Are accent walls still “in?” This is a question I get asked frequently, and the answer is yes, but there are some guidelines. Not every wall can or should be an accent wall; accent walls should be chosen with a specific design intention. Here are some guidelines.

Decide why you want an accent wall.

I find that many people are afraid to commit to a color, so they think just painting one wall will be sufficient. If you’re picking an accent wall color for that reason, I caution you to reconsider. Many times I am able to convince people to paint the entire room—often this simply does look better! I also often advocate painting two adjacent walls in an accent color; it always depends on the space and whether or not it makes sense visually.

Number 2 in articlePick your color carefully.

Accent walls by definition should be bold in some way—off-white, when the other walls are white, doesn’t count! That said, pick a color that coordinates with your décor—pull a bold color from a piece of artwork or the granite countertop, or your sofa fabric. Make sure it fits into the décor of not only that room, but also the adjacent rooms. In other words, your accent wall should not look random—it should be part of the overall décor. In this home, the teal accent color is repeated in the pillows, area rug, artwork, and also in the velvet chairs in the living room next door. It even makes an appearance in the kitchen granite.

Number 3 in articlePick your wall carefully.

Ideally, it should be the first wall you see as you come into the room. The accent color should draw you in. Large uninterrupted walls work well– for example, a wall behind a bed or sofa, or a wall that is already a feature wall, like the fireplace wall. Ceilings are also great accent walls. Here’s an exception though, although it is the first thing you see as you walk in: I chose a bold red in this black and white bath to setoff the bathtub alcove. It’s a small area, but boy does it make a statement.

Number 4 in articleAccent walls don’t have to be painted.

Wallpaper is a beautiful option, as are wood planks, or textured wall panels. This bedroom accent wall features richly colored and textured wallpaper. Note that the other walls and ceiling are painted in a gray beige to complement the wallpaper.

This unique accent wall features reclaimed wood planks used as wall paneling. It gives the room so much character and texture.
Number 4-second photo

The most important thing is to follow your instinct. You don’t have to do any accent walls if the thought is off-putting to you (or just because your friend told you it was a good idea.) On the other hand, you don’t need to shy away from accent walls because someone somewhere told you they were “out.” If you’re really stumped, hire someone who can give you a professional opinion. You’ll either get validation for what you already thought, or, even better, you’ll be empowered to try something new and wonderful.

ICP_5875In every relationship, one spouse favors certain things, and the other spouse favors other things. In remodeling, those differences often come to the forefront, and it’s up to the designer to create a plan that pleases both partners. I’ve worked with many, many couples over the years and have learned what questions to ask and what to do to strike a perfect compromise. For example, in some relationships, one partner loves baths while the other prefers showers. One likes to have a separate sink and drawers, while the other doesn’t mind sharing. One favors traditional styling while the other loves contemporary.

Here are some tips I can offer so you both get what you want.

1- Make a priority list.

Each partner should write down his or her must-haves for the project. For example, her list might include a large bathtub, a hardwired makeup mirror, a place to store her hair dryer, and some “bling” in the form of polished chrome fixtures, or a glass light fixture. His list might include a separate room for the toilet, a luxurious large shower head, and an extra outlet on his side of the sink for his electric razor. It’s important for both partners to get their lists on paper. They may find they have more in common than they thought!

ICP_58712- Consider one sink over two sinks.

I’ve had this conversation a number of times with couples. I will ask them about their habits— do they both use the vanity area at the same time? What’s more important to them: their own sink? or more counter space and storage? If you already have two sinks, take some time to determine if you can eliminate one of them. By eliminating a sink, that leaves the option open for a lot more counter space, and more drawers or cabinets.

3- Think about things you need to store in the bathroom.

Do you need to store towels or do you have a separate linen closet elsewhere in the house? Do you tend to buy toothpaste and shampoo in bulk quantities or do you just keep what you need on hand? Are you someone who has multiple hair products or do you share one bottle of shampoo? All of those questions come into play when making design decisions. A traditional medicine cabinet may be the most appropriate type of storage for you; someone else may prefer a bank of drawers, or a tower cabinet on top of the vanity deep enough to store linens.

