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Simple tricks can transform stale living spaces

By: Sarah Wojcik | C&G Newspapers | Published February 28, 2018

METRO DETROIT — With the bustling holiday season over and many in the metro Detroit area hunkering down indoors for the winter, local designers say now is a good time to work on home improvements.

Denyse Tzavellas, of Denyse & Co. Interior Design Center and Draperies by Nitsa’s in Grosse Pointe Woods, and Corie Conroy, of First Impression Home Staging & Interior Design in Bloomfield Hills, weighed in with C & G Newspapers.

“Staging is the biggest thing,” Tzavellas said. “Staging your furniture, moving things around and swapping things out — you can’t believe how much of a difference that makes,” she said. “Just moving things from one room into another room so the flow looks different.”

She said updating paint colors and adding inexpensive throw or lumbar pillows in trendier colors can also bring a room back to life.

“Fresh flowers are great. Just pick them up from a grocery store and it adds so much light to a room,” Tzavellas said. “I like floating candles too. I think those are really pretty. Just put them in a little vase.”

She stressed the philosophy that less is more when it comes to interior design. She recommended that people, when they add a piece of furniture, take away a piece of furniture to prevent feeling cramped.

“People just tend to have too much in a room,” she said. “It starts out really fresh and then (amasses) as the years go on.”

Tzavellas said creative storage can also lend to a more airy feel in the home. She recommended adding a tray table to an ottoman to organize remotes or store a Kleenex box in order to prevent the need for another end table.

Bringing in more natural light by changing out old or heavy window treatments to something more modern, and switching out lampshades are also ways to literally brighten a room, she said.

“One of the biggest things for an inexpensive fix for kitchens is, if you have dark kitchen cabinets, paint them white or off-white and keep the cabinets,” she said. “Just get new knobs.”

She suggested stashing knickknacks in a spare room or den so that they are not the focal point of a main room, but not to be afraid of bold wall art.

“I love contemporary art,” Tzavellas said. “Depending on the style of your house, you can have real clean-lined furniture and then still be traditional or transitional as long as you have a neutral color (scheme) and add wow art with color.”

Conroy said she likes to rotate seasonal accent pieces, such as pillows and rugs, to refresh the home, and that now is a good time for people to refresh their paint and fix crookedly hung pictures.

“A new coat of paint makes a huge difference and makes your house look like a brand new place again,” she said. “Change out beiges that look like pinks, which used to be popular, to something with a color tone or something with gray.”

She said gray tones, sages and navy are coming back, with sages being popular in bathrooms and navy being popular in dining and living rooms.

“If someone is selling or looking to find a way to update, new bedding really sets the tone for the room, and I think it just creates a whole different look when you update the bedding,” she said.