All About ReDecorating

Design Experts Share Easy And Inexpensive Ways to Liven Up Any Room
By Terri Sapienza
The Washington Post

Hang Window Treatments High
Barry Dixon-Warrentown,Va.
A good starting point in any home or with any style (traditional or modern) is to hang drapery panels right underneath the crown molding. In the absence of molding, hang the drapery rod as close to the ceiling as possible. Doing so will accentuate the height of the room (whatever that may be) and make windows appear larger than they are. This technique becomes more imperative the shorter the ceilings are.

Ring-Top Curtains Without Pleats
Annie Elliott, Washington
This is a modern, unfussy look for draperies. The bonus: curtains without pleats require less fabric and labor, which means less cost.

A Custom Look For Less
Victoria Neale, Washington
Buy solid-color, ready-made drapery panels from retail chains and add your own trim to the edge. If you don’t sew, a dry cleaner should be able to do this for you.

Use Big Patterns In Small Spaces
Victoria Neale, Washington
It makes the space feel bigger. It’s counterintuitive, but it works.

Rethink The Light Fixture
Patrick J. Baglino Jr., Washington
A new light fixture can alter the atmosphere in a room almost instantly, especially in a small space. Even a simple lampshade change can have huge impact. Keep an eye out at garage sales, thrift stores or salvage lots for fixtures with personality. Don’t forget to add dimmer switches.

Keep Collections Together
Daren Miller, Washington
Group a collection of art or objects in one area, rather than spreading the items throughout a home. Displaying a collection of things you love together, such as white pottery, antique boxes, candlesticks, are or books, create more drama and adds a personal touch to your environment. The objects themselves become more than just “things”.

Frame Artwork Larger
Raji Radhakrishnan, Brambleton,Va.
Increasing the mat on one side of a framed piece of artwork will make the art appear larger and will take up more wall space. In addition, the extra white space of the matting will bring more focus and importance to whatever is framed. This costs much less than buying a larger piece of art and can give old art and photos a new lease on life.

Update An Old Sofa
Nestor Santa-Cruz, Washington
An old upholstered sofa can be updated using four basic elements.
*Replace existing back cushions with cushions that don’t go over the sofa arm. This creates a more modern and simple look and helps the cushions keep their shape.
*Don’t use piping or self-welting on the edges of cushions or arms.
*Add a “waterfall” skirt to create a more tailored look. (A waterfall skirt falls from directly below the cushion line to the floor without interruption.)
*Replace a set of three narrow seat cushions with two wider ones. Do the same for back cushions. I some cases, one long cushion on the back and one for the seat can make the look even more modern.

Use Fabric On The Reverse
Darryl Carter, Washington
When patterned textiles are used on the reverse side, the pattern becomes more hushed. This is often a nice compromise when partners may have disparate tastes or tolerance for pattern. This also prevents the pattern from becoming too dominant in a neutral setting.

Turn A Special Piece Into A Focal Point
Tracy Morris, Washington
Accent a favorite furnishing or antique by placing it tin front of a wall color that will make it stand out. For example, a dark mahogany piece would stand out in front of a rich green-based beige, such as Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Blue.

Consider The Waterfall Table
Sally Steponkus, Washington
One of the hallmarks of this table is its versatility. It’s sleek, modern and sculptural, so it works in a contemporary space, but, it’s simple and unassuming, so it also works in a traditional setting. The table’s see-through quality means it doesn’t tak up any visual space, making it a good choice for both large and small spaces. It’s practical, too: easy to clean, sturdy enough to withstand lots of beautiful books piled on top and no sharp edges where children might hurt themselves. This particular table is sold only to the design trade, but CB2 ( has a similar version that is smaller and lower, but, still a good design imposter.

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