real estate

7 ways to bring the outdoors in

Experiment with paint
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Young couple painting the walls

"If you really want to get adventurous and put some labor into it," painting a room is "the most inexpensive way to freshen things up," says David Bromstad, host of HGTV's "Color Splash." He estimates the cost at roughly $100 for a typical room.

Hot colors this season include ice blue -- "Looks good with everything," Bromstad says -- and light grays and taupes.

And if you like strong colors, paint a feature wall, he says. And "when you're sick of it, paint over it" for around $25, Bromstad says.

Give old or worn furniture the same treatment. "Paint it whatever color you want," Bromstad says. Use white for "a really fresh look." Or, if you're feeling brave, "paint it a color to match your decor," he says.

Another option: Paint window frames a neutral color, Gillingham-Ryan says. "When the window frames are more neutral, and darker, the outside is brighter and your eye focuses on looking out the window. It's a better frame for the outdoors."




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