Tips & tricks
JULIE FITZGERALD | CIN WEEKLY
DAN KORMAN – OWNER OF PARK + VINE
1109 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
513-721-7275 or www.parkandvine.com
HOW TO: Make a room unique
Q: What’s an easy way to give some personality to a bare space without spending a ton of cash?
A: I like MIO Culture’s Nomad modular architectural system (www.mioculture.com). They’re these free-standing sculptural screens and temporary partitions that don’t require hardware or tools to install. They also won’t do damage to existing structures because there aren’t any nails required. They’re an easy and affordable way to break up a room and give it some color and a little bit of height. These are especially good for people with larger, open living spaces.
One box ($56) creates either a 4.5-foot by 4.5-foot section or a 3-foot by 4.5-foot section, depending on how you set it up. The panels are made from recycled, double-wall cardboard, and they’re available in six colors. It’s non-intrusive and easily packed up and taken wherever you move. Not only is it made out of recycled materials, but you can re-use it as well from one home to the next.
BART FOSTER – VISUAL MERCHANDISER FOR BOVA CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE
11349 Montgomery Road, Symmes Twp.
513-247-9100 or www.bovafurniture.com
HOW TO: Work with colorful elements
Q: How can we incorporate bold color in a room and make it look natural?
A: Add subtle bits of color. A lot of it has to do with just not going overboard. Try some throw pillows on a couch. Also, area rugs are a nice way to integrate color without overpowering a room. Go with things that are small investments.
In general, my philosophy is to keep bigger pieces neutral. Use things like artwork or accessories to add color. If you want to do big pieces that are colorful, then you need to tie it in with the rest of the room. If you’re doing something like a red sofa, then put some red artwork on the wall, do some rich warm browns or a chocolate accent wall behind the red sofa. That way it won’t seem so stark.
If you just have a cream-colored wall and put something like an orange chair in front of it, it’ll stick out. You know, I paint and re-paint walls behind groupings here on a regular basis. An accent wall is a great way to add color without a huge investment. And you can usually do it with less than a gallon of paint. If you get tired of it in a year, you can re-do it. I think a lot people don’t think about painting, but it’s amazing how much it can change a room. Paint is a great way to tie in accessories, too. Just keep the palette simple. Pick a color and bring it in a few places in a room and live with it for a month or two. Right now grassy greens, oranges are big. They blend well with beiges and browns.
JEFF BECKER – GENERAL MANAGER AT ORGANIZED LIVING DESIGN CENTER
3100 E. Kemper Road, Sharonville
513-672-6165 or www.organizedliving.com
HOW TO: Make any space organized
Q: What should we pick up if we want the latest, best or most useful organizational tools?
A: In general my picks would be containers, shelving and garment storage.
Containers can be bins, baskets, crates or totes. They can stack to maximize vertical space, and you can see what’s inside. They also provide protection, such as for out-of-season clothes storage. But open crates are great for things like kids’ items.
Shelving, however, can be used in any area of the home. It’s the most versatile part of organization. It can be wall-mounted or floor-based. It can be used to organize displays or heavy-use storage items. It can be as simple as a decorative shelf, or industrial if you want that look. There are so many options in shelving with varying depth and height.
Garment storage is also a big category. Canvas is best choice for storing clothing because it breathes. It’s so tightly woven that it won’t allow dust in. The problem with plastic is that it doesn’t breathe, so it can build up humidity and get a musty smell.
Also, right now having a home communications center is popular. This is where you’ll have cubbies for photos, receipts, menus from restaurants you frequently call to order in or get carryout, and important phone numbers. The most important thing is just having a lot of space to store all this paperwork. Here, we used white boxes to keep everything, keep it neater. Often we label these with a label maker to identify what’s in each of the boxes.
STACEY SHIERING – SENIOR DESIGN STUDENT IN UC’S DAAP PROGRAM
HOW TO: Take the first step
Q: What is the biggest design hurdle for most people?
A: I think the biggest challenge is that in your 20s you’ve got all these pieces that you’ve collected from family or you’ve got these pieces of economy furniture that you’ve picked up along the way. But then as you get into your 30s, you start to get more money where you can buy nicer pieces that you can make part of a more permanent collection. And it’s the integration of these things, figuring out how they go together, that’s hard.
So, instead of throwing those earlier pieces away, there are some things you can do to sort of update them. That way they can still be useable. For example, you can strip old furniture down and whitewash it … give it a beach-house type of feel.
I think people are starting to develop a devotion to sustainable living, re-using things. I think consumers are making the connection with the things that they buy and the social statement that it makes. One of my favorite sites is treehugger.com. They have everything from articles on politics to the latest fabrics that have come out that are eco-friendly. Another is gaiam.com, which is an entire organic line.
RENAN MENNINGER – DESIGNER AT VOLTAGE
3209 Madison Road, Oakley
513-871-5483 or www.voltagefurniture.com
HOW TO: Buy designer
Q: If we’re ready to integrate one classic design piece into our homes, where should we start?
A: I like Philippe Starck. He’s been around for quite a while. He has this chair, which has been featured in just about every high-end design magazine, including dwell. It’s a carbonate chair that looks like the classic Louis (XVI) chair. It’s called the “Ghost” chair, and it comes in white, clear or black. It retails for around $300, and it’s this great homage to classic design while looking forward to what’s modern, which is what he always does. I’ve got these set up around this dining table that’s $2,300, and putting those around helps balance it.
Keeping the form simple goes a long way. For me it’s about pure form and also just mixing it up and not being afraid to go polar opposite. A balance of contrast (expensive with non-expensive) is what keeps the look successful. Like with this Ghost chair, it’s not trying to be anything more than just a plastic chair.
LEAH SPURRIER – CO-OWNER HIGH STREET
1401 Reading Road, Mt. Auburn
513-723-1901 or www.goodswaresdesign.com
HOW TO: Bring a room together
Q: Is there a way to make a space feel more complete and just overall finished?
A: Interior design does not need to be endless. If you have a plan and you execute it, it will be done, it will look great and you’ll be able to enjoy it instead of constantly being in the process of it.
One of the things that I think is very important is layering. There are a multitude of ways to accomplish that. But to finalize a look (of a room) it needs layers. If you think of a room the same sort of way you would fashion, when you layer things on top of things, it deepens the look. One of the quickest and easiest ways to do that, to get something that feels deep, solid and rooted, I think, is with wallpaper. They’ve come so far. It really creates a lot of look. If you can’t afford the really expensive wallpaper, maybe just buy one roll. Then, take one of the colors from the paper, paint the wall that color and frame three large pieces of it and hang all three. For example, if the paper is two-tone brown, take the darker brown and paint the two walls next to it that color. If you don’t root it (with paint) it won’t look right.
Another way to add layers is with fabric. You can paint a wall and use drapes (as) treatments to add texture. And I don’t mean as window treatments, but as architectural treatments. So you can paint a beautiful, sort of neutral Santa Fe pumpkin color and then get a linen that’s dead-on the same color and run track along the (ceiling) of the room to fill wall spaces with these panels. It is gorgeous!