Colorful Room Styles/Part 1 of 2

mariaferlo colorful outdoor space

Nature offers the ultimate color palette. When designing outdoor spaces, keep colors simple and let the beauty of nature take center stage. In this space, mariaferlo mixed white drapes and cushions and added soft color with pillows.

shortcar colorful living room

Keep your furniture, floors and walls neutral if you want to highlight colorful artwork. RMS user shortcar hung bold paintings high on the wall, making them instant focal points.

Val Moore red black outdoor room

Set apart indoor-outdoor spaces with bold colors that contrast with the exterior. RMS user Val Moore opted for red and black and gave this space an inviting, Asian feel.

Purple is a perfect complement to gray. Add sleek white furniture, molding and an inspiring wall treatment and you've got one stylish office. Design by smoodgie.

Styles of Lighting

beasley dining alcove


Ambient is a hidden source of light that washes a room with a glow. It flattens an interior and creates very little shadow. A wall sconce is an example of ambient lighting, as are paper lanterns. Use of a dimmer can also provide ambient light. Design by Troy Beasley.
dining room epitomizes contemporary style


Directional lighting or lighting that adds interest or highlights a certain object or unusual architectural feature in a room. A bulb and some kind of shield to direct the light are all that's needed for this type of lighting. Halogen spotlights and table lamps with opaque shades are good ways to achieve accent lighting. Design by Lori Dennis.


Task lighting is just that; lighting that's used to perform daily activities such as reading, cooking, shaving, putting on makeup, etc. Effective task lighting enhances visual clarity and keeps the eyes from getting tired, so it needs to be glare-free. Design by Alia Meyer.

art inspired living room


Lighting itself can be a work of art. A neon sculpture would be purely decorative and an example of aesthetic lighting. A spotlight illuminating a statue on a pedestal or portrait on the wall is also artistic. This type of lighting also needs to be used along with other lighting types. Design by Andreas Charalambous.


Sunlight, candlelight and firelight; this is light that moves and is sometimes referred to as kinetic. The quality of natural light, sunlight in particular, depends on many things — time of day, weather, what season it is. Fall has a different light than summer, for instance. The setting sun gives a different kind of light than midday sun. Design by Tracy Morris.

Bedside Lamps

LaylaPalmer bedside table

Glass Elegance

This clear glass lamp and white shade are perfect for a soft color palette.

 Erinn Valencich nightstand window

Bold Gold

A unique lamp can make a bold statement. This circular gold bedside lamp offsets the black floral wallpaper and dark wood nightstand to expand the pale colors of the headboard and bedding. Design by Erinn Valencich.

nuetral white bedding offers heavenly relaxation

Thin and Simple

A simple stick table lamp works perfect with this bedroom's modern decor. Design by Lori Dennis.
loft bedroom features hand hewn headboard

Moroccan Beads

A dark wood headboard and colorful Moroccan-inspired pillows in this bedroom call for taupe bedside lamps to neutralize the deep colors of the accent pillows. Design by Daniel Bodenmiller

Minute Makeovers

Asymmetrical sofa ensemble

This is for anyone who doesn't have to have a perfectly symmetrical sofa ensemble. Place two of the same square pillows on one end, and toss a wool throw on the other because it gives the sofa a casual, please-sit-here attitude.

Use contrast when choosing pillows and throws

Consider contrast when choosing pillows and throws. These larger chocolate brown velvet pillows allow the smaller cream felt ones to really pop. Put a pair in each corner, and then add a round orange silk pillow on one side to keep the mix from looking matchy-matchy. Fold a throw in thirds, and place it underneath one of the pillow sets.

Arrange a shapely collection of accessories

Fill the prime piece of real estate in front of your sofa with the right building blocks. The key is to use objects of varying heights.
This dark wood table is a study in rectangles. Go with the theme, and arrange a shapely collection of accessories (square plates, tall cylinders, and an oval bowl) on top of it. The final result is like a geometry lesson with style.
Warm up a sleek surface with a punch of color

A two-tiered glass-and-iron coffee table is a great choice for an elegant look. Warm up its sleek surface with a punch of color. Accessories in red do the trick here.

