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Originally published January 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM | Page modified January 11, 2013 at 12:01 PM

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Plan, paint or fluff your home without spending big bucks

Home improvements begin at, well, home!

Pacific NW associate editor

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AS WE TAKE a look this week at local winners in the historical preservation game, we at the Department of Domesticity and Goddessness want to play (this old) house. Shall we?

Honey, let's make a plan

And remodel the house! Now you can do just that by shopping online at Remodel by Numbers (www.remodelbynumbers.com).

Carol Sundstrom, a licensed architect in Washington (www.romarchitecture.com), offers an easy, more affordable way for us homeowners to get master plans via the interweb: Add rooms to cart, whip out credit card, upload wish list and measurements. The folks at RBN take it from there, designing your home's future layout. Then? Do it yourself or hire it done. Your choice.

Complete drawings take a couple weeks and include an existing floor plan, three master floor-plan concepts and three-dimensional floor plans to go with, and phasing plans that suggest how each concept could be broken into smaller steps. About $2,000 to $2,500 per floor at 1,000 square feet.

"My 11-year-old got it from the front page of the website, so I think it's easy," says Sundstrom, who has worked to make it so. The plans are "the first round of design. What you would get at the first meeting."

Why go online with something so personal as design services? "I wanted to give the clients more control and make them feel like we're not getting married," says Sundstrom.

Maybe we just need a fluff

And for that you could call the folks at Switch It Up Home Styling & Staging in Seattle. They will come over and, you know, switch up your stuff for a whole new look. One room, whole house, whatever. They promise to be flexible, fun and relaxed.

"You don't need to be a millionaire to transform your house into the home of your dreams," say marketing materials. If you are still reading, chances are you are not. "This is an easy way to get a more beautiful home without giving your significant other a nervous breakdown." Goddess is opposed to breakdowns, nervous and otherwise. Unless cure is two weeks on beach.

The average living room, using items throughout your house, can be reborn for about $350. "We've found stuff in garages on its way out the door we've used," says Lisa Harris at Switch. You never know. www.switch-it-up.com.

Brush your walls

More white paint is sold than any other color. Now, dear reader, why is that? Let's do get some color on those walls this winter. It's only paint, for Picasso's sake; an easy and inexpensive way to gussy up the place.

Perhaps you could use Sherwin-Williams' color of the year. Which is ... wait for it ... aloe! (Pantone also chimes in with green: Emerald. More formally, Pantone 17-5641.)

While the aloe is a lovely shade of green, Goddess finds it a little too uplifting for everyday viewing. And, so, there are 2013 color palettes galore. At S-W they've bundled 40 colors into (the names are the best part) these groupings: Midnight Mystery, Honed Vitality, Vintage Moxie and High-Voltage.

At Yolo Colorhouse in Portland, the "environmentally responsible paint company," there are three new palettes (four colors in each): Metro, Rustic Modern and Scout. $35.95 a gallon, find at www.homedepot.com.Also, www.sherwin-williams.com. www.yolocolorhouse.com.

In other paint news, S-W's new Emerald Exterior paint can be applied at 32 degrees. In case you wanna paint the garage right now.

Reach out to The Goddess at bteagarden@seattletimes.com. The Goddess is also very Pinteresting. Find her there at http://pinterest.com/rtea/.

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