The Herald Bulletin

February 2, 2013

Be trendy and fresh with home decorating tips

By Emma Bowen Meyer
For The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Decorating a home may seem like a simple task, but many elements of design are nothing less than a mystery to the average homeowner.

Something as basic as choosing a color for the walls can leave a layman staring wide-eyed at the large selection of paint samples at the local hardware store.

Even more confusing are remodeling episodes on HGTV that feature a couple expressly disapproving a color or wallpaper choice only to have the designer install it and wow the owners. Almost without fail, they admit they couldn’t envision the result but actually love the completed project.

Local designers Cathy Gray and Angie King, operating Gray’s Design Studio, 1331 Main Street, Anderson, aid local homeowners as they attempt to find the perfect look that fits their own unique tastes.

With services and materials at every price point, they have clients that span the socio-economic board.

Sharing a little bit of advice, the duo moves closer to their goal of good design residing in everyone’s house.

Advice: Try trendy fresh colors.

Cathy says: “This time of year everyone feels like they need a spring feel because it is dark and gloomy outside. Teal, minty green, yellow, orange and berry colors are very popular right now.”

Angie says: “Some people are putting the fresh, vibrant colors on their walls, but others have gray walls and pop their color with accents – like pillows. This makes it easier to change elements for a different look – or even change with the season.”

What you may not know: Gray is the new neutral. Almost any color can be mixed with gray to create a pleasing atmosphere.

Advice: Painting the walls is the easiest, most inexpensive fix.

Cathy says: “You can really change a room with a coat of paint. If you have a piece of art that you love, pick a different color from the painting and repaint the walls. It will change the whole painting and create a fresh look for the room.”

Angie says: “Do stick with colors you love. It doesn’t matter if coral is popular if you love green. Any color can be classic if you do it the right way. Pick colors you live well with.”

What you may not know: Looking through your closet can provide clues as to which shades are your favorites.

Advice: Collect pictures from magazines that you like.

Angie says: “When you look back through your collection, you will find two or three elements they have in common. This will help you narrow down your taste.”

What you may not know: The design element you are drawn to may be a subconscious leaning.

Advice: Create a common thread throughout the home.

Cathy says: “A home needs commonality. It could be the ceiling or a color that carries through the house. The items don’t have to match. Or it could even be the intensity of color — you can have different colors with the same intensity.”

What you may not know: Without a common thread, a home can feel choppy and disjointed.

Advice: Install wallpaper.

Angie says: “People are becoming increasingly eclectic. We are seeing traditional patterns mixed with modern furnishings. Wall coverings are a great way to link two things together. They are making damask patterns modern by using fresh colors.”

Cathy says: “A new take on traditional patterns is also to create them on a bigger scale. There are more metallics, sanded patterns and finishes – and even some flocked wallpaper.”

What you may not know: While wallpaper has been out of style for some time (in favor of faux finishes), the cycle has come back around and wallpaper is popular again.

Most common decorating mistakes:

Improper balance — While the room doesn’t need to be symmetrical, it does need balance – which can sometimes be achieved by simply moving furniture into a different configuration.

Improper scale — Generally people are purchasing furniture that is too large for their rooms and artwork that is too small for their walls. Furniture needs to be on scale with the room and artwork should include a few large pieces rather than many small pieces.

Ineffective window treatments — With the opportunity to add softness to a room, bring a print into the space, and frame out the window, it is important that window treatments anchor the room. Homeowners often choose window treatments that are the improper size and of a design that takes away from the overall look of the room.

Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an e-mail to emmagoldiemeyer@yahoo.com.