Page 22 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • October 21, 2009 Home Improvement (ARA) When autumn’s grayer skies arrive, bare bland walls can feel like an ugly mark on your home’s decor. Suddenly, those undecorated walls that you were too busy to notice this past summer cry out for color and pizzazz, especially if you’re dealing with economy-induced stress. “Fall is a great time to redecorate because as the weather cools people start heading indoors again,” said Jonathon Fong, a Los Angeles-based interior decorator. “Home is more important again whereas summer was all about the outdoors. We want to make our homes comfortable, cozy and beautiful again. And when we decorate during the fall, we can show off our efforts at the holidays.” What are the hot trends and easy do-it-yourself decorating upgrades that will be hot this fall? Fong and artist Matthew Lew offer a few tips: Bright, aggressive color “The hot colors in home decor this fall will be brighter, happier versions of traditional fall hues: butter yellow, orange, persimmon, and all shades of blues,” Fong predicted. “These are colors of optimism, and in the current economy, people want to be surrounded by hope. These happy colors put you in a good mood.” “The hottest colors for room redesigns this fall will be aggressive color combos, using colors like scandal red or lobster paired with yolk yellow or custard,” said Lew, whose work has been featured on “Extreme Makeover Home Edition,” HGTV’s “Divine Design” and CBS’s “The Early Show.” “People want a splash of color in their homes,” Lew Fall Bland walls? Fast fix-ups that are perfect for fall added. “The aggressive color combinations are great because they can make a bold statement very simply without overdoing it. I think people are attracted to that, especially with the economy right now.” Texture that’s easy to achieve Adding texture to a wall is another trend, especially if it’s a simple texture that homeowners feel confident doing themselves, Fong said. Patterns, vinyl lettering or decals, and even wallpaper murals are great ways to add interest to walls. Both designers agree wallpaper murals will continue to be popular, both for their versatility and ease installation by DIY homeowners. Fong has incorporated wallpaper murals into his designs, and Lew’s artistry is featured on several made-to-order wallpaper murals. “Wallpaper murals are one of my favorite design options because they make a huge impact in a room at an affordable price,” Fong explained. “If you were to have a decorative painter replicate some of the great designs available in wallpaper murals, it would cost thousands of dollars.” If you’re intimidated by the idea of a mural, start out smaller by adding wallpaper murals elsewhere in your decor, Fong suggested. “Cut the mural into smaller pieces and frame the individual pieces. Put it on a door. Mount it to a piece of wood and make a headboard or a dressing screen out of it,” he suggested. Finally, when you’re ready for your fall design spruce up, Lew and Fong have a few tips for creating a design you can love: Think baby steps. Decorate a small wall or section of a large wall first. Give yourself a day to get used to your new wall. 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