Here are some answers to decorating dilemmas Mindy has been asked lately:
I have been looking for a way to keep the flow of rooms consistent. I think that I should paint all of the mouldings in all the rooms white for a unifying effect. Do you agree?
Yes and no. It's important to feel unity between rooms, but if the mouldings are old and dented, it's not the most appealing element to highlight. In that case, I might suggest painting the older trim the same color as the walls. New woodwork always looks nice in whites and creams.
For a more subtle flow try looking at your rooms in a total way. A unifying factor can be your color palette. Let's take beige and flooring, for example. You might want to use wood in the kitchen and family room but use a similar color tile on the floor, in say an adjacent "sun room", that opens to the patio. Colors stay consistently in the beige tones but the materials vary. Varying textures between rooms add interest and if they are in the same shades, "blending" occurs. This is a good thing. Subliminally the rooms will look unique without looking identical. Too much of a single treatment in paint or flooring or mouldings can be just too predictable and over time, easy to tire of.
My windowsills always look dirty. The more I clean them, the dirtier they look. What should I do?
A great idea is to have marble or granite cut to fit the sills. Plant leaks and city dirt are easy to wipe clean and the fine material add a luxury look. In areas where you need to open the window by lifting the bottom glass up, ask for what they call a "Hollywood Edge". This means the stone is cut on a bevel. Narrow towards the inside corner, where you put your fingers and thicker toward the outside edge that you see from the room. This enables you to fit your fingers under the windows edge to open it with ease.
Natural stone is easy to maintain and really gives your windows and your room, a finished upscale look.
The carpet in my home office always looks dirty because of my kids and pets. I have had it professionally cleaned several times, but it just never looks clean. Should I replace it with an indoor/outdoor carpet?
Most inexpensive industrial carpet doesn't really have a nice feel to bare feet and isn't always very attractive. But there are high-end designs that do work well and are available in many beautiful tweeds and patterns. Sometimes that space is not too large, so more costly broadloom won't break the bank.
Alternatives to standard carpet that I use often are vinyl laminate and real wood flooring.
Push the envelope a little and explore the more unusual patterns in each category. Some of the laminates look like stone and are a beautiful addition to any room. Also take a fresh look at wider wood plank flooring. The rustic feel is charming and unmatched by any other surface. Once again, a small area of luxury material often times won't break the bank and will offer countless hours of appreciation.
2004 Mindy Greenberg, Allied Member ASID