HR-101815-Cathy-1-PC-Dave-TonnesIn Part 1 of my “‘Wow’ on a Budget” series, I showed you before-and-after photos of the master bedroom in the vacation rental/second home that I did for my clients. Now I’ve got two more tips to up that “wow” factor — and both have to do with framing.

The first tip is to frame your windows or doors with drapery. My client’s home originally had a pair of weathered, orange-yellow doors leading to the swimming pool. To update things and maximize the “wow,” I framed the doors with white drapery panels. This simple touch instantly modernized the space. It also tied in with the room’s fresh new color palette, while the woven, Roman shade added some privacy and island flavor.

To lift the eye upward, you’ll want to place the tops of the panels higher than the door or window frame. This treatment is not meant to be used as curtains, so it cannot completely be closed. What it does is add softness, color and texture — a nice pop around windows and doors.


These days, you can find drapery panels at a fraction of the price of curtains.

Choose panels that will accent your room with color and texture, and can tie in with other elements of your décor.

The second tip is to ground your bed with an area rug. I generally don’t like to place a rug on top of carpet. However, when you have a very large space — and this was a large bedroom — it not only makes the space feel more put together, also it frames the bed set and gives it a sense of importance. And with the right choice, an area rug really can up that “wow” factor.


Normally I like to use rugs to add pattern or color. But in this case I already had a great pattern in the duvet, so I tied in with a deeper color instead.

Again, when it comes to affordability, there are so many places where you can find area rugs with great texture, pattern and color. Besides furniture and rug stores, you can try home improvement stores, discount stores and even online.

I hope you found these tips helpful. It’s always fun when you can add some “wow” to a room — especially when you can do it on a budget.


Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her redesigns of residential and business spaces have been featured in local and national publications, including HGTV. For more information and inspiring photos of design projects, visit