ICP_59094- Select materials that make you both happy.

Given that the norm in interior design nowadays is mixing materials, it’s relatively easy to select materials that please both spouses. If one likes shiny and smooth, go with polished chrome and glass tile. If one is more outdoorsy and enjoys nature and texture, then consider using pebbles on the floor, or tile that looks like wood.

ICP_5892This bathroom underwent a major transformation. Both spouses said they wanted a spa feel in the new bath, and surely you’ll agree that they both got their wish. We borrowed space from the master bedroom to enlarge the bath. This enabled us to create a “wet room” with both a bathtub for her and a shower for him. High on his list was a separate toilet room, so I incorporated it into the design. They kept their two sinks and separate medicine cabinets, mirrors and storage drawers. They both like contemporary styling, so that part was easy. And they both loved the mix of materials with the porcelain “wood” tile floor, the pebbles in the wet room, the frosted glass door, the textured wallpaper, contrasting with the smooth quartz countertop.

With advance planning and lots of conversation, pleasing both partners is definitely possible.

In my closet, I have several black garments— dresses, pants, tops and shoes. Black is most definitely a color that is always in style, and one that can be dressed up or dressed down, depending on what you pair with it. It’s such a versatile color, and since it works so well in a wardrobe, it also works extremely well in interior design.ICP_2933

Black is a favorite color for many interior designers. It’s bold, dramatic, and makes the other colors in the room pop. Black is sophisticated and elegant, and works with any design style from traditional to modern. If you look through design magazines, you may notice walls and ceilings painted black. This can really look stunning, but people can be afraid to try it, thinking it will make their rooms look small. Surprisingly, however, black has the counterintuitive effect of looking endless, like a midnight sky, so walls painted black will actually appear as if they are moving away from you. It’s a very interesting effect! (The same is true for navy blue, in case you were wondering.)

If you want to decorate with black, here are some tips for you. Conquer your fears and go bold with this wonderful color.

ICP_30141- If you decide to paint a wall or ceiling black, set it off with some stark white architectural details like crown molding, baseboards, wainscoting, window casing or chair rails. (By the way, you can also do the opposite— paint your walls in a neutral tan, and use black for the crown molding, window casing and baseboards. Its a great look!)

2- Incorporate an accent color to play off the black. Black is a great foundation color. Think of a black dress dressed up with jewelry or a colorful scarf or shoes. Try pairing it with lime green or hot pink or yellow for a playful look. Try red for drama, or stick with shades of gray and whites for a sophisticated, monochromatic look. Black (or very dark brown) floors and countertops are excellent choices as foundations for a room, combined with other colors for interest. In the bathroom photo shown, please notice how well the red accent color stands up to the high-contrast black counters and white cabinets. And in the bedroom, notice how the color scheme is repeated, but in a softer version, using charcoal gray instead of black. And in the kitchen, white, black and gray look elegant and timeless. The wood floors and taupe walls keep the room from looking cold.

3- Use silver, mirror or gold to add touches of glamorous elegance. Try a crystal chandelier against a black ceiling, or a mirrored dresser in your bedroom against a black wall or on top of ebony stained wood floors. It’s spectacular.

ICP_29744- Black can be used to tie things together. For example— let’s say you have some hand-me-down furniture that looks mismatched and haphazard in your room. Try painting them black— they will immediately look more cohesive and pulled together. This tip works well with mismatched picture frames too.

The key to using black successfully is to make sure there is some contrast to keep it from looking too dark and flat, and some warmth to keep it from looking too cold. Probably most importantly, decorating with black will take some confidence on your part. Don’t be afraid of this classic, sophisticated color— it really can look amazing.

Anna Jacoby is a local Certified Interior Designer. Contact her at 510-378-6989 or or You can also visit her website at

I recently went on a vacation to New England, where the fall foliage was magnificent. The beautiful oranges, reds and golds were truly a feast for the eyes. Let’s not underestimate California, however. In wine country, we have a fall foliage extravaganza of our own taking place right now. A weekend getaway to Healdsburg and Geyserville, featuring acres of golden-hued vineyards, was every bit as breathtaking as parts of New England.

