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Condo dwellers can create the home design they have planned for years

July 26, 2013

Hardwood FloorsFor those who've bought a condominium, the freedom to decorate a home of one's own - however small - means being able to have the floors, wall colors and home decor they've always wanted. Selecting hardwood floors like Anderson's red oak Rushmore collection is just the beginning.

After years of apartment living, you can have unique lighting fixtures and wall colors that express your personality. But be careful of any choices that are visible from the outside, such as window treatments. Some condominium associations strive for a uniform exterior look for all units, so check the condo regulations before proceeding.

One way around this particular dilemma is to hang drapes or shades with a neutral backing so the exterior view conforms to association rules.

Planning the design
To begin, home decorators can get ideas on how to develop their new dwellings' style by tearing out magazine pages that show color schemes and furniture they like and bring them along on shopping trips.

Taking a step back to see the overall space gives a sense of where clutter may accumulate and the spots that are empty. The size and shape of each area helps people picture how the furnishings should be set up for the best effect in the home design.

When it comes to the all-important color choices, HGTV recommended using a formula for color selection on which many designers rely. The 60-30-10 rule designates a main color used in 60 percent of the room, a secondary color that takes up 30 percent of the space and one or more  accent colors for 10 percent of the scheme.

Typically, that means the wall colors account for 60 percent of the color scheme, the main soft furnishings like upholstery take up 30 percent and accessories make up the remaining 10 percent of the hues.

Making changes
In some rooms like kitchens and bathrooms, there are permanent features that cannot be changed easily or without great expense. In those cases, condo owners can work around these fixtures with their color scheme or make simple changes like new hardware on the kitchen cabinets.

Standard ceiling lights can be replaced with an interesting, more stylish glass globe or a small chandelier. In bathrooms, neutral tiles may seem boring, but can be a blessing because they will go with any design plan.

Having modular furniture that can serve more than one purpose - such as a desk used as a buffet during a get-together - is a good investment for condo dwellers if space is limited.