Choose an upholstered ottoman instead of a coffee table

Instead of a coffee table, choose an upholstered ottoman with a crisp white slipcover for a soft, cottage-inspired look. (This piece can also be used for additional seating when entertaining.) A large, low basket adds a stable surface for display.

Updates In Minutes

black dining table with wide-striped end chairs

Break Up Dining Chairs

Unless you seat 8 to 10 people at your dining table every week, your chairs probably don’t get much use. Steal two from the dining room, and use them to flank a console table in your entry, a dresser in your bedroom, or the sideboard in your living room.

Vignette with blue ceramic lamp

Update Your Lampshades

Outdated lampshades can make a room feel stale. To give your space a more modern feel, trade your pleated shades for simple drum-shaped ones -- they’re better looking and easier to keep clean. If you really want to make a statement, forgo a white shade in favor of something more dramatic, like gray.

A marble bathtub.

Decorate the Personal Spaces

When decorating, we often spend our time, money, and energy on the rooms that we assume will be appreciated by other people. But if you find that you spend more time in your study (or bathroom, for that matter), it should be decorated with the same zeal and enthusiasm as your living room. Take one object you love -- try a lamp, painting, or pretty book -- and move it to a place where you can appreciate it most.

blue dining room

Change Your Light Fixture

Instead of a standard chandelier, try hanging a lantern over your dining room or breakfast table for a less fussy look.

A living room with blue and white striped furniture.

Ditch the Matching Pillows

Many sofas come with a pair of pillows in a coordinating fabric, but the matchy-matchy look can be a bit obvious. Upgrade to down-filled pillows with removable covers in a fabric you love -- and don’t be afraid to mix it up with different patterns. A graphic floral looks fantastic against a small-scale stripe.

Quick Style Fixes

Rehang your art

Group Shot

Rehang your art. Group small pictures together for maximum impact. It can give your room an instant facelift. This is easy to change and fun to arrange! Also, it's much cheaper than buying a large piece of art.

Rearrange your furniture

Musical Chairs

Rearrange your furniture. Assess what’s blocking the flow of traffic through your house and move it to a more convenient location. This will make the room appear more organized, and you might just find that long lost remote once you move the couch.

Hang those mismatched antique pieces of china on a wall instead of a painting

China Cheer

Hang mismatched antique pieces of china on a wall instead of a painting. Buy discarded china plates at any local flea market or thrift store. Pick colors in the china patterns that coordinate well with your room and buy plates in a variety of sizes and styles for more interest.

Pull up a bench to the dining table

Eating Nook

Pull up a bench to the dining table. Not only will it create space for extra guests, but it will also add a casual note to your decor. This is an especially great solution when kids are among the guests.

Decorative Napkin Rings

Use a ruffled ribbon as a napkin holder

Linen Lessons

A simple, ruffled red ribbon makes a holiday setting even more festive. Roll the napkins, secure them with ribbon, and place them on a simple cake stand so that guests can help themselves.

Use candy as holiday accents

Natural Sparkle

On a plain linen napkin, tie a bow with sheer metallic ribbon and attach "bells" of milk chocolate kisses. This will give family and friends a sweet treat to remember the gathering.

Dress up a plain napkin with pretty ribbon

Bright Bows

Fold your napkin in a square, and tie it like a package with pretty silk ribbon.
Tip: Make the bows really pop by using wire ribbon. It's available at crafts stores and is inexpensive when you buy it by the roll.

Balance patterns with solids

Festive Finery

An embellished napkin deserves a refined ribbon.
Tip: Be sure to use extra-sharp scissors so that your cuts are crisp and clean. Save the ribbons and reuse them for all your holiday entertaining.

Stuff a tiny stocking with herbs

Stocking Stuff

A miniature stocking filled with sprigs of fresh herbs makes an unexpected napkin ring. Other holiday stocking stuffers include candy canes, cinnamon sticks, or swizzle sticks.

