Do you want to change the way your house looks? move furniture around, paint, or buy new pillows? We talked to Linda Principe of Linda Principe Interiors in the Princeton area to get her best tips on how to change the look and feel of a room for the coming seasons using popular colors and traditional design techniques.
Linda says, “The first thing I’d suggest is a brighter coat of paint.” “This makes it look new and clean.” She said that this is especially important in the kitchen, where most people spend a lot of time.
“Right now, I’m seeing a lot of yellow tones and green.” She suggests the Benjamin Moore colors Yellow Calla Lily or Summer Harvest. They are in the same family as lemons and daffodils. She is also seeing more greens, like Veranda View and Cucumber by Benjamin Moore.
Linda says, “The idea behind these colors is to bring nature into the kitchen and make it look more natural.”
The rooms we spend the most time in are usually the ones we want to change. Linda has found in her work as a designer that most people want to paint their kitchens every few years to give them a new look.
Linda says that a dark color would make the dining room look more dramatic. How about the deep golden brown color of Benjamin Moore’s Spanish Red or Baked Cumin?
You can also add color by buying new throw pillows or bringing in fresh flowers in a brightly colored vase. “It depends on what you have in the room, but tangerine or orchid might work” (which is a vivid purple). Radiant Orchid is the color of the year for 2014.
Linda says to look at your accessories, like your artwork and picture frames, the mats around your artwork, and your area rugs, to find the right accent colors. “A simple way to add color to a room is to take colors from the things you already have. It’s a way to add color to something.” Linda just finished a project where she used a green from a client’s foyer area rug to make accessories. She put some green boxes and topiary on the table by the door, and you could see how they all went together.
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Then comes lighting. Linda says that a room should have more than one way to light it. The first is lighting from above, like recessed lighting. The second type of lighting is task lighting, which is a lamp on a table or on the floor near a reading chair. The third type of lighting is accent lighting, which makes a room look elegant. Linda says that accent lighting can make a room look the most interesting. You can use it to draw attention to a piece of art or add interest with sconces.
“Accent lighting can soften the look of a room, especially a dining room. “Using dimmer switches for overhead lighting and accent lighting gives a room an elegant and softer feel,” says Linda. When you have dramatic colors in a dining room, the lighting can make the room look even more dramatic.
She says, “I find that a lot of people have asthma and allergies, and dust is hard for them.” “So I talk to them about getting rid of the carpet and putting in hardwood floors instead. Most people today are interested in low-VOC paint, of course.
She noticed that people seem to be more interested in keeping the furniture they already have and making changes to it by painting or re-staining it. “Shuffling things around makes them look different. Painting furniture or switching out the knobs can make it look new and save money at the same time. All of these ways to make the design element you want are good for the environment.