Looking for ways to liven up your house? This year’s Homearama design showcase, which was held at the Pointe Oakwood at Sugar Camp community in Oakwood, featured beautiful designs to fit any budget. We visited each home and talked with interior designers to bring you Homearama’s five best design ideas.
1. Unify rooms with accessories
In the Craftsman house, Marlene Orendorf’s design used warm, copper tones as a unifying theme. With a few choice accessories and the right artwork, you can bring a room from scattered to chic.
“Artwork can be scary to pick out, but it really brings a house together,” said Orendorf of Orendorf Interiors. “Contemporary art especially can make a house pop.”
Choose area rugs, vases, and pillows with similar tones. If you can’t afford new accessories, try rearranging the ones you have for a fresh look. “People keep the same things in the same spot forever. Try moving things or putting arrangements in your vases,” Orendorf suggested.
2. Bathroom tiles add interest
Bathrooms and kitchens are quick to appear dated. Tile can be an inexpensive way to give your home a face lift. Bonnie Albers of Bonnie Albers Interiors used contrasting tiles in the Oakleaf home’s master bath. The porcelain tiles look like natural slate and vary across the color spectrum.
“Porcelain tile is not outlandishly expensive,” Albers said. “Tile adds interest and really freshens up a room.”
Orendorf used iridescent tile in the Olde English home, and suggested adding a feature stripe if you can’t re-tile your entire bathroom. “You can insert just a section of contrasting tile and really change the room’s personality.” Prices run according to tile and installer.
3. Incorporating media
It’s not always easy accommodating a 50-inch flat-screen into your design theme. Albers and Jenny Lynn Wynne of Design Destination in Cincinnati worked together to blend media seamlessly into their design.
“Almost every room has media, and we need to account for it,” Albers said. She and Wynne put the TV over the fireplace, but allowed it to come slightly below the mantle for more ease of viewing.
In the Oakleaf’s media room, Albers and Wynne chose comfortable chairs and couches rather than media chairs. “We didn’t feel we needed to put media furniture,” Albers said. “It became more of a family room.”
Other ideas include media cabinets or kitchen appliances designed to match your cupboards.
4. Keep it simple
The latest trend in design is a less cluttered look. “Cleaner things are coming into vogue,” Albers said. “People are using fewer accessories.”
Orendorf suggested keeping only a few of your accessories on display. “Pull everything out of the room and put things back selectively, only if they have a meaning or purpose.” Vases and candles are popular gifts and can pile up on shelves, where they collect dust and make your space feel cramped and chaotic.
The Aspen home by Debra Sullivan Interiors was full of simple, clean lines. One of the bedrooms, done in white, was a stand out example of this trend. The use of white with a few contrasting accessories made the room feel peaceful rather than stark.
5. Add some contrast
Pairing Victorian furniture with a Victorian house can make your dinner party feel like a scene from TV’s “Downton Abbey.” The remedy? Play upon the contrast between contemporary and traditional.
“We used contemporary art and area rugs,” Orendorf said. Both houses she designed had fairly traditional architecture. “If we’d used Oriental rugs or conventional artwork, the house might have turned out a little blah.”
In the Village Pointe home, designers used some contemporary pieces to accent the home’s fleur-de-lis columns and vintage details.
With any design, making a change can be daunting. “If you’re unsure about making the commitment, you can always consult with a designer,” Orendorf said. “Designers often will come to your home and consult with you for a minimal charge. The homeowner can take some ideas and run with it.”
Orendorf recommends checking out the Dayton Society of Interior Designers to find someone whose work fits your taste.