Maybe you don't think of yourself as a talented decorator. Maybe you don't think you're very creative at all. Still, I bet you have one or two great decorating ideas floating around in your brain.
Slipcover maker Sure Fit Inc. figured there were a lot of people like that, and it decided to tap that talent. It sponsored a contest to gather the decorating wisdom of average folks and compiled the best into "Smart, Simple, Chic Decorating Ideas," a 60-page book of tips and easy projects.
The company received more than 800 ideas, and a panel of seven judges whittled them to about 250 winners.
"They're very clever," Sure Fit spokeswoman Liana Toscanini says. "I was pretty impressed with the 'normal' person out there."
Here are a few favorite ideas from the book:
Jazz up window sheers by stamping or stenciling with acrylic paints or stamp pads in metallic colors.
Use inexpensive Chinese bamboo sleeping mats as window treatments by just folding them over a curtain rod.
Turn a garage-sale dresser into a dollhouse by removing the drawers and cutting thin wood panels to cover the bottoms of the openings. Add carpeting scraps, paint or wallpaper to turn each section into a room.
Substitute a screen door on a baby's room to let air in and keep pets out.
In a child's room, paint the back of the door with blackboard paint. Hang chalk and an eraser in a small bag on the doorknob.
Create a border of tiny footsteps in a nursery by dipping the soles of old baby shoes in paint.
Hang an old wooden ladder on its side for a rustic shelf to showcase country collectibles.
Buy tablecloths on sale and use them as bed skirts by laying them over the box spring mattress. Two larger rectangular tablecloths will fit a king-size bed.
Hang a shoe bag on the inside of a coat closet door to hold gloves, scarves and hats.
To keep a slipcover neatly tucked in place, roll old magazines into tubes and secure with rubber bands, then slip them down into the sides and backs of the sofa or chair over the slipcover.
Hang costume jewelry from pushpins stuck into a cork bulletin board.
Disguise cracks in the ceiling by painting vines along the cracks in light green, letting some of the vines trail onto the crown molding.
Turn a dining room closet into display space by removing the door and adding shelves.
You can order a copy of "Smart, Simple, Chic Decorating Ideas" by visiting Sure Fit's Web site www.surefit.com/ or by calling (888) 787-3348. The only cost is for shipping/handling, $3.95.