A One Day Room Makeover

Are the winter doldrums setting in? Try this for inspiration – the February, 2011 edition of House Beautiful provides the game plan on how designers Pat Healing and Dan Barsanti transformed a long, narrow, hard-to-furnish, living room in less than nine hours.

Here are the designers’ tips for successful transformations:

  1. A furniture arrangement that looks good on paper may not work in reality. Look at your room after a party to see how people have instinctively moved the chairs for conversation. That’s your clue for the room’s best layout.
  2. Use versatile furniture pieces in multiple ways. A large table can be used for dining, homework, games, and serving hors d’oeuvres at a party.
  3. Every chair in the room does not have to face the TV.
  4. There are no hard and fast rules – it all depends on your room and how you use it. Sometimes matchy-matchy can be a good thing to unify the space.
  5. Treat bookshelves as a composition and arrange them for balance and symmetry. Pick up accent colors used elsewhere in the room and repeat them in the bookshelf in art or accent pieces. One trick used by the designers was to remove all of the book jackets which made the composition less busy.
  6. Decorate in layers to add depth and interest the way decorators do. Rather than using the same solid color in the same exact hue, repeat the color in different ways, with textures, intensity, or sheen, for example, use the same color for textured chenille pillows on the sofa, shiny ceramic vases on the mantel, as one of the colors on dining room seat cushions, and sheer curtain liners.

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