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Coolest room on the block: have a bedroom that's way drab and boring? Hang on for the excitement plan....

Ever hear of color-blocking? It's a technique that uses squares of color to pack some punch. It can be a cheap and easy way to give your room a whole lotta WOW!

The Wall

Head on out to the home improvement store because you're on the prowl for paint. But no need to mull over a million mind-boggling tiny color swatches. Most paint departments, like at The Home Depot, have "Oops" racks stocked with cans of already-mixed paint that picky people rejected. And they're practically giving them away: $5 per gallon, $1 per liter. The colors can be funky, but that's what you're going for here. Pick out half a dozen or so contrasting colors--just go for the luck of the draw. As long as it's an interior flat latex, you're good to go. Our color combo? We went for a pumpkin orange, sage green, lovely lavender, pretty pink and periwinkle blue. Five colors, five liters ... five dollars. That's a five-spot to paint the whole room!

Next up? Mark off the areas you're going to paint. Grab a pencil and a yardstick, and draw away. Rather than going for uniformity, make blocks of varying sizes--squares, rectangles and L shapes. Figure out which colors you want where, put on your coveralls, and break out the rollers. Dropcloth, please!

The Door

We confess--we're not perfect-circle creators. That's where Wall Candy comes in. The company makes easy-to-apply decorative adhesives (eyespyteen.com), and the beauty is that if you don't like where you've stuck 'em, they peel right off. Yep, peel and stick! And while we love the Dotti-Licious line, we won't be held responsible for flashbacks to your Colorforms days!

The blue-floral squares to the right of the door? More Wall Candy. The shiny pink-meal squares to the left of the door? Vinyl placemats! We hit the discount store, picked up a couple two-packs at $2.50 a pop and stuck them to the wall with double-backed adhesive squares.

The Decor

After you're done devouring your box of vitamin-fortified whole grain, save the box. You're turning it into a super-inexpensive wall-hanging! We filled eight empty cereal boxes with styrofoam peanuts for sturdiness, then covered the boxes in colorful fabrics (from a clearance rack at only $1 per yard). To make your own, just lay the box on a piece of fabric large enough to cover the box, then wrap it up like a birthday present. Carefully secure the edges with a hot-glue gun (don't bother with Scotch tape--it won't hold!). Stick your creations to the wall with more squares of double-backed adhesive (one to each corner and one centered), and walls are a bore no more.

We also needed to hide some unsightly shelving. So we simply stitched a hunch of bandannas together, folded them over in pleats and tacked them to the wall above the shelf. Fast, colorful and easy!

The Floor

Keeping in line with the color-blocking theme, we went with colorful carpet tiles. It's called Toy Poodle, and you can get it at interfaceflor.com. What we love about it? It's peel-and-stick, and might as well be called floor candy. It's not cheap ($14 per square), but it's a total do-it-yourself project. If you don't have the cash to do a whole floor, just order a few tiles for an area-rug effect.

And More

Going for the splurge? We love, love, love Pottery Barn Teen's locker-look pieces (pbteen.com) for back-to-school cool. That's where we got our bedding, too, and the everyone-loves-it lime phone. We filled the rest of the room with accessories from Wal-Mart. For around $50, we scored lamps, a clock, a bouncy ball and a bright-red mascot. He's pretty happy in his new home....
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Title Annotation:Your Room
Author:White, Kelly
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2004
Words:617
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