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In The News - Washington Jewish Week

Washington Jewish Week

February 2002

HOME IMPROVEMENT
Real-life Interior Design Solutions

By Deborah Wiener

Think itís impossible to come up with a professional interior design plan for your house in just a few hours? Well, itís notóif you know where to start.

Think itís impossible to come up with a professional interior design plan for your house in just a few hours? Well, itís notóif you know where to start.

By focusing on four major elements on room designólighting, color, furniture arrangement and window coveringsóyou can create a plan that will transform your builder-beige living room into a spectacular area for entertaining without dipping into the kidsí college fund or throwing out your sofa and chairs.

Here are examples:

  1. Put your money in the places that will get the greatest wear, meaning the things we sit and stand on. Spend less on things that are just for show. Your selections will last longer and look better and thatís how you get the greatest return on your decorating investment.

  2. Donít forget the importance of lighting. Inferior furnishings look better in a properly lit room and even the best art and furniture get overlooked in a room without enough light. Consider your ceiling first and add recessed lights for accenting wall art, illuminating table tops and providing general down lighting. Keep the apertures small and use halogen bulbs for crisp, white light. You canít do it all with table lamps. Recessed lights in the right places are an economical investment that will provide a lot of decorating impact.

  3. Preserve your floors and improve the environment in your home. Put a decorative basket for collecting shoes by your door and take your shoes off as soon as you come home. Your floors will last longer and look better for it and, youíll keep pesticides from the lawns and chemicals from the street outside of your house.

  4. Consider installing wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling mirrors in rooms with limited natural light or in rooms with limited architectural interest. They will visually expand your room and add light and interest at the same time. Then make sure you furnish the room with pieces that are worth looking at twice.

  5. Increase the style and importance of your art by properly framing pictures, using acrylic box frames for three-dimensional and textile pieces, and grouping displays in odd number arrangements. If you have kids, art projects in the right frames make oneof- a-kind masterpieces. Make sure the display is properly lit. Even inexpensive wall art looks impressive when properly lit with accent lighting.

  6. Enough faux painting! Hang something you love on the wall instead. If you donít own anything, buy it. Itís a better investment and you can take it with you if you move.

  7. Donít hang posters and papers with tape. Designate a wall for hanging items and paint with a magnetic additive in the color of your choice. Our mount cork from corner to corner. This works in kitchens and kidsí rooms.

  8. Donít clutter table surfaces. Use built-ins, bookshelves and fireplace mantels to display your treasuresóand keep it simple. Leave table space, youíll need it.

  9. Donít be tempted by furniture with oversized arms. Youíll have less actual seating space and youíll be forever scolding friends and family to stop sitting on the arms and crushing them.

  10. When choosing wall color consider how youíll be using the room. Bright colors are stimulating; neutrals and monochromatic color schemes are soothing. Painted finishes with a sheen reflect light and are easy to clean, but too much sheen can show imperfections in the wall surface. Flat finishes absorb light and look great on ceilings. Add a hint of color in your ceiling to change the feel of your room. Blues add the effect of height while gold tones warm up a ceiling.


  11. Deborah Wiener is a licensed interior designer and owner of Designing Solutions, a design firm specializing in real-life, family-friendly interior design.

    Washington Jewish Week February, 21, 2002 23

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