BEFORE & AFTER
Update Your Home, Room by Room, with These Tips from the Pros
Compiled by Barbara Kuntz
Refresh your home with a rejuvenating splash of new, whether by painting, rearranging a room and adding missing key pieces or going shopping for that furniture you just can’t live without.
To begin, consider the room’s activities, needs and size. Consult with a certified interior designer and scour magazines online and in print. Visit your favorite stores…and take photos as you peruse!
We turn to area designers and more experts in the interior creative fields for their invaluable advice. They offer great suggestions and ideas for every room in your house.
Go beyond a new front door mat to great visitors to your home, as well as make your return each and every time a home-sweet-home welcome, with a revamp of your foyer. That space, whether large or small, immediately sets the tone for the rest of the house.
“The foyer is your guests’ first impression of your home,” Jeffrey Merriman, design director at MainStreet America Furniture & Accessories, says. “A great way to spruce up your entry and add a bit of drama is with color. A punch of color adds interest and contrast to your space.”
Sherwin-Williams’ “Rosemary,” a lovely moss green, instantly brings a sense of richness and style to this foyer.
“We added a beautiful antiqued mirror to give dimension to the space, and the tall buffet lamps finish off the look,” Merriman continues. “You can also use a unique piece of large-scale art in place of the mirror, if you desire.”
The living room in a quaint Houston Heights home already had beautiful wood flooring, big windows, a fireplace with surround and mantel and French doors separating the space from the dining room. The challenge: The owners have young children and several pets. They wanted an attractive living room that would still stand up to the demands of their growing family.
“Making the front of the home pretty and keeping the space cozy for guests were top priorities for those who love to play host,” Pamela O'Brien of Pamela Hope Designs says. “Having a room for entertaining that still works with a growing family and lots of pets was a must for this client.”
A classic gray sofa, the biggest investment in this project, with its high back and shiny, oversized nail heads, now provides comfortable yet chic seating. A great rug always anchors a room, and this gray-and-white version takes a classic pattern and shakes it up a little.
“Sometimes the best way to create interest in a room is to add pops of color,” O’Brien says. “Here, the abstract art provided lots of inspiration and is balanced with a turquoise lamp shade and a blue and green Ikat-inspired chair.”
If you’re sick and tired of the heavily used furniture in this room and are ready to say out with the old and in with the new, Ann Schamberger of Ann P. Brennan Interior Design comes to the rescue.
“Purchasing furniture is expensive, and if not done wisely, can be a costly mistake,” she says. “First, evaluate how the space is to be used. Do you have a lot of family members who often congregate in the evening to watch TV? Are there pets to consider? Is the space used for reading or perhaps regular meetings? These questions will help guide what type of seating and tables would be needed.”
Schamberger also notes size and scale are important, so sketch out the room’s dimensions and grab a tape measure before you head out the door to shop.
“Displays are misleading,” she says. “Furniture may appear in-scale due to the fact the store room scene has no doors or windows factoring into the space. Stores also have high ceilings and large walkways between each setting, which visually makes furniture appear smaller in scale.”
If you already own a gorgeous dining table and comfortable chairs, then what can you do to freshen this room?
“A quick solution to this often-asked question is as simple as adding a fresh coat of paint,” says Schamberger. “Recently, one of my clients wanted to update her interiors to reflect the unique style that Restoration Hardware is known for. When I arrived on the scene, her dining room was a robin’s-egg blue. After a brief consult, I suggested we paint the room.”
The walls, as well as the molding and ceiling, received coats of a deep, earthy gray paint, changing the entire ambiance of the room and providing a neutral background for the rustic wooden dining table to take center stage. The off-white, slipcovered chairs add lightness to the space.
This couple went through a very complicated renovation of a classic 1940s Southern home. They needed a soothing and beautiful bedroom to come home to each day.
“The wife loved the blue, gray and white marble in the adjacent bathroom,” says O’Brien, “so a soft blue-and-white color scheme set the tone.”
The blue-on-white fabric on the chair is a nice counterpoint to the pattern on the bed. Reversing the colors in a fabric is a sure-fire way to balance pattern while keeping the interest and staying within your palette. An upholstered headboard, in a neutral fabric, is always a great idea — for almost any decorating style.
“The splurge in the room was the Barbara Barry fabric on the duvet and shams,” O’Brien says. “It was balanced, both in design and price, with equally lovely but less costly solid blue draperies and a beige pillow.
“The vanity was a special request from the lady of the house,” O’Brien adds. “It was created in the space that had been an unneeded closet and adds depth, beauty and function to the room.”
Pamela Hope Designs
BEDSIDE TABLE AND HEADBOARD
11431 Katy Freeway
CARPET BY MOHAWK
Roberts Carpet & Fine Floors
CUSTOM DRAPERIESBY PAMELA HOPE DESIGNS
Fabrication: Alexandra’s Custom Draperies, Bedding & Accents
9000 Hempstead Road
Antiques & Interiors at The Pavilion
2311 Westheimer Road
Ann P. Brennan Interior Design
Ann P. Brennan Interior Design
For All Occasions
7069 Old Katy Road
LEATHER SLIPPER CHAIRS
AND SOFA CONSOLE TABLE
Four Hands Furniture
SOFA AND LEATHER WINGBACK CHAIR
MainStreet America Furniture
18750 Interstate 45
Pamela Hope Designs
"Van Cortland Blue" at 25-percent tint
James Craig Furnishings
4500 Washington Ave.
Oriental Rug Gallery of Texas
5620 Westheimer Road
WOVEN WOOD SHADES