From the December/January 2015 Issue:

Detail Analysis

    Compiled by: Mary Vinnedge |

Little touches assert a tremendous impact on design success


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enlarge | Photo by Robert Kern
The sixth and final installment in our 2014 series “The Takeaways” revisits evergreen advice that Design NJ has published since its 2001 debut—plus some staff contributions. This issue’s takeaways include dozens of ideas for details that can push interior design and decoration from good to great, fine to fantastic.

At the end of this article, you will find links to additional tips on "Recycling with Style," "Window Wisdom" and "Fun & Festive Holiday Decorating."

During warm weather, an empty firebox is unappealing.
To improve its appearance:

– Dianne O’Connor, ASID, of Design Interiors in Summit says to clean it up and then dress it up with white birch logs, a bouquet of dried hydrangea blossoms, a basket of pine cones (for a rustic environment) or a glass bowl filled with seashells (at the shore); or bring in a decorative fire screen.
June/July 2003

– (Photo Left) Try a sculptural element in the cavity. Sally Bacarella of Bacarella Interiors in Ocean chose these giraffes.
April/May 2007

Want an easy-to-execute centerpiece? Pour about an inch of coffee beans into a pretty bowl and then nestle simple votive candleholders in them.
—Design NJ staff


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enlarge | Photo by Wing Wong
CLEVER CAMOUFLAGE
A wood radiator cover, topped with marble, has cutouts allowing airflow. Design: Anthony Passanante of Anthony Albert Studios, an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a certified kitchen and bathroom designer in Waldwick.
October/November 2012


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enlarge | Photography PeterRymwid.com
A small refrigerator, tucked into the cabinet to the right of the fireplace, keeps drinks and snacks handy. Design: Karla Trincanello, allied member ASID and owner of Interior Decisions Inc. in Florham Park.
October/November 2012


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enlarge | Photo by Rosemary Carroll
Lawrence-Mayer-Wilson Interior Design in Brielle devised a practical cover-up for a steel girder: tiered crown molding.
February/March 2007


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enlarge | Photo by Alex Hemer
Lattice makes an airy cover-up for a radiator in this show house room designed by Cathy Oswandel of Little Silver.
August/September 2003


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enlarge | Photo by John Armich
Here’s a cosmetic fix for damaged ceilings in older homes: bead-board camouflage. Janis A. Schmidt, a member of the Interior Design Society and principal of Dragonfly Interiors LLC in Cape May, used insets of bead-board within a coffered ceiling.
December 2010/January 2011


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enlarge | Photography PeterRymwid.com
GET PICTURES PERFECT
Here’s an inspired placement for three pictures in a Short Hills bedroom (left) with interior design/space planning by Thomas C. Burger, ASID, and interior/exterior architecture by David Estreich, AIA, and Brian Blackburn, AIA.
February/March 2011


Photographer Pat McNulty of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, has two tips:
1) Mats generally should be wider than frames.
2) To find the ideal height for a picture that will be viewed from a sitting position, sit in a chair across the room, hold the picture at eye level and then shuffle across the floor holding the picture at this level until you reach the wall. Mark the height on the wall with a pencil and hang.
April/May 2005

Danielle Kurz of Danielle Kurz Inc. in Rutherford, who often builds her interiors around artwork, says not to be afraid to hang a small painting on a large wall or a large painting in a small space. She adds that a large mat can lend importance to a small piece of art.
April/May 2004

When framing artwork, before committing to colored mats, see how striking double white or ivory matting looks.
— Ren Miller, editor of Design NJ


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enlarge | Photo by Patricia Burke
ON THE SURFACE
Practically every surface presents an opportunity for decorative embellishment, including:

Ceiling beams that hide ductwork are enhanced with Gothic arches to elegant effect in this example by designer Lesa Knowlton of Knowlton Associates in Haddon Heights.
April/May 2006


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enlarge | Photography peterrymwid.com
The backs of shelves. A bold paint color or wall covering—this wallpaper choice comes from designer Ariana Hoffman of The Decorative Artist in Montclair—is a terrific finishing touch.
April/May 2009


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enlarge | Photo by Bradley Olman
Stair risers like these in a Galloway Township home. Although paint is shown here, tiles can be used also.
October/November 2004


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enlarge | Photo by Marisa Pellegrini
BEDTIME STORIES
Fencing sections and gates can make fun headboards: Think pickets or antique wrought iron.

This may be the coolest repurposing we’ve seen—interior designer Beth Chanin of Flying Colors (Englewood and Greenwich, Connecticut) repurposed twin beds, using only the headboards, into a classy daybed in her Englewood home.
Summer 2001


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enlarge | Photo by Mary Vinnedge
ALTERNATE USE
Everyone has heard about turning sheets into shower curtains, bed skirts and window treatments, but even cloth napkins, kitchen towels and place mats can be modified for other uses. One Design NJ staffer stitched zebra-print napkins into café curtains for a tiny powder room window in Holmdel. Here are some other ideas:
A quilted place mat becomes the front of an accent pillow (about half the size of a standard pillow) for a bedroom.
—Design NJ staff


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enlarge | Photo by David Van Scott
In this Point Pleasant condo, quilts serve as upholstery for a headboard. Design: Miriam Ansell Interiors in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
December 2005/January 2006

Use pretty kitchen towels as curtains.
— Design NJ staff


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enlarge | Photo by Bradley Olman, Style by Kim Montella
A faux-zebra throw becomes a tablecloth in the home of David Chiarella, owner of Creative Kitchens in Red Bank.
February/March 2006


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enlarge | Photo by Rosemary Carroll
IDEAS GALORE
Simple tweaks take traditional tile floors from nice-enough to noteworthy, as this border does in a Spring Lake kitchen. Tile/design by Mediterranean Tile in Fairfield.
August/September 2006


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enlarge | Photo by Rosemary Carroll
Moldings break up what otherwise would be an immense stretch of unrelieved drywall in this Wall Township home. Design: Jill Ryan, who was with Lawrence-Mayer-Wilson Interior Design in Brielle at the time and now has her own firm, Jill Ryan Interiors in Little Silver.
Fall 2002


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enlarge | Photography PeterRymwid.com
Plaster ceiling medallions can be the perfect complement to a beautiful chandelier—and so can a chic stencil pattern; this work is by Spec Fin Designs in Mahwah. Interior design: Blanka Jurecky Interiors in Englewood.
April/May 2009


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enlarge | Photo by Patricia Burke
A portiere separates rooms while imparting a softening effect; it’s a great option if a swinging door would take up too much valuable real estate when open. Design: Belle Maison in Short Hills.
February/March 2007


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enlarge | Photography PeterRymwid.com
Half-walls are common for hiding a toilet in bathrooms, but here’s a more elegant treatment by Rona Spiegel, ASID, of Lifestyle Interior Designs Ltd. in Englewood Cliffs: a lighted display niche.
August/September 2007


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enlarge | Photo by Mary Vinnedge
Picture-frame molding gives an inexpensive hollow-core door a more stylish look.
—Design NJ staff


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enlarge | Photo by Katherine McGlynn Photography
Alternate rectangular and square tiles on the corner of the wall for a simple yet smart detail.
August/September 2005


For ideas on recycling with style, window treatments and holiday decor, click on the links below.

Recycling with Style

Window Wisdom

Fun & Festive Holiday Decorating