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Question 1: How do I make a small room look bigger?

Answer: There are many tricks designers use to make a space feel larger.  Sometimes we use light paint to open it up, and sometimes dark to make it feel dramatic.  Here are photos showing both ways.  Furniture has to be in proportion to the space.  Don't use that over stuffed, big armed sofa you inherited!  Condo sized furniture with multi-functionality is key. Leave a little space between furniture and walls.  A large mirror and large art is key.  Use a few larger accessories and avoid adding too much clutter.  Tall draperies can also make the space feel larger.

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LivingstonAfter (4) B.jpg

Question 2: I have no idea how to decorate the built-ins that are on either side of my fireplace.  Any ideas?

Answer: This is the #1 question I get, so I am added extra pictures for this one!  The key is to honor the space.  Don't put little items in big areas-that is the #1 problem I see people do.  The disproportion will always feel off.  Don't over-stuff the space, either.  Conversely, don't leave a bunch of shelves blank.  Try to mix some plants in with some nice sized accessories, add a few books (not hundreds) and a few of your favorite photos.  Put some art on easels for a fun touch.

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Shelving area in living room (5) B.jpg

Question 3: I have dark cherry bedroom furniture, but I want a lighter colored headboard.  What would be a good alternative?

Answer: A light wheat toned (soft beige) or off-white fabric headboard blends really well with cherry tones.  Here is a picture to show an example of how nicely they pair!

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Question 4: I can't afford to redo my entire home.  Is it okay to do it in parts, or should I take out a loan and do it all at once?

Answer: The key is to come up with a master plan, as if you are doing it all at once.  Then prioritize the rooms you spend the most time in and start with that!  If you have a plan, then the home will flow seamlessly when it is eventually all done.  I tell everyone it is ALWAYS better to wait and get what you want, rather than compromise for the sake of just getting something done quickly.

Question 5: How do I figure out what size rug to get for under my dining table?

Answer: Ideally, you want to add 6 feet to the length and width of your table.  That way, all the chairs stay on the rug, even when fully pulled out.  There is not always the space to do that, so just try to get as close to the rule as your room allows.  Select a nylon or wool rug for easy cleaning, if your family tends to be a bit messier! Here is a picture showing an ideal size.
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