THE 2006 HC&G IDEA HOUSE
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Jamie Drake, Cabana, Poolside Terrace, Powder Room
"Never forget the ceiling when designing a room. This plane is the often-overlooked top to the confection. Frost it with a delicious color!"
Peggy Fruin, Laundry Room
"Break the boundaries: Some rooms can serve many different uses if designed and organized properly. For instance, in the Idea House laundry room we're adding a potting table, a desk for wrapping gifts and a TV, because doing the laundry doesn't have to be like going to the dungeon anymore."
Erica-Lynn Huberty, Children's Playroom
"When doing a lower-level space, spend the same care, money and creativity you would for an upper-level space, but keep in mind that the environment is different. Sustainable, organic materials (cork, rush, sisal, stone, etc.) will hold up and clean up better in damp climates than synthetic materials. Make a playroom a space that you, the adult, would want to spend time in, too. Children are often far more visually sophisticated and aesthetically sensitive than we give them credit for."
Sarah Kaplan and Corey Grant Tippin, Home Office/Library
"Clients are often attached to a surplus of sentimental framed photos of varied sizes. Too many randomly placed family photos often spoil the simplicity and flow of a living space. Relocate all photos to a specific area where they can be a focal point of interest. An upstairs hallway, mudroom or breezeway provides a gallery-like setting for edited photographs. Subtly framed in a consistent manner and hung in a balanced and proportioned plan, photos have maximum impact."
Libby Langdon, Guest Bedroom Suite
"If you are mixing patterns in a small room, be sure to work with limited color tones—keep them in the same family for a cohesive look. Chairs and sofas without arms have slim lines; they can help to ease traffic flow in a small room and create a more spacious, open feel. Also, anytime you can have an element, go all the way up to the ceiling (bookcases, drapes, doors). It draws your focus up and creates the illusion of a larger room.
Jeff Lincoln, Junior Master Bedroom
"Instead of 10 ideas, concentrate on one or two good ones and flesh these out thoroughly. Your home will have an edited, consistent point of view—and won't look like a compendium of last month's House & Garden. Avoid spinning the color wheel in every room. Use a broad a stroke when painting and with wallcovering. Repeat and extrapolate colors for an expansive, unifying effect as you go from room to room. True eclectic decorating illustrates subtly the connection between objects and furnishings, creating a dialogue that informs the overall decoration and shows that you have an 'educated eye.' A flea market find and an expensive antique from Mallet's do not go together."