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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 11, 2010

Repaint and discard to freshen decor

Gannett News Service

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Modern furniture and open space characterize this dining room.
Ventus Design Honolulu


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Looking at your home with a new attitude can spark innovative ideas.

First, edit your belongings. The trend toward a more simple, streamlined home makes it seem modern, says Jasmine Madson, an interior designer in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Opening up your space gives you room to breathe, dream and stretch out. Adopting a less-fussy manner by removing clutter makes your home efficient and usable.

The green way of living is a way to recycle, reuse and renew your space.


Start by keeping only the pieces you love and use, decorators say.

"People are better stewards of their money these days," says Heidi Coatsworth, interior designer at Ethan Allen Interiors. Rather than moving to a new home, more people are opting to stay put and remodel.

Even small changes can bring new life. A new front door can change the way you look at your home and improve its street appeal. Then you may move on to renovate the master bedroom or redo the kitchen counter.


It may be time to freshen up the color palette in your home.

"Gray is the new neutral," Madson says. Use warmer gray tones for a base, and mix with yellows and purples to update a room.

Blues and browns are falling in popularity to make room for earthier colors such as water, pebbles and sand. "It's the spa-like look using a softer color palette," Coatsworth says.

Focus on the fresh colors of turquoise, sea foam and shades of purple for added life, Madson says.

If glitz is more your style, spice up your space with an icy color wheel incorporating silvers and gray mixed with mauvy pink. It's old Hollywood glamour translated into modern style, Coatsworth says.


If you have a traditional home, you don't need to ditch everything, but "take a freer hand don't be stuck in a rut," Coatsworth says. "Design rules are meant to be broken."

Take that attitude while repurposing existing furniture and to keep the space from looking like a period home or a museum.

Decorate around two or three special pieces. Keep the pieces that work with your lifestyle, and get rid of the rest, Madson advises.

"Freshen up with a contemporary lamp on an antique chest to give the room a new vibe," Coatsworth suggests. Or put contemporary bedding on a more traditional bed.

Use a pretty little table or a stack of suitcases instead of a traditional nightstand next to your bed. Move your dresser into the dining room for a buffet. Or simply rearrange the furniture in a room to create balanced spaces.


Going green isn't just a color, it's a mindset. Today's materials have a new finesse and now include carpet, flooring, fabrics and paints.

Green products use Earth-friendly lumber from renewable forests, and there's more emphasis on buying products made closer to home.