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Monday August 19, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday August 19, 2013 MYT 6:39:17 AM
by anyssa roberts
Laying down style: The writer rolling out the nuetral coloured area rug she chose for her small room. — MCT photos
Tips on the final touches that can help make a small space more homelike.
AFTER a four-week interior design project – from developing a colour scheme, to finding homes for all of my things and clothes, and decorating the walls – it’s time to tie it all together.
The finishing touches of a room are possibly the most important. Just as shoes can make or break an outfit, the final details can be the difference between a good room and a great room.
Based on advice from Duane Anderson, co-owner of American interior decor store House by JSD, I added an area rug, lighting and window treatments to tie everything together in my small space. Using an area rug is a way to add colour that fits your scheme, tie the room together and preserve the installed carpet underneath if there is one.
And area rugs come in endless materials, patterns, colours and textures!
When choosing a carpet, Anderson says, there are two distinct directions one may go: “It can be very patterned and bright, or very neutral,” he says.
His suggestion is to look at an ikat rug, meaning one with an intricate design, to add multiple colours and a strong graphic to the room.
A neutral rug can offer a subtle assistance to the colour scheme and ambiance of the space to make it feel cozier. Also, he points out, area rugs create a “connection” between the walls, uniting the space without drawing away from its size.
I chose to go with a neutral. My off-white area rug is about 1m by 2m.
It adds dimension to my room and ties together my colour scheme of black, white and turquoise.
Lighting is important for small spaces and can serve many different purposes.
Sinead Kelly of Dulux Magazine says there are four basic types of lighting:
> General lighting fills a space with overall illumination and includes overhead lights. This type is good for everyday tasks.
> Accent or feature lighting, such as up lights, is directed at a specific area.
> Task lighting is illumination for performing a job such as reading or cooking. This type of lighting usually sits over something, like a desk lamp.
> Decorative lighting provides decoration and architectural interest, such as chandeliers or strobe lights.
I wanted lights that created a sophisticated and calm mood in my space and added visual appeal to the corners of my room. Anderson suggested up lights to add a subtle amount of light.
Chinese rice paper lights are still a popular and cheap option and can be found in most home décor stores.
I bought two black rice paper floor lamps to provide up-lighting. When turned on, the darkness of the paper shade and the yellow of the light relax the mood in my room; when they are shut off, they are sophisticated art pieces.
Curtains and window treatments serve multiple purposes. Being decorative, providing privacy, and controlling temperature and light controlling – some window treatments can do it all.
“Always do panels if you are hanging window treatments,” Anderson says.
I did not realise how much curtain design had evolved! After half an hour of deciding whether I wanted three-dimensional rose print wall panels or a plain look, I chose a light-blocking window panel in a popping, turquoise chevron print to add character.
“Hang them higher than the actual window,” Anderson says. “It visually enhances the room and makes it look bigger.”
Hanging treatments higher was a useful trick to make my small space look much bigger.
My panel was a standard 84 inches long, and I hung it 8 inches above my window frame to create the illusion of high ceilings and a longer window. – Lexington Herald-Leader/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
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