Vineyards in Geyserville, Ca

Vineyards in Geyserville, Ca

Walpole, New Hampshire

Walpole, New Hampshire

Many of my clients prefer the warm, rich colors of autumn to cooler palettes of blues and grays. Those clients enjoy the warmth exuded by orange, red and gold. Warm colors tend to advance toward you in a room, so rooms decorated in a fall color palette feel cozy and comfortable—like a big hug.


This guest bedroom is a great example of decorating in autumn colors. We chose a mostly monochromatic orangey-brown color scheme, with touches of gold and bronze finishes. The wallpaper on all the walls wraps the room in color, and the doors trim is painted in a contrasting, yet still warm-toned Navajo White.

If you like the colors of autumn, you have many to choose from. Think of the seasonal fall produce for color inspiration: persimmons, pumpkins, butternut squash, red and green pears, sweet potatoes, pomegranates and golden and red beets. Notice the combination of leaves on the trees outside and pair your colors accordingly. Mother nature always gets it right.

For a monochromatic color scheme, choose one main color and decorate with darker and lighter versions of that color. For example, in the bedroom photo, you’ll notice lighter and darker shades of orangey-browns and tans in the bedding, carpeting, wallpaper and the wood tones in the furniture.

An analogous color scheme pairs colors next to each other on the color wheel. For example: yellow, orange and green. Imagine golden yellow walls, with an avocado or sage green sofa, and pillows in persimmon and pumpkin colors.

A complementary scheme combines colors opposite each other on the color wheel. Red and green are classic examples of complementary colors. For an autumn color scheme, combine deep forest green with pomegranate red, or the rich burgundy of red wine. Add touches of gold in the light fixtures or pillows to round out this elegant look.

In fall colors, your home will always exude coziness and warmth.

addartworkAre you wishing for some color in your rooms without having to paint your walls?  Try one or more of these tips to add an instant punch to your room.

1. Add artwork
Many homes I visit have empty walls with no art, or artwork that is too small for their walls. Stores like Home Goods, Ross and Bed Bath and Beyond have affordable artwork in all sizes. Add a large canvas print in vibrant colors over your fireplace, or above the sofa, or in the dining room across from the china cabinet. If you have a mirror above your fireplace, replace it with some colorful artwork. is one of my favorite sites for framed art—the choices are endless!

2. Dress up your windows
Blinds, shutters and shades are terrific for blocking light and providing privacy. But sometimes windows can look a bit naked. Here is where fabric can come into play. Adding decorative curtain panels to each side of a large window, or a valance to a kitchen window can really dress up those areas and add a lot of color and personality. I recently completed a master bedroom project where the clients already had white wood blinds on their windows. The wood blinds were just fine, but the room seemed a bit bare. I suggested custom stationary panels in a pewter color to blend with the bedding and new pillows. Their walls were painted in a light gray, and the darker tone of the fabric added texture and softness, as well as visual weight to the space. It was the perfect finishing touch.

cratebarrelpillow3. Add pillows
Since most people buy furniture in neutral colors, a great way to add vibrant color is by adding throw pillows. Pick up the colors in your artwork, area rug, or other upholstered furniture and your room will instantly have more personality. I love to pick my own fabrics and create custom pillows for clients, but I look for ready-made pillows whenever possible. Try Pier One or Crate and Barrel for a great selection of colorful pillows.

4. Add a rug
Even if you have carpeting, a large area rug can do wonders for a room. In my own living room, I bought a large 9×12 cream-colored area rug and laid it over my brown wall-to-wall carpeting. Even though it is not a vibrant color, it immediately lightened up the room and gave it a more polished look. In another recent bedroom project, red was our accent color, so we used golden tan paint on the walls, a cream coverlet with a red, green and gold paisley duvet, and a large beautiful red area rug. Without the rug, the room was pretty; with the rug, the room is gorgeous!

5. Reupholster a chair or bench
Almost anything can be reupholstered. Dining chairs, a living room accent chair, an ottoman, a footstool, a headboard—you get the idea. Take the opportunity to add beautiful vibrant color to wake up the room. For myself and for clients, I sometimes purchase inexpensive benches and ottomans at Homegoods or from, then select my own fabric and have them reupholstered.

