When Pam Shamshiri and her husband, Haines Hall, and their 2 1/2-year-old son Reza, moved into their one-story Craftsman-style cottage in Venice, California, they knew there was work to be done. The house was small (900 square feet), littered with beach-themed accents, and somewhat haphazard in its lines—doors were one height here, another height there.
But Pam, trained as a set designer, was unruffled. She knew minor adjustments could yield dramatic effects. She relied on three foolproof methods to renovate the house:
- Use satin and glossy paints, which are easier to maintain than flat or eggshell. The shinier finishes clean up easily and reflect more light.
- Mirrors pop light into a room and wake up dead space. They also add new vantage points. You can have mirrors cut to fit at hardware and home-improvement stores—smaller ones can be attached to surfaces with glue or double-stick tape.
- Keep seating heights the same—you don't want some people positioned higher than others.