Adding a splash of color to any room livens up a space. But before you select a color, consider the function of the room and how the color makes you feel. If you're a morning person, painting your bedroom a bright magenta may help you start the day with energy, but if you can't face the morning without a strong cup of coffee, a soothing shade of blue may be best. Learn more about choosing a color scheme.
Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. "I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon," says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.
Instead of hanging a painting on a bare wall, accent it with a rich, velvet curtain background. "Curtains just create a great, calming energy in which you feel very shrouded and comforted, making for a luxurious and restful environment," says Framel. "And being able to put a really great pop of artwork in front of that textural colored backdrop has a lot of impact."
When renovating a building that already has plenty of character, like this 1920s Spanish Colonial home in Los Angeles, it's all about striking the balance between what you add and what you leave. “We wanted to make it feel more holistic while still honoring its heritage,” designer Steven Johanknecht says of the decision to keep the original hand-carved ceiling beams and wrought-iron chandeliers while removing mismatched materials from previous renovations.
Steven Gambrel, one of America's top-tier interior designers, recently had a chance to consider the question. Although he lives and often works in the most urbane precincts of Manhattan, Steven grew up in Virginia and still has ties there. When the owners of a Middleburg horse farm asked him to convert one of their barns into a place for large, casual parties and just hanging out and watching TV, he took it on with relish—his first barn, and on home turf.
The first solution would be to buy a longer set of curtains. Curtains typically come in a few different lengths, so choose the next longer length than your current curtains. You can either let the extra length “pool” on the floor for a flow-y look, or you can hem them to the correct length. (If you’re not much of a seamstress, you could use a fusible bonding material to “hem” them without needing to sew anything.)