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Five paint-free ways to brighten a home and nine top designer style ideas

The shorter days of fall mean less natural light inside the home. For many homeowners (and some apartment dwellers) this also means interior painting, particularly of the walls and ceiling.
But this is not always necessary; here are five paint-free ways to add a bit of color to your home this autumn:

Colorful throw pillows and a colorful throw rug
Colorful throw pillows and a colorful throw rug
www.istockphoto.com by getty images

1. Bring nature inside: Plants and flowers always make great (and colorful!) additions to home décor. And they can improve indoor air quality. Houseplants, for example, can filter out volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be harmful to human health (especially important come late fall and winter, when windows are usually shut-and kept shut-until spring, making it difficult for fresh air to enter).

2. Using artwork such as paintings that feature bold colors will not only brighten up the walls, but will draw your immediate attention .
You can also find a painting that features painting that features colors which match the sofa, chairs, etc.

3. Get some colorful throw pillows; they’ll give a room a more vibrant look (patterns can be mixed and matched to provide some contrast).

4. Consider removable wallpaper; it’s less expensive than traditional wallpaper (and easy to both install and remove). And because it’s cheaper, you can experiment with different colors and patterns and even change once a month.

5. Rugs: A patterned throw rug can work wonders (make sure it doesn’t clash with your furniture-or other décor!). Furnishing an empty room? You’ll be able to choose whichever rug you like; then choose additional décor based on the rug.

Nine Top Designer Style Ideas

A safe way to add color in a bedroom is with bedding. Start with a white duvet, then add colorful sheets and shams.”-Erin Swift

Ground a space in classic, timeless pieces and then go with fun accents that reflect who you are.”-Danielle Colding

From Eddie Ross: “Add a little glam to your space: A brass-and-glass coffee table, a velvet pillow, a Venetian glass mirror.”

Try mixing traditional pieces with splurge accessories. Think French with a little rock ‘n’ roll.”-Lili Diallo

From Elaine Griffin: “Throw pillows on a sofa should be in matched pairs. We want each pair to complement each other so they make a cohesive style statement.”

Every room needs…”

“…personality. You should be able to get a sense of who lives there. You don’t want it to feel like a furniture showroom.”-Eddie Ross

“…TLC. Because once you make it pretty, you want to keep it pretty, which means fluffing the pillows, keeping it clutter-free, and did I mention dusting?”-Elaine Griffin

“…good lighting. It makes everything and everyone look better.”-Lili Diallo

It’s the quirky, one-of-a-kind items that make a space feel special."-Danielle Colding

Sources: “Paint-free ways to brighten your home”-by MetroServices-Valley Homes, The (Sunday)Vindicator, Aug. 10, 2014 and “40 Style Secrets”-home/advice section-Better Homes and Gardens, September 2013