6. Paint some furniture
Do you have an old dresser, headboard, or end table that could use new life?  Paint them in a vibrant color like red, or cobalt, black, or anything that strikes your fancy. A friend of mine purchased a small chest of drawers at a thrift shop and painted it gray. She uses it as a nightstand in her room with a navy accent wall and blue and gray paisley bedding. It looks great! For best results, hire a professional painter to spray the furniture instead of painting it with a brush. It will Look better, and have a longer-lasting finish that way.

7. Paint the inside of a bookcase
You may have seen photos of this idea—instead of painting the whole bookcase, try painting just the back of it. The color provides a nice backdrop for the books and accessories that will go on the shelves. You can also use wallpaper instead of paint.

8. Dress up your bed
Purchase a white, cream or light gray coverlet, then embellish the bed with a colorful duvet or comforter folded at the end of the bed. Finish it off with coordinating throw pillows and pillow shams. This is a great solution for someone who likes to change their bedding frequently, as pillows and duvet covers can be easily traded out for the seasons.

lampsplus_green9. Choose colorful lamps
This is a huge design trend right now. Have you seen the lamp bases in all the beautiful colors? Try You can get lamps in dozens of colors, shapes and sizes, paired with solid color shades or patterned shades. Picture a dresser or console table, with a large mirror above it, and two matching lamps in a vibrant color like orange or turquoise. Instant fun!

10. Add accessories
By accessories, I mean vases, dishes, bowls, trays, photo frames, even books with colorful jackets. How about a collection of blue, turquoise and green glass bottles in your kitchen garden window? Or a family photo collage all in glossy red frames? Or kitchen canisters and mixing bowls in lime green? A client of mine has a neutral kitchen, with a lime green KitchenAid mixer on her counter, a green tray on the table (holding napkins, salt and pepper), and green, orange and blue patterned dishtowels. It’s adorable!

luxurious dining roomA few weeks ago, I answered questions about paint colors. For this article, let’s talk about lighting. These are some questions I get asked all the time.

How high should I hang my chandelier above the dining table?

In general, the bottom of the chandelier should be 30-36” above the dining table. This allows for great illumination of the space, without the chandelier being too low or too high.

What size should my chandelier be?

To size a chandelier for your dining room, measure the length and width of the room and add those figures together. The sum, converted to inches, will give you the diameter of an appropriately sized chandelier. For example—if your dining room is twelve feet wide by sixteen feet long, add 12+16, to get the sum of 28. Convert 28 to inches. So twenty-eight inches would be an appropriate diameter for your chandelier. That said, you can make a really interesting design statement by selecting an oversized chandelier, or by hanging several tiny pendants in a cluster or in a straight line above a dining table. Use this measurement as a guideline, and then feel free to deviate from it, as you feel comfortable.

And speaking of chandeliers, they are not just for dining rooms anymore! You’ll see them in living rooms, bedrooms, over kitchen islands, and even bathrooms. Why not replace the ordinary ceiling light in your bedroom with a beautiful chandelier?

What are some other ideas for bedside lighting?

I love hanging wall sconces above each nightstand, or swing-arm wall lamps. Or why not hang pendant lights? These can provide great lighting, and also look very attractive.

I want to hang wall lights in my bathroom—how high should they hang?

Wall sconces hanging on either side of the vanity mirror cast the best quality of light in a bathroom. Usually, they are hung so the junction box is 60-66” off the floor. This is a general rule of thumb—you can adjust a few inches up or down depending on the height and style of the fixture, and also the height of the people using the bathroom. If one partner is tall, and the other is short, aim for a spot in the middle of both heights. The important thing is to have the lighting be at face height. Choosing narrower and taller fixtures is a good idea if the people using the bathroom are different heights. Make sure to hold up the actual light fixtures and see what looks and functions the best before having your contractor cut holes for the junction boxes.

Where should I place recessed can lighting?

