A Look Inside Designers' Homes

In HGTV Magazine, three furniture and accessories makers share the insider tricks they use at home.

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Trevor Dixon



Expert 1: The furniture designer at her table

Lauren Russell, Maine Cottage
Best known for: Wooden tables, dressers, chairs and armoires painted in vibrant, eco-friendly finishes

Take it from an insider:

  • Secret color strategy: "If you're nervous about bringing in color, choose pieces in different shades of one hue. You can’t mess that up, I promise! That's why I have five shades of green in my dining room, including chartreuse chairs and a palm-colored table."
  • Quick cleaning trick: "Oil-based wood cleaners can leave residue and distort the color of painted furniture. Mild soap and water does a fine job of cleaning it."
  • People always ask me: "What's the best way to paint furniture yourself? Use a white sponge roller that has no nap (pile). It leaves the smoothest finish with no brush marks. For thin legs, like on chairs, use a small sponge brush."

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