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Innovative Home Renewal Tips


You wouldn’t give a second thought to sprucing up your wardrobe every year, mixing au courant pieces with the classics and scooping up all the must-have accessories of the season. Do you take the same trend-conscious approach with your home? After all, even the most fabulously appointed interiors need a little freshening from time to time. We asked three of San Diego’s most sought-after designers for simple tips to transform your home’s look.

Amy Meier, who owns Del Mar’s award-winning Amy Meier Designs, creates easygoing-but-elegant interiors that have landed her layouts in national publications.

• Rotate your art throughout your home periodically. Simply moving a piece from the hallway to the living room can make it feel new again. It’s also a great way to bring unexpected color into a space.
• We often think of changing wall colors, but painting the trim highlights the room’s details. Color on the ceiling is unexpected and draws the eye upwards; choose an accent color that’s represented elsewhere in the room to tie it all together.
• Lampshades are often overlooked, yet are easily replaced. Try having them made out of striped or patterned fabrics. Shades in bright colors can pull a room in a whole new direction, and it’s easy to switch them out seasonally.

Robin W. Carrier, design principal at Downtown’s Robin Wilson Interior Design and sustainability expert, is the current president elect of the American Society of Interior Designers San Diego.

• Switch out your area rugs. A furry rug is cozy for the cooler months and provides a luxurious texture, while a large-weave sisal is comfortable and durable for the summer months. Area rugs now come in beautiful patterns of color and texture. You can find tone on tone with patterns using loop and cut pile combinations or brilliant colors with large patterns providing artful interest.  
• Changing out accessories can provide new visual interest. Colorful glass vases and bowls, fresh flowers, books, and framed prints and photographs create glamour and beauty.  
• Bring in seasonal accent pillows and throws. Think richer colors and textures during the cooler months and lighter textures and brighter colors during the warmer months. White offers a wonderful pop of fresh, both in the summer and winter.
• Try painting a beautiful and dramatic accent wall of chocolate or red, or paint the ceiling a metallic champagne. For an unexpected hint of glamour, use stencils to create architectural details such as molding in a tone deeper than the wall color.
• Wallpaper is back! Textures of grass cloths accented with a shimmer of metallic thread are subtle and can be used in both a casual or formal setting. Damasks in a large scale bring both whimsy and elegance to a more formal setting.  

Barbara Rourke is a principal at Bells & Whistles, the hip Downtown firm that won the Grand Orchid at the 2010 Orchids & Onions for its design of Downtown’s Starlite restaurant.

• Be authentic to yourself. Buy what you like and arrange how you want. Collect things from your adventures that make you smile. It is your home and it should be a reflection of you.
• Don’t be afraid of color. Paint is the easier and cheapest, yet most transformative, tool when it comes to decorating. Be bold and if you don’t like it, simply pick out another color.
• Be a treasure hunter, no matter what your budget is. Try shopping at the swap meet, thrift stores, and antique stores. You can find amazing pieces that will add an eclectic charm to your home.
• Get creative. Upcycle, recycle, or reuse objects to make new pieces. Paint an old dresser bright red, turn a vintage crate into an end table, or make an assemblage art piece from found objects.
• Make it comfy. Who wants to live in a museum? Your home should be a sanctuary and your personal retreat, so create an environment that you want to be in. Candles, low lighting, and plants are an easy and inexpensive way to achieve a relaxing mood.     ANNAMARIA STEPHENS


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