Design by Jhane Barnes
If you're good at pulling together an outfit, can you also be good at pulling together a room? Designer Jhane Barnes says yes.
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Transition areas–such as where walls meet the floor, or where floors flow from room to room–are key in the overall design of a room. The traditional crown moldings and baseboard moldings used in many homes "make me crazy," says Barnes. "It’s like wearing cuffs on your pants. All it does is catch dirt." One wall in Barnes’ home is made of bamboo, laid vertically on the wall. She used the same bamboo, set horizontally, to edge the base of the wall, but inset it, so the molding is flush with the surface of the wall. "The eye sees only one color, even though the direction of the grain changes. And there’s no molding to kick and have to clean." Similarly, Barnes has used bluestone for her floor, and then run an edge of bluestone at the base of the walls–but again inset so it is flush.
Finally, don’t feel you have to do it all by yourself. Just as Barnes works closely with a mathematician and software designer to create her unique textiles for menswear, she doesn’t hesitate to bring in an architect and interior designer to help with her home. "There are basic rules of structure and design that every architect knows," Barnes says. "If you try to do it all yourself and make a mistake, you’re not saving money."
Barnes' Havoc rug, part of a collection designed for Collins & Aikman (www.tandusshowroom.com).
Kathy McLeary writes frequently for HGTV.com.
Salvaging old lighting is an easy and inexpensive way to brighten to a room.