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Home makeovers that won’t break the bank
A number of affordable new products on the market can brighten up your home in a snap


New custom wood blinds enhance natural lighting and compliment furniture.

Giving yourself a new home at the old address may be a lot easier than you realize. Countless projects don’t even require a hammer.

“People today have the confidence and passion to tackle projects on their own. A few simple fix-ups can really enhance the way someone feels about their home,” says Lou Manfredini, who regularly appears on NBC’s “The Today Show” as “Mr. Fix-It.” He’s also the author of the book “House Smarts.”

According to Manfredini, there are a number of easy and cost-effective ways to freshen things up around the abode:

Ten Minute Touch-Up

Painting is the number one home improvement project in America, but touching up scratches and scrape marks can be a never-ending process. Rubbermaid’s new Paint Buddy stores paint for fast, easy touch-ups. Learn more at www.paintbuddy.com.

Easy Installation

Before changing kitchen cabinets, consider new handles and drawer pulls to update the look. At www.amerock.com you’ll find the latest in cabinet hardware. Designers say a switch from shiny brass to brushed metal or stainless steel can completely change the look of a room.

Let There Be Light

Nothing brightens a room like natural light. Updated window treatments can help make that happen. The new custom Wood Blind Collection by Levolor showcases 55 beautiful furniture quality finishes. They can be complemented by updated drapery hardware and soft treatments for a unified look. Visit www.levolor.com.

Clear The Clutter

While more than 80 percent of American garages today are designed for two or three cars, over half of all garage owners say there’s little or no room left for vehicles. When gardening tools and outdoor gear trump the family car, the FastTrack Garage System— also from Rubbermaid — can help with an assortment of shelves, hooks, racks and baskets, many designed for difficult-to-store items such as wheelbarrows, ladders, power tools and sports equipment. Accessories are easy to reposition anywhere on the track and have a rustproof satin-nickel finish and rubber-coated grippers. The system is easy to install and holds up to 1,750 pounds. For more information go to www.rubbermaid.com.

A Healthy Glow

Dress up the deck, patio or any outdoor entertaining area with candles that double as a mosquito repellent. Bernzomatic makes a Mosquito Block candle that helps shield people from these pesky bugs that can carry disease and ruin a party. In addition to helping provide your outdoor area with a warm candlelight glow, the Mosquito Block candles’ patented Linalool formula blocks a mosquito’s ability to find you.

“It doesn’t take a major construction project to give your home a new look or feel,” Manfredini said. “A few creative touches can deliver the makeover people are looking for.”


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