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Living Space: Peel and stick your way to decorating bliss on a budget

By By Kathryn Weber
July 26, 2014 at 2:26 a.m.

You can  dress up your windows, sliding doors or shower stall with adhesive film in a stained glass pattern.

Does that ancient avocado green refrigerator or the ugly view of the alley out the bedroom window stand in the way of your domestic bliss? There's a fix for that. But what about the cost? And what changes are you allowed to make if you only rent?

Peel-and-stick decorating offers a quick and easy way to turn a visual eyesore into a point of pride.

A new view

Two of the most common problems in homes are ugly views and lack of privacy. Fortunately, peel-and-stick remedies are available to solve both dilemmas. But we're not talking standard peel and stick. If you need to return your windows to their original state when you move out, stick with non-adhesive window films.

Static-cling films go up with a little water and can be easily pulled off for clean removal. Look for films like these at Decorativefilm.com or Emma Jeff's window films. Both lines feature a wide variety of styles to dress up your windows or even add a modest touch to that all-glass shower stall. Products range from films that imitate frosted or stained glass to iridescent and semi-transparent products accented with leaves, ferns or flowers. Tile tattoos let you add decorative accents in the bath or kitchen.

Presto! New appliances

A new refrigerator or dishwasher might not be in your budget, but you can transform your kitchen from harvest gold nightmare to stainless steel dream with peel-and-stick stainless steel films. If you just want to dress up your appliances, just replace the front panels with magnetic stainless steel panels.

You can spruce up both fridge and dishwasher for under $150, a big savings off the $1,000-plus cost of new appliances. If you want the stainless steel option to last, there's an adhesive stainless steel that can be applied to appliances, cabinets and other kitchen features. You can even choose between satin or nickel finish, and about $35 is all it takes to cover your dishwasher or update your microwave.

Off the wall

Rental units are notorious for their white walls, but even if you own your place, it might be hard to make a commitment to wallpaper. Updating your walls is easy with peel-and-stick options.

Check out the many choices available from Tempapers. From bold and vibrant, damask to contemporary, there's a look to fit your style. All are repositionable and easily removable ($98 roll, $5 samples, Tempaperdesigns.com).

Of course, you don't have to cover entire walls. Decals can offer a burst of style without taking over (wallpops.com, wallmonkeys.com). Want to give the kids' rooms a fun touch? Try Wallies for decals with a wide range of kid-friendly themes. They're perfect for the changing whims of children.

Is your bed just a little too plain and simple? Try adding a rustic wooden headboard wall decal ($98, Urbanoutfitters.com). Not enough panache? Buy the twin-size Antique Flourish headboard in pink and orange for $140 or the queen-size Chinoiserie in fuchsia ($175 from Glam-A-Peel).

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.

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