Design Ideas for Chic Spaces

Solve common decorating dilemmas with fresh advice from designer Kim Myles.

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Gray bedding, curtains and carpet let the orange accent wall pop in this bold bedroom.

Design Dilemma: You can't decide which shade of beige to paint your walls.
Kim's DIY Solution: Think gray, instead.

Neutral walls are great for highlighting colorful furniture and accessories within a room, and make it super simple for changing seasonal decor. However, if you're overwhelmed by which shade of beige to choose — or really aren't that crazy about the color to begin with — try gray instead.

Gray can be masculine or feminine, depending on what accent color you choose. The best part is, almost everything goes with gray: canary yellow, white and black, plum, chocolate, lavendar and red to name a few. Keep it from looking clinical by choosing a warmer shade, like brushed nickel, rather than a harsh, stainless steel tone.

Design Dilemma: My large bathroom mirror is an eyesore, but I don't have the money to replace it right now.
Kim's DIY Solution: Add a frame.

The simplest option is to frame out the mirror. Visit your local frame shop to find the perfect frame style for your bath. For example, wide plank, rustic wood evokes an antique style; or you could go baroque with a gilded, Louis XIV-esque frame. By framing the mirror you're changing how your eye sees the object as a whole; you'll be surprised with the results.

Design Dilemma: Even though my room has overhead lighting, it still feels so dark.
Kim's DIY Solution: Light it up with uplights.

Uplights are a fantastic, inexpensive way to add interest to different areas of your design. Lots of uplights makes a space look commercial and modern, so select just a few to highlight special parts of your space. Your children's artwork and other art pieces will take on a new life when lit from below. Remember to include the three types of lighting in all your spaces: ambient, task and accent.

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