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Elements & Learning Book

How to integrate great design by taking a critical eye to detail and learning what works and what could be improved using interior design principles

Modular bed furniture with an embedded bed..great for an attic room or loft style area...but bookcases instead of trundle.

Storage comes at a premium but this stacked box idea painted the same color as the wall solves a lot of storage and display issues www,christopherlo...

High contrast drama and proper scaled graphics totally transform this small space. A bit of paint and molding....that's great. CL

If you're not sure about using color, remember layered texture the way to go. Because it's print free, this space will look timeless decades from now.

A great way to extend store bought drapes is by adding a boarder. However the rod here should have extended at least 6" wider on each side of the window so that it didn't shroud the view. The rod could have also been hung as close to the ceiling as possible to elongate the space.

This timeless space integrates tonal low contrast elements with one accent color but what really works is that this often shared space (bedroom) is non-gender specific meaning both he and she can live with it.

The feel of this space is terrific. However, as stunning at the white wing chairs look, they very much prohibit good conversation since guests have to peer around the sides to see those next to them. Here form won out over function CL

  • Susan Clickner

    Agreed. Wing chairs should only be used at the ends of the table and also, "bench" seating is very hard on the back and not conducive to long conversations... good call.

Note the painted woodwork in a vintage environment. People (men) are often afraid to paint old wood thinking it will ruin value of the home. In fact, it preserves the feel and actually highlights the moldings better. CL

Brackets under the cabinet make it appear to be a custom piece Remember you can easily add molding to existing molding especially if moldings are painted. Here the study of line, texture and light in a neutral color pallet is timeless, fresh and modern yet traditional---note the nail heads too. CL

This chic and eclectic room is timeless since it's layered with solids and geometrics like the chevron rug never go out of style. Remember it's pattern/prints that are the first to date spaces. Also note the use of aqua starts at the shell of the room in the simple pattern-free drapes then is brought into the center of the room with the tufted ottoman. Same with the black. From the wood trim to the chair then under foot--for visual balance.

Using drape as an alternative to doors is such a great idea--however, the rod hung low over the arch gives the room a rather short squatty feel. When hanging any drapes for better visual balance, place them up towards the ceiling as far as you can. This will elongate the room and make it feel much taller.

While I'm not big on writing words all over the house, simple call out like these can give a home real character and that sense of humor that can re-enforce the wit of the homeowners

Note that there is no skirt on this bed. leaving it as is, visually lifts the bed and create a far lighter feel to the room then had there been drape to the floor. Sometimes less is best.

Great, soothing pallet but what gives this the real designer look is the very high upholstered headboard. Often a few things done in larger scale add drama where lots of little stuff won't. CL

Objects on walls are such a great alternative to so-so art. But not that here the color scheme of texture and neutrals allows for lots of detail that doesn't look too cluttered. CL

Murphy beds in the playroom for sleepovers - How cool is that? :)

  • Cindy Closson

    I love this! and I saw Christopher do this in 1998 or 1999 and would love to have his plans he showed on TV.

More mirror magic--here simple inexpensive frames are hung together with frames painted the same color of the walls to offer a french door or panel look that expands this space.

When privacy is not an issue, this photo proves that lots of window treatments aren't necessary at all. The all white pallet pulls the light through the space.

Here empty frames prove the fact that after all they are molding--and add architecture to this small bedroom--more important is what's seen THROUGH the frames, a great deep blue with warm overtones

I love the texture layering here BUT... I'd have opted for a sofa and two matching slipper chairs that could be placed opposite the sofa so people could actually see each other in conversation. Here guests have to line up like they're in a town hall meeting. Beware the pit sectionals!

Often the time we need more seating most is when company comes. Ottomans like these these "Kilim" Cubes placed side by side can solve that problem and double as a coffee table if trays are added.

This ginger-jar style zebra lamp is the kind of decor devise that can offer light but also a touch of eye-catching graphic when dispersing texture throughout a room

Great photo good looking couch BUT-unfortunatally it's like sitting in a bath tub. Arm pits aren't high enough to accommodate these rests.

  • Holly Hamilton

    Thanks for that comment, I had decided this style would be my next sofa but have fleetingly wondered how comfortable it would be.

  • Holly Caywood

    I also have tried out this style of sofa & chair, but they don't work for me, either. I love the look, though.

  • Amy Hemming

    U think those are probably best for a hotel lobby - they look cool - people sit briefly and then move on - but to settle in for a night - uh uh

  • Susan Clickner

    I actually OWN a huge tufted black leather sofa with wrap-around arms. The cushion is large enough to actually SLEEP on. I have loads of big puffy pillows in the back that I can move all over. I often sit sideways with my BACK against the ARM with a pillow under my knees. I can read or watch tv for hours that way. It is my most favorite piece of upholstered furniture in the world.

  • Susan Clickner

    Good thing, because it cost more than half-a-house :)

A warm orange is one of my favorite accent colors. It lives easier the say red a (color most people get wrong). It adds warmth and pop and looks great on traditional furniture shapes. Here the abundance of it set off by the killer (primitive-mod) graphic element really works. Note chairs clustered around a coffee table are far more versatile then sofas.