In a kitchen, place them strategically where you need light the most. Generally speaking, place them 12-18” in front of the refrigerator and pantry and in front of upper cabinets. You will also probably want one centered above the kitchen sink, and definitely inside a walk-in pantry. You’ll also want to illuminate walkways through the kitchen.

In a living room, try to avoid placing recessed cans directly above people’s heads as they sit on the sofa—this casts very unflattering shadows on your guests!  Place lights on each side of the sofa instead of right above the sofa. And use 18”-24” from the wall as a guideline for placement. You can adjust this number as needed for function and aesthetics.

If you have beautiful drapes, wallpaper or artwork you’d like to highlight, install directional recessed cans closer to the wall. Usually 12” is a good number to use.

purple1Purple is a wonderful color. It combines the passion of red with the tranquility of blue, and the result is beautifully multi-layered and unique. Color psychologists have determined that purple is the color of imagination and spirituality. Purple promotes harmony of the mind and spirit, and helps to balance thought and emotion.

If purple is your favorite color, you are probably sensitive and compassionate, the person people come to when they need a friend and listening ear. You are probably also creative and unique, choosing home décor, clothing and hobbies that are unconventional. You are probably also quite spiritual, with an appreciation for the mysteries of the universe.

Given this information, purple is a great color to use for interior design. Dark eggplant purple can look rich and elegant, especially paired with silver, gold and glass accents. Light purples can look playful and cheerful, especially paired with yellows, pinks, and lime greens. Dark purple also looks terrific paired with dark greens and oranges (think vineyards during fall harvest), and purple combined with red, magenta and bright orange is extremely energetic and fun.

purple-bedroomA recent design project involved a master bedroom, which the homeowner, a lovely, kind-hearted and creative person, wanted to decorate with her favorite color- purple. I designed the space using various shades of purple, accented with a vibrant teal, for contrast and energy. The drapery and cabinet hardware and finish on the bench are silver, and the walls were already painted a very light silvery color with lavender undertones.  Small touches of teal (contrast piping on the purple satin comforter, one accent pillow, the beautiful mosaic mirror, and a glass vase) provide an unexpected splash of color.

I mixed textures and materials in the space for added interest: the chair and ottoman are velvet, the bedding is shimmery satin, the bedside lamp bases are purple beveled glass. And the sheer curtain panels have a metallic threads running through the fabric for a tiny bit of bling.

The result is a beautiful and luxurious bedroom retreat, a fitting place for my purple-loving clients.


In this column, I thought I’d share with you answers to questions that clients ask me all the time. I’ll focus on paint colors this week, and then tackle other topics in the weeks ahead.Pantone

Q. Won’t this dark color make my room look smaller?
A. Our goal should not always be to make the room look as large as possible. The goal should make the room look as good as possible. While a dark color might make the room look a little smaller, it will also add a lot of drama and warmth to the room.  If the color looks great with the furnishings and woodwork, then use it with confidence. Your room will only look smaller on the first day of painting. After that, you’ll get used to it, and your room will be gorgeous.

Q. Is white the best color for my baseboards and crown molding?
A. It’s true that most people in most situations use white for their trim work. It is a beautiful look that is almost never wrong. But, depending on the paint color and overall look you want, white might look too stark. For example, in one project, we used wallpaper in a burnished copper color. White crown molding looked too bright and stark next to it. So we softened the contrast by selecting Kelly Moore’s Navajo White for the base and crown. It worked beautifully. For a dramatic look, try pairing tan or taupe walls with black baseboard and crown. It’s really striking and attractive.

Q. Should I paint my room first or buy my new furniture first?
A. Whenever possible, buy your furniture first. There are many more paint colors than there are upholstery colors, so it’s much easier to match paint to fabrics than the other way around. When you order your upholstered pieces, ask to order a
swatch of the fabric also; you can use this swatch to select paint colors, draperies, flooring, and other furnishings.

Q. What about an accent wall? Are those still popular?
A. Yes and no. They aren’t quite as popular as they used to be, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t look good in particular situations. Painting the wall behind your bed, for example, is often a great thing to do. It can add a lot of punch to a space. But here are some rules of thumb for accent walls:

Choose a color that truly is an accent color. What I mean by that is that the color should be quite different from the surrounding colors. For example, if the surrounding walls are a light tan, your accent wall should not be a slighter darker tan. Go with a dark chocolate brown, or burgundy, or navy, or rusty red. In other words, really make it an accent!

