Local Designer Share Their SecretsBy Laura Jackson

Sometimes it’s time to change the mood of a room, but you may not be ready to do a complete makeover. We asked some of our talented local designers to give us their best ideas for updating without breaking the bank. With the right advice, you won’t believe just how easy some of the changes can be.

Refresh and Simplify

San Francisco Design, Kelly Wallman

“When updating a room my first intent is to simplify, meaning to clear out the items that no longer have a purpose. I always have the room’s scale in mind, and determine the focal point of the space. Most recently, I changed a dated white sheetrocked fireplace to a stainless steel column, making it the new focal point of the room.”

Add Pops of Color

“I like to have my client pick one color that will be the accent to set the tone of the room. It could be a pop of purple showing up on a wall, an area rug or pillows (but not all 3!),” said Wallman

Light Up Your Space

Elume Lighting, Jennifer Brassey

“Lighting is the jewelry of the home and it accents a room like diamonds adorn a beautiful woman. Adding a pendant, chandelier or lamp can update a room easily. In addition to decorative fixtures, accent lighting is a wonderful way to redefine a space. For example, washing a wall with light or adding cove or over- cabinet lighting will highlight the architecture and open up the room.”

See the Difference

“Task lighting such as under-cabinet lighting offers functional light as well as that wonderful space-defining light you get from accent lighting. The latest thing is LED task lighting that is extremely energy efficient and incredibly long lasting so you can leave them on and enjoy the ambiance it brings to your kitchen, study, or laundry room without the worry of wasting energy. Just remember, whatever you do to update your room won’t make a difference unless you illuminate it,” said Brassey.

Energize With Color Accents

Hamilton Park, Shayne Hemsley

“When it comes to upholstery, sometimes less is just plain boring. Often people will purchase a neutral sofa and chairs for fear of tiring of a specific color or pattern too quickly. That’s actually a good idea as it allows you to create interest with pillows, accessories, art and rugs. For a strong, dramatic look, accents can introduce a pop of color or if you prefer, they can create a subtle sophisticated look through texture and pattern.”

Dare to Do the Unpredictable

“One pretty basic formula: large entry = large chandelier… small entry = small chandelier. Pretty basic and oh so predictable that is! Good design thinks outside of the box and looks at ways to use different elements, details and accents in new ways. To add drama and impact to a contemporary home, Hamilton Park designers Leslie and Linda opted for three unusual and interesting metal pendants and staggered their heights to fill the space of a tall entry. The result was anything but basic and most certainly pretty,” said Hemsley.

Redefine Your Focal Point

Robert Kelly Home, Bob Zierk

“The bed is often the best focal point for a bedroom, so an easy way to make a big impact is to change the bedding. We create custom duvets, shams, euro shams, and accent pillows in the season’s hottest colors and fabrics. We’re seeing a lot of wines, plums, forest green, and mustard yellow. Jute and burlap textures fit in with the strong vintage trend going on now. Menswear fabrics are also perennially classic, and definitely on trend this season. Handmade touches like special stitching and appliqués are always a nice detail.”

Recharge Your Room With Paint

Sticks & Stones Furniture, Andrea Damiano

“I still think paint is the easiest way to change a room. I do accent walls a lot especially in bedrooms. For one house that was all white, just changing the headboard wall colors and tying into the bedding and artwork gave the whole room a more cohesive look.”

Tie It All Together

“Another thing I believe in as a designer is a good rug. It grounds the area and ties things together,” said Damiano.

Like a soft snow on a crisp winter day, a small change can refresh your whole outlook. Finding just the right design update can breathe new life into an otherwise ordinary space.



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