(BPT) - Every generation of homeowners has its design priorities. Baby boomers look for home design that will let them age in place, while generation X wants features that facilitate busy lifestyles. Millennials crave interior decor that meshes with their technology, blending energy efficiency, family-friendly features and plenty of personalization. Since many millennials are starting out in their personal and professional lives, affordability is also a priority.
It's possible to achieve a personal look that accommodates all your requirements. Here are handful of tricks and tips that can help.
* Color your world. Paint is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to give your favorite interior spaces an instant facelift. Gray has become the must-have neutral, while pops of color add energy throughout any season. Place an accent color on a singular focal wall or add a border between the ceiling and the wall color for a subtle pop that adds timeless style and class.
* Look for products that return on your investment in multiple ways. Applause honeycomb shades from Hunter Douglas can be a smart choice for millennials. An affordable way to achieve custom window treatments (Applause shades are made to measure), they are also energy efficient. The honeycomb construction traps air in pockets within the shade, helping keep cool air inside during summer and warm air in during winter, and helping to improve a home's overall energy efficiency. Available in a variety of colors and customizable to your window dimensions, the shades offer four operating options for ease of use. For young families, Applause shades have the extra bonus of cordless operation for enhanced child safety and a new fabric boasts antimicrobial fabric protection that resists the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew. Visit www.hunterdouglas.com to learn more.
* Repurpose furnishings. Whether it's an heirloom china cabinet that's been in your family for generations, a rocking chair from a secondhand store or that shabby but still-comfy sofa from your parents' living room, repurposed furniture can add a personalized look to your decor at a fraction of the cost of new items. Inspect all the parts of a refurnished piece to ensure they're in good repair; tighten screws, apply wood glue where needed and add a fresh finish or new upholstery. Personalizing a repurposed piece creates a unique look at little cost, and by reusing an older piece, you're doing something for the environment, too.
* Don't overlook the impact of lighting. Upgrading lighting is a cost-effective way to personalize the look of a room. There are a variety of fixtures to suit every decorating taste available now. Simply switching out an ordinary fixture in the breakfast nook, dining room or family room for a design that speaks to you can elevate a room's personal feel. While you're at it, feed your eco-friendly, energy-efficient craving by outfitting new lights with electricity-sipping CFLs or LEDs. Such bulbs produce the same level of light as incandescent bulbs, and they use about 80 percent less electricity. Plus, they can last eight years or longer.
* Make your own wall decorations. You don't need to be an artist or even particularly crafty to create your own wall art, and nothing is more personal than something you've made yourself. Look online for wall art that appeals to your sense of style, then search for instructional videos and guides that can help you achieve the same look on your own. Whether you opt for hand-framed prints you created yourself, an arrangement of mirrors as an accent on one wall or creative treatments of your favorite family photos, wall art is an easy, cost-effective way to create a personal look in any room.