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Archive for Saturday, April 28, 2007

Small home changes can have big impact

April 28, 2007

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— Lighting, hardware, vases, pillows : they're often just the chorus line in the grand production of a room's decor. But sometimes the details can steal the show. All it takes, interior designers say, is a single piece with a distinguishable texture, color or aura. Here are a few ideas:

¢ Contemporary chandeliers: Elaborate crystal chandeliers have long been the staple sparkling centerpiece of dining rooms, foyers and living areas. While beautiful, they're not necessarily works of art, say Jennifer Mabley and Austin Handler, who own Mabley Handler Interior Design in Water Mill, N.Y. Modern-day chandeliers are being crafted in abstract shapes with silk drum shades. The colors can be dramatic, the styles whimsical. "It creates a focal point instead of a light source," Mabley says. And a memorable one, too.

¢ Faux stone : inside: People who favor transitional decorating - pairing traditional furnishings with contemporary accessories - are looking for updated ways to create texture. Some, Handler says, are finding creative uses for cultured faux stone panels designed to mimic river rock or fieldstone. When the veneer-weight panels are used around a fireplace or as a backdrop along a long wall, "they almost look like a Frank Lloyd Wright house," Handler says.

¢ Exotic accents: Indian-inspired fabrics and glassware accessories are being paired with monochromatic furniture to create a space that feels global, unique and contemporary, Mabley says. Vibrant, jewel-toned fabrics with Moroccan embroidery are showing up in bedding, draperies and pillows. Area rugs with similar patterns, such as Madeline Weinrib's collection at ABC Carpet & Home, can create visual interest in even the most traditional, sophisticated rooms.

¢ Boutique luxuries: Some homeowners are detailing their kitchens with oversized brick pizza ovens or built-in coffee stations, says Peter Collins, a kitchen and bath designer for Alure Home Improvements in East Meadow.

Hand-painted mosaic murals - often commissioned from local artists - are a creative way to liven any space. In the bathroom, "luxury shower treatments are taking the place of whirlpool tubs," Collins says. The newest models feature multiple heads with an array of water sensations. Some, such as Kohler's WaterTile, are extra-slim to free up valuable shower space.

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