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The difference between good and great design: accessories

By Anyssa Roberts
Lexington Herald-Leader
LIFE HOME-NEWDECOR 1 LX
Mark Cornelison - MCT
Anyssa Roberts shows some interior design techniques including drapery choices, rugs and lamps, July 22, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT)

After a four-week interior design project – from developing a color scheme to decorating the walls – it’s time to tie it all together.

The finishing touches in a room are possibly the most important. Just as shoes can make or break an outfit, the final details can be the difference between a good room and a great one.

Here’s how you can give a room a finished look, based on advice from Duane Anderson, co-owner of House by JSD Designs in Lexington, Ky.

Area rugs

Many homes – dorms, apartments, houses – come with carpeting installed, but it usually is a bland beige or a color no one can seem to match with anything.

Using an area rug is a way to add color that fits your scheme, tie all the pieces together and preserves the installed carpet underneath.

Area rugs come in endless materials, patterns, colors and textures, but there are two directions one may go in.

“It can be very patterned and bright or very neutral,” Anderson said.

His suggestion is to look at an ikat rug, meaning one with tie-dying and weaving that adds multiple colors and a strong graphic element.

A neutral rug can offer subtle assistance to the color scheme and make a room feel cozier.

I chose to go with a neutral. My off-white area rug is 4 by 6 feet and was $44. It pulls together my color scheme of black, white and turquoise.

Lighting

Lighting is important for small spaces and can serve different purposes. Sinead Kelly of Dulux Magazine says there are four types:

• General lighting fills a space with overall illumination and includes overhead fixtures. This type is good for everyday tasks.

• Accent or feature lighting, such as up lights, is directed at a specific area.

• Task lighting is illumination for performing a job such as reading or cooking. This type usually sits over something, like a desk lamp.

• Decorative lighting provides decoration and architectural interest, as with chandeliers or strobe lights.

I wanted lights that created a sophisticated, calm mood and added visual appeal to the corners. Anderson suggested up lights for a subtle brightness.

Chinese rice paper lights are becoming more popular and can be found in the home decor sections of discount stores.

I bought two black rice paper floor lamps for $13.99, each to provide up lighting. When turned on, the darkness of the paper shade and the yellow of the light relax the mood in my room; when they are shut off, they are sophisticated art pieces.

Curtains

Curtains and window treatments serve multiple purposes. They are decorative, provide privacy, and control temperature and light.

“Always do panels if you are hanging window treatments,” Anderson said.

I chose a light-blocking window panel in a turquoise chevron print to add character.

“Hang them higher than the actual window,” Anderson said. “It visually enhances the room and makes it look bigger.”

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