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December 31, 2010 > New Year, New look for your home (for no money!)

New Year, New look for your home (for no money!)

The New Year is a great time to make some changes around your house. I'm not talking about buying new things-I know our wallets need a rest after so much holiday shopping! Instead I am talking about rearranging your existing furnishings. This is called Redesign, and after redesigning rooms for hundreds of clients over the years, I can tell you how effective and transformative it can be. Rearranging furniture, artwork and accessories can make a huge difference to the functionality, comfort level and aesthetics of your home.

So put away the holiday decorations and let's get started.

* First, remove all accessories, small furniture pieces and artwork from your room so you can start with a clean slate. Use the dining room table or kitchen counter as a "staging area." Removing everything from the room allows you to look objectively at the space and make changes more confidently.

* Start with the furniture arrangement. Is there a focal point in your room? In most rooms, it is the TV or fireplace. If there is no focal point, create one with a piece of furniture or a large piece of artwork. Arrange the sofa so it directly relates to the focal point, either across from, perpendicular to, or angled on one side of it. After the sofa is placed, arrange the additional chairs or loveseat to facilitate conversation and create a cozy grouping. Don't be afraid to try something new with the furniture arrangement. For example: if you've always had the sofa on a particular wall in your living room, try placing it on a different wall, or angling it in the room. Or trade the chair in your living room for the one in your bedroom-maybe the size and color is just right.


* Next, look at the accent tables. For a new look, trade tables with those from another room. Maybe the dark wood coffee table from your family room will work better in your living room. Or try using an ottoman or a bench instead of a coffee table. Try trading lamps too-perhaps the lamps in your bedroom can come out to the living room.

* After the furniture is placed, then hang the artwork. Shop your home for artwork you can trade. Using art from other rooms can establish a new color scheme and change the look dramatically. Artwork always has to be hung in relationship to the furnishings, so be careful not to hang it too high, and don't float a small piece of art on a large wall.


* The final step is to place the accessories. Take cues from the artwork when selecting the accessories. For example, repeat colors from the art by using bowls, boxes, vases, or throw pillows. Shop your home for items you can trade. Place accessories in groupings, rather than spread throughout the room, creating small vignettes on table tops, the mantel and bookshelves. Incorporate family photos and collectibles into these vignettes. And remember-less is more when it comes to accessories. Too many can make your room look cluttered.

* Texture makes a room much more interesting. Add texture by introducing materials like leather, wrought iron, wicker, carved or distressed wood, and metals.


* Add greenery to your room, either with cuttings from your yard or with silk plants. Greenery should be considered a very important accessory.


When you are done, sit down, relax and enjoy the New Year and your new room.


Anna Jacoby of Anna Jacoby Interiors is a local interior designer. Send your design questions to her at info@annajacobyinteriors.com. Call or fax her at 510-490-0379 or visit www.annajacobyinteriors.com

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