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DECOR SCORE- Invest a Few Feet of Floor Space and Enjoy Great Returns PDF Print E-mail
Written by ROSE BENNETT GILBERT, Creators Syndicate   
Thursday, 05 May 2011 04:48


How to be caught napping in style: Curtained alcove encourages curling up with or without a good book.

Q: There is an alcove in the second parlor of our old Victorian house. It's too shallow for a sitting area. I don't know what to do with it, except maybe put in some plant stands and plants — there is also a window.

A: Not a bad thought, but it just might be that you are squandering a chance to have that alcove give you a really dramatic return on the space investment.

Behold the glorious pictured hideaway that's been conjured from an arched alcove in a rambling country farmhouse. And all it took was a comfortable daybed and a double helping of imagination.

Featured in designer Chippy Irvine's book "Shades of Country" (the Taunton Press), this alcove was evidently meant as a study nook — the arch is flanked with bookcases and more are featured inside the alcove.

But as the author points out, the tie-back curtains (they match the wallpaper) can be untied for an afternoon nap, turning the few square feet of floor space into a private — and delicious — little lounging area.

Add a swing-arm lamp over the head of the bed and a low table just outside the curtains, and you have a guest "room" that your company will love.

Q: What's bright, gleaming and making news at the 39th annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House in New York?

A: Everything metallic.

Many of the top decorators who have created show-off rooms in this year's Kips Bay Show House — the mother of all decorator show houses — have worked metallic gleam and shine into their creations.

We are not talking "bling" exactly; the metallic touches illuminate the rooms in more subtle ways that are worth borrowing when you want to brighten your own home.

Some ideas worth lifting: — Silver-studded carpeting.

The Wayne Nathan

Studio edged the dark gray carpeting in the first-floor hallway with large gleaming studs. Not big enough to trip over, they were a smart touch that makes you wonder why nobody had thought of such before.

— Copper-bright kitchen walls. Benjamin Moore's metallic paint, brushed on in overlapping arcs, makes an apt background for the room by Bilotta Kitchens of New York (which also featured copper countertops, painstakingly polished).

— Gold-flushed glass.Illuminating her ceiling, Celerie Kemble also added painted waves and bouquets of flowers overhead in her bright, fresh living room.

— Silvered sofa. The upholstery fabric literally gleamed glamorously — but quietly — in Richard Mishaan's supersized sitting room that overlooked the back garden.

— Outdoor mirrors.Reflecting a landscape complete with miniature hillocks, Greener by Design's city garden featured a double helping of arched mirrors under trellises against the walls.

— Metallic hair-on-hide rug. Whoever saw such a thing? But there it was, adding life and luster underfoot in Jeff Lincoln's thirdfloor room.

The Kips Bay Show House stays open for gawking — and idea stealing — through May 26. Make it a must, if you're anywhere near New York City and serious about interior design.

Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Manhattan Style" and six other books on interior design.