The Living Room
Try painting a piece of furniture in a bright color, suggests Atlanta-based interior designer Suzanne Kasler, author of Suzanne Kasler: Timeless Style. (She once lacquered a desk orange.) If you've got a mirror, hang it opposite a window. "Mirrors reflect light and make a space feel larger," Kasler says. "So when you place one across from a source of natural light, it adds even more impact—and sparkle." Finally, if you want to make the room look blessed with high ceilings, just reposition your curtain rods. "Hang them flush with the ceiling," Kasler says. "You'll cover that blank wall space above the window and create a tall, beautiful vertical line."
Your countertop has probably become a catchall for mail, rubber bands, and that rice cooker you use twice a year; start by clearing it off, save for the appliances you need every day. Now you have space to create a focal point. Kasler favors a cluster of three objects: "I love a cake plate, a vase of flowers, and a glass bowl," she says. Whatever you choose, the number is what's important. "Odd-numbered groupings look more appealing," Kasler says.
Use empty frames to display a gallery of memorabilia. "I call it the random collection," says Kasler. "In my daughter's apartment, we framed and hung pieces of art she bought on the streets of New York, old postcards, and a gorgeous vintage map. And in my own home, I framed invitations from Paris fashion shows I attended and hung them up." Aim for a mix of pieces; you can also include prints or photographs. "When something is totally unique to your taste," says Kasler, "it makes you so much happier than an impersonal work of art ever could—and it's a lot less expensive to put together."
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