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No matter how small, a home design project can have impact

February 25, 2014

Hardwood FloorsHomeowners may not think that wallpapering an accent wall or the color they choose for their storage units will make much difference in their decor. But whether they're planning a weekend paint job or installing maple hardwood flooring from Anderson's Sugar House collection, making just one change in a room design can have lasting results.

Kelly Edwards, who has contributed to both Style Network's Tacky House and HGTV's Design on a Dime, is a big fan of kitchen and bathroom counters that are light in color and create the illusion of more space. She told Women's Day magazine she also favors light-colored storage units that blend well with wall colors to create a greater sense of openness.

For the same approach with window treatments, Florida-based designer Jim Howard recommended hanging shades and curtains that are the same color as adjoining walls.

"You can achieve a similar look by painting rods and rings with a color that complements the curtains," he advised. "Rub the paint on with a rag - it creates a softer effect."

New approaches to accents
New York City interior designer Eric Cohler told House Beautiful that he adds impact to artwork by using bright, colored frames around a white mat, or a white frame around a colored mat. By hanging them in an under-used part of a room or a dark corner, he's able to brighten that spot and draw attention to it.

Howard agreed with Cohler's idea to choose a space that's an unexpected location for a piece of artwork. He suggested putting them in unusual places, such as above a door. When hanging several pieces together, each piece should be at least three inches apart from the others, he told the magazine. 

For California designer Jean Larette, a little-known approach to creating an accent wall is to use wallpaper instead of a solid, bold color. To avoid a garish look, more care is needed when arranging furniture and accessories close to the wall. But patterned wallpaper will create an instant focal point if it coordinates well with wood floor tones and solid colors used on other walls.

Larette told House Beautiful that wallpapering behind open shelves or inside a cabinet is particularly effective as long as homeowners rearrange the shelves to let the beauty of the paper peek through.

If the shelving is used strictly for books, vary the arrangement by lying some books horizontally in a stack while standing others upright. They may be arranged by size, color or according to the subjects.