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Turn a dull room dramatic

Don’t fight a dark room. Turn it into a cozy cocoon with a dramatic color palette.

From Nell Hill’s O Christmas Tree

Don’t fight a dark room. Turn it into a cozy cocoon with a dramatic color palette.

Nothing will put a spring in your step like a decorating project. Here's a fun one: Take a lackluster room in your home and infuse it with drama. Here's how. Mary Carol Garrity, Scripps Howard News Service

Bring on the color: If you have a small room that doesn't get a lot of natural light, don't fight it. Use it to your advantage by turning the space into a warm, cozy cocoon. Paint the walls a dark, rich color like twilight blue, molasses brown or gooseberry green. Then, spark up the space with light accents. Paint your trim white or cream. Bring in furniture that's upholstered in light-colored fabrics. Make sure you use plenty of accent lighting. Cover the walls with artwork that's light and bright. Select window coverings that are light enough to pop out from your dark walls. The contrast between the light and dark will make the room sing.

Tempt yourself with texture: Another way to give your room lots of pizzazz is to fill it with a mix of irresistible textures. Right now, I'm crazy about tone-on-tone rooms in a white-and-cream palette, then adding in loads of interesting textures so the light and airy space feels serene, not sterile.

Pick up the tempo with pattern: If you're feeling bold, pick a pattern you love and layer it throughout your room. Hunt through the wallpaper books for a pattern that is available in both wall coverings and fabric by the yard. Then repeat the pattern on your walls, in your window treatments and through your upholstered furnishings and bedding. When it's done right, a room filled with a repeating pattern looks amazing. The key to pulling off this tricky look is to pick a soft, subtle pattern, like an understated floral, that has only two tones, such as brown and cream, or pale blue and white.

A ceiling that's a cut above: If you want to add a splash of color or pattern to your room but you don't want to change the entire room, look to your ceiling as the new frontier. Whether it's a bold design or a soft pattern, wallpapering your ceiling can give your room just the kick you're looking for. Or paint your ceiling a contrasting color.

Mary Carol Garrity is the proprietor of three home-furnishings stores and is the author of several bestselling books on home decorating.

Turn a dull room dramatic 03/07/10 [Last modified: Sunday, March 7, 2010 3:30am]

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