Redecorating a room is a great way to express your personality. You can try something bold and exciting in your child's bedroom as he grows up or simply liven up the living room a little with the change of seasons. Whatever the reason you're looking to make a change, redecorating is also a good opportunity to look for ways to save energy as well.

Check out these simple suggestions you can incorporate in your plans to save money and energy.

Paint the walls: A satin or eggshell finish on walls reflects light, reducing the need for artificial lighting. A lighter color can also make a room feel lighter and bigger.

Add mirrors: Another way to reflect natural light in a room is to place a mirror opposite the window. This also decreases the number of lamps you need in a space.

Move lamps: Move or purchase lamps that work well with the purpose of the room. If you need task lighting for working at a desk, find a lamp that shines directly onto your desk. An overhead light might not provide sufficient lighting or may even cast a shadow on your workspace. The right lamp will reduce the total number of lights you need.

Line curtains: If new window coverings are part of your plans, be sure to add an insulating lining to the back. Blackout curtains block light from entering the room and can add a layer of insulation against heat or cold outside. Curtains that cover a door should extend all the way to the floor to guard against drafts.

Beware the thermostat: When moving furniture around a room, remember to place the TV away from the thermostat. Electronics such as the television generate heat that can trigger the thermostat to turn on the air conditioning even when it's not needed.

Add rugs: If you have hardwood or tile floors, consider adding a rug in the winter to keep your feet warm.

Rearrange: Take advantage of a sunny window in the winter by rearranging furniture so you can eat breakfast or read a book in a warm spot. Do the opposite in the summer.

Repurpose: Instead of buying a new vase or painting, check out your attic and other rooms for items that will work for your newly created space. Also, think of items that can multitask. A beautiful rug may not be needed on the floor but can make a stunning wall hanging.

Go local: If you need to buy furniture, look at local stores before you order on the Internet. You'll likely pay a lot in shipping costs for large, heavy pieces that require long-distance trucking. Also, look in antique and consignment shops for unique, previously owned items rather than buying something new that took a lot to resources to make and ship.


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