you've been meaning to paint a flea market find -- or your bathroom or kitchen cabinetry -- paint just the door and drawer fronts as a temporary fix. You can always paint the entire piece when you have more time, or you may discover you like the two-tone finish. Before you paint, remove the knobs and pulls, and then give the door and drawer fronts a light, quick sanding to help the paint adhere -- if you have the time. If not, slap on a quick coat of paint now and save the sanding for the complete makeover.
Make sure you allow enough time for the painted door and drawer fronts to dry. You don't want a guest brushing against wet paint and ruining her favorite party frock.
Create a Tablescape
Tablescapes aren't just for dining tables. Give a console, sideboard, or chest a new look by rearranging the objects atop it. Start by removing everything. It's easier to create a new arrangement when you're not staring at the old one. Then, add new objects from back to front. Prop a piece of artwork borrowed from another room, and then add a lamp or two. Add shorter and smaller objects as you work your way to the front.
Both symmetrical and asymmetrical arrangements look good in most rooms. If placing accessories isn't your greatest skill, aim for a triangular arrangement and make sure you include objects of varying heights.
If you have time, rearrange the objects on your coffee table too.
Hang Curtains with Thumbtacks
Dress up bare windows fast -- or those softened only by plain shades -- by making temporary curtains out of unhemmed fabric yardage and thumbtacks. You can always sew and hang them properly later, or not. Noted interior decorator Miles Redd hung curtains with thumbtacks in his former apartment, and his place was lauded in more than one magazine.
Use an entire width of fabric per curtain; the selvedge edges look somewhat finished and they won't fray. Cut the length longer than the finished curtains, especially if you plan to sew them later. Turn the top edge under, and fasten each end to your wall or window frame with the thumbtacks. Pull the fabric toward you to find the center, and then fasten the center with another thumbtack. Continue until you like the look, and then turn the unfinished hem under and let it puddle. The finished look resembles droopy drapes.
Corral a Collection
Show off your most treasured possessions by putting a collection on quick display. You might stack a collection of folded quilts in a chair or fill a porcelain bowl with vintage jewelry. Arrange small objects -- such as bud vases, figurines, or rhinestone compacts -- on a tabletop tray. Collections always have more impact when you display them together. You may decide to put your fast fix on permanent display.
Add Sparkle to a Chandelier
If your dining room chandelier doesn't look quite as lovely as your dinner table, add some extra sparkle by dressing it up with beads and baubles. Your crystal and rhinestone jewelry should do the trick, whether it's the pieces you wear or the estate jewelry you collect for display. Hang chandelier style earrings from their own hooks and use tree ornament hooks for pendants. Swag sparkly beaded necklaces between the arms of the chandelier.
You can also string loose beads on clear fishing line to create longer strands, if you have the time. Then, just swag and wrap the strand around the arms.