Small Changes, Big Impact
Three local designers share their tips for making a modest change in your home to create a dynamic difference.
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You do not have to conduct a full remodel to make a big improvement in your home. In many cases just making one small change can make a huge difference and create a whole new space.
These three local designers show several ideas for making modest changes that reap big dividends — and without costing a lot of money.
Adding wallpaper to the back wall of bookcases (below) can make a huge difference according says designer Nancy Davilman of ND Interiors.
“In this scenario, we replaced the existing shelving with nice, thick shelves and used one of my favorite Maya Romanoff Mica wallpapers on the back wall to add some sparkle and visual interest,” says Davilman.
And according to design Claire Paquin of Clean Design Partners, adding wallpaper to any small space can be dynamic. This could include a foyer, powder room, laundry room, mudroom, or pantry.
“Wallpapering a small space like a powder room (below) gives it an opportunity to be special and interesting. And don’t forget the ceiling!” she says.
Just a change of a light or the addition of a great mirror can immediately transform a space, like this foyer (below) by Davilman. Both can light up an area but also make it feel larger than it is.
Adding either of these items to a foyer, a powder room, a hallway, or other small area is an inexpensive way to make a small space feel larger and make a big difference.
Today’s supporting sponsor is Manhattanville College.
The Addition of Art
Art of any kind can completely change the look and feel of a room as seen here.
“Art has the power to transform a space — offering personality and a textural counterpoint to the interior architecture and design,” says designer and architect Carol Kurth of Carol Kurth Architecture + Interiors. “Rotating artwork can also make your space feel completely fresh and there are so many talented artists across varying scales. I curate and source artwork for many of our clients and I'm always searching for inspiration when traveling. For our Skyscape45 project, I was visiting a local gallery [Octavia] in Arts District New Orleans and spotted a piece by Louisiana artist Max Ryan. I sent our client photos on the spot and suggested a companion piece be commissioned for an adjoining wall. The introduction of color and depth achieved through the mixed media really makes a bold impact on these oak-paneled walls,” says Kurth.
Whether you opt for something custom and commissioned, you scope out local galleries, or you purchase an inexpensive print that speaks to you, art is a wonderful way to change a space, time and time again.
Window treatments can make a room darker, lighter, grander, and more casual. Depending on what you choose, what texture, weight, color, and pattern it can completely change a space, but you can also take it one step farther according to designer Claire Paquin of Clean Design Partners.
“Mount your window treatments, both drapes, and roman shades, at the ceiling,” she says. “This gives the illusion of more ceiling height in the room which in turn makes the room itself feel bigger.”
Add a mirror and some new lighting and you have an even bigger room.
Jenn Andrlik is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in home design and architecture, and parenting. She is formerly the senior editor of Martha Stewart Living and executive editor of both Westchester Home and Westchester/Hudson Valley Weddings. She has worked for other titles, including House Beautiful and Parents. She has two children and lives with them, her husband, and beagle, Lucky, in East Norwalk, CT.
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