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One day makeovers give home design a boost

August 07, 2013

Hardwood FloorsOne day dedicated to a room makeover can have quite an impact on home design. Having floors from Anderson's Gnarly Plank collection installed, for instance, adds the authentic look of a beautifully distressed, antique oak floor. And that's just one way to make quick changes that have lasting results.

For instance, using wallpaper instead of an accent color in a room design creates an instant focal point, although more care has to be taken in the furnishings and accessories that are placed closest to the wall covering to avoid excessive busyness.

Jean Larette, whose design business is based in Marin County, California, told House Beautiful magazine that wallpaper has a greater impact than solid color paint. The designer suggested wallpapering the wall behind book shelves or inside a cabinet as long as homeowners are prepared to 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.

The illusion of space
Kelly Edwards, host of both Style Network's Tacky House and HGTV's Design on a Dime, told Woman's Day magazine that items as simple as storage units can have an impact on the openness of a room. She chooses light-colored storage pieces because they blend in better with an existing wall color and give the illusion of more space.

Florida-based designer Jim Howard recommended takes the same approach with window coverings, using those 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. Rub the paint on with a rag - it creates a softer effect," he told the magazine.

Unique art presentation
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 white frames around colored mats. By hanging them in an under-used part of a room or in 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 isn't the expected location for a piece of artwork. He suggested putting them in unusual places, such as above a door, or to lean some against a mirror. When hanging several pieces in an asymmetrical cluster, each should be at least three inches apart.