A simple sprig can spruce up a table setting

Simple Sprig

Dress up your table with this no-brainer idea: Tie a sprig of a pine branch onto the napkin with a red satin ribbon.


Fresh Drapery Treatments

corner bedroom sitting area

Flowery Style

Floral patterns don't have to look outdated. Look for ones with a large print, like the black-and-white Roman shades designer Erinn Valencich uses in this modern bedroom.

beasley study sofa

Keep It Simple

Simple shades and panels in a modern geometric pattern frame the view of this stylish study. Designer Troy Beasley says, "Keep windows open and light. Don't dress up the windows with jabots, swags or other old-fashioned, fussy treatments."

Creative Treatments

Windows aren't the only place for beautiful draperies. Designer Tracy Morris fills a luxurious bathroom with soft pleated curtains hung along the walls to add warmth and to create different spaces.
dream room mixes silk bedding and colorful accents

Full of Frills

Unique window treatments complete a room. Designer Shelly Riehl David creates custom puff-top silk draperies for this romantic and feminine bedroom.

Fresh Drapery Treatments

beasley family room plants

Modern Stripes

Simple panels are one of the easiest and most popular window-treatment options. To spice up the living room's neutral palette, designer Troy Beasley selects white-and-green-striped curtains. Choose wider stripes and contrasting hues for a more modern look.

Dennis dining room rug

Elegant Yet Simple

To match the scale of the formal dining room, designer Lori Dennis hangs heavy brocade curtains right below the tray ceiling. A simple ring heading is used to balance the luxurious fabric, while silk ties hold the draperies back to allow natural light into the space.

master bedroom blue frame

Curtain Combos

Valances provide a streamlined look by hiding drapery hardware. Designer Troy Beasley pairs a valance with cream panels trimmed in brown to add warmth to the bedroom while still letting in a little natural light.

Dennis media room

Sleek and Blue

Designer Lori Dennis maintains the contemporary look of the living room with sleek panels hung close to the wall. Hidden hardware gives the window treatments a streamlined look.

Oscar de la Renta Dress for Success

To celebrate the launch of his home fabric collection with Lee Jofa,
Oscar de la Renta created custom ball skirts using fabrics from his collection. The skirts, which were used in advertisements for Lee Jofa announcing the launch of the collection, will be auctioned off for charity. The fabric on the skirts is backed in organza and lined in silk, giving the skirts the weight and tactile quality of a timeless Oscar de la Renta piece.

All skirts are a women’s designer size four. There are nine skirts and one caftan, size small, made from various patterns from the collection, including exclusive designs on linen and silk, delicate beading and embroidery, and a luxurious velvet and linen stripe. Each item is exquisite and a one of a kind collector’s item. The Lee Jofa website has images and detailed information for each piece, as does the site where the auction is hosted, Bidding for Good. Bidding will be hosted online through November 30, 2010.

With Oscar’s home fabrics priced by the yard at several hundred dollars retail, the opening bid of $750 for each skirt means they will mostly receive tons of bids from designers and Oscar de la Renta collectors.

Proceeds of the auction will go to Casa del Niño, which is regarded as the most complete project of child assistance in the Dominican Republic. Each day at Casa del Niño, every child receives food, full dental and medical care, and vocational training for the age appropriate – all in hope of a better tomorrow for the youth of the community. Casa del Niño is considered to be a model in efficiency and quality care.

The collection itself, which is now available in Lee Jofa showrooms throughout the country, includes 25 designs in silk, linen, velvet and cotton. The tailoring and attention to detail that makes his clothing so special is evident in these rich saturated hues, ethnic-inspired prints and hand-knotted embroideries.

Design Products/M Pillow

If you’re at this month’s 100% Design London and happen by the product launch of an Argentinean company called Grupo Bondi, be tempted neither by the ostensibly plush texture of the M Bench, nor the seemingly soft surface of the M Pillow, however inviting the surroundings, whatever the degree of bodily comfort promised.