HGTV Designers Answer Your Questions
HGTV host and designers answer some of your common decorating questions.
E-mail This Page to Your Friendsx
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
Do you feel it is necessary to have some sort of common thread throughout a home, or is it perfectly ok to have different decorating styles in different rooms?
Michael Payne: If the rooms are distinct, it is absolutely fine to have different decorating styles. Most bedrooms are distinct because they have a door to them. However, those rooms that are oftentimes open to each other, like a dining room, living room, family room, should have consistent styles. So, in most houses, you can have both.
Are there any furniture styles that definitely don't work together? Also, I have a collection of McCoy pottery. What's a good way to display them without it looking cutesy?
Kitty Bartholomew: I feel that almost any number of styles can work together, if you have the right "glue." "Glue" can come in many forms, whether it be a uniting fabric, pattern, on the floor, or softening with natural materials, such as trees and plants. It can be tricky but there's no question in my mind that the most successful and interesting rooms are a clever mix of different styles. This usually, but not always, stems from objects that have been inherited, as well as acquired as a family evolves. "Cutesy" is often associated with gimmicks. Assembling a collection in a no-nonsense placement really makes a statement. The best way to display is always on a vertical plane. Take a bookshelf, armoire or shelving and place them, tightly, together. As opposed to scattered about the room horizontally. Don't integrate other objects within the collection. Just a strong statement of the pottery, while keeping the colors together.
I enjoy decorating in black and white - are there any tips you have for making that color combo work? How do you decide correct scale and proportion when designing the decor of a room?
Kitty Bartholomew: That is a huge question and is very difficult to describe when I can't use any visuals--but I will give you a couple tips. Obviously black adds a great deal of weight to whatever if covers. Whether it's a lampshade or a wall. Can you imagine a black airplane?? I wouldn't trust it to fly!! So black can be a good anchoring color, particularly below eye level. White can be a very hot color because the color white is a combo of all the colors. When placed side by side, for instance take a circle and cut it in half, the black seems so much heavier and stronger than the white. Play with pieces of paper in various shapes on a white background. This will help you get your personal feeling of balance and help educate yourself on scale/weight/balance. Black and white is fine and if you choose not to use a third color as a catalyst don't feel that you need to. But when you restrict yourself to solid colors and just two, it works only when you vary the texture within the color. Let's say you have a black sofa and you want a black covering on the floor. Perhaps a shag or texture would be a good choice. A nubby throw on the sofa would work as well. Remember to vary also within the texture concept, finishes--high-gloss, such as vinyl, leather, lacquer with matte finishes.
We want to design a third bedroom into an office/guest room but are having a hard time on deciding which is more important. It's a very plain and not too large room with two average-size windows, beige carpet and very light beige walls. Can you suggest room arrangement, furniture to use, best colors, etc. to efficiently use the room in both capacities?
Kitty Bartholomew: You need to furnish the room with pieces that are multipurpose. I would start with a purchase of a daybed. If you expect to have many guests there are some wonderful styles available with a trundle hidden underneath. There are so many classic styles available in catalogs in every price range from IKEA to Pottery Barn to Room and Board, etc. Obviously, shelving is important. So, bookshelves, as well as a desk that could also have a companion or extension piece that would be a dresser or side table for guests. I would think of the room primarily as an office/library concept because you , as the owners, will be using it far more often than the occasional guest will.
This master bedroom is simply designed and is in need of a transformation turn it into a space that inspires.
The HGTV Dream Home 2009 design team visited Grand Central Terminal in New York City to speak with fans.(21 photos)