Choose a large enough wall to accent. Some people get a little scared and paint accent color on walls broken up by large windows or door openings, for example. In this situation, there probably isn’t enough wall space to accent successfully. Accent walls should already be feature walls in a room—such as a fireplace wall, or the wall behind your bed, or the wall behind the sofa.

Consider the ceiling as an accent wall. Ceilings can provide a great area for bold color. For example, in my son’s room, his walls are gray, and the ceiling is red. And in my own bedroom, my walls are taupe and the center of my ceiling is navy blue. I love the look!

Design Furniture At Miart 2014 In Milan, ItalyQ. Dear Anna: We’ve recently painted our home and all our artwork is stacked up waiting to be hung. Do you have any ideas about how we can hang our art effectively?

I sure do. Hanging artwork properly is essential for creating a beautiful, comfortable room. Here are some tips:

  1. Select artwork that complements the style and mood of the room. Is the room modern or country-style? Is the color scheme peaceful and soothing or vibrant and energetic? These elements are clues as to which type of art would best suit the room. Try muted floral watercolors in a tranquil bedroom and colorful abstract paintings in a contemporary living room. You can certainly mix styles if you wish, but if you do, make sure the pieces relate to each other in some way—theme or color, for example.
  1. Hang large pieces first, and then fill in with smaller pieces. Make sure the size of the art fits the size and orientation of the wall. For instance, a long wide wall will accommodate a large horizontally oriented piece of art. A narrow wall would be best with a vertically oriented piece. Over a sofa, usually a large horizontal piece looks best, but two smaller pieces can also work well, as can a grouping of several smaller pieces.
  1. When hanging art above furniture, consider the size of the furniture piece. For example, a painting should not be wider than the sofa or chest below it. In general, a painting should be about 75% of the width of the furniture below it. And a good rule of thumb is to hang art so that the bottom of the frame is 6-10 inches above the piece of furniture.
  1. Be sure to relate the art to the furnishings in the room. A painting with some red in it will look great near a chair upholstered in the same red, if the theme is appropriate. When hanging art above a table, place something on the table that relates to the art in terms of color or theme. For example, a bouquet of sunflowers would look wonderful next to a watercolor print of sunflowers. And if you have an accent wall in your room, hang a piece of artwork on the opposite or adjacent wall that contains a fair amount of that accent color. That will help bring the eye around the room.
  2. Don’t hang pictures too high! If you have to look up to see the picture, it is too high. I won’t say hang it at “eye level” because it depends on the situation. The important thing is to relate it to the furnishings around it. In a dining room, the painting should be at eye level to people sitting at the table. In a hallway, the paintings should be at eye level when standing. Some pictures might actually be hung lower than eye level, such as under a lamp and above a nightstand. In general, my rule of thumb is to make sure the center of the artwork hangs at 60”-65” up from the floor, regardless of how tall you are. Start there and adjust accordingly.
  1. Usually art looks better than a mirror on a mantel. Mantels are often too high for mirrors to be effective. You do not want to reflect your ceiling in the mirror. Hang mirrors where they will reflect something attractive, for instance opposite a picture window or a piece of art.

Of course, artwork is so very personal, so please take don’t take this advice too seriously—if you love certain pieces, please hang them! Even if it “breaks a rule,” your home should make you happy.

Contemporary living room in earth tonesYou want to spruce up your home, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money. In this column, I’ll give you suggestions for how to improve the look and feel of your rooms without spending a fortune.

Entry: Let’s begin at the front door. Create a welcoming space for your family and guests. If your entry is too small for a table, hang a crownmolding ledge with a mirror above it to create a space for dropping keys and mail. An entry is a great place to try a bold color or wallpaper pattern, since it is a self-contained, small space. Wallpaper or paint the largest wall, or go for it and do the whole entry.

Living room: Blinds or shades on the windows are great, but to really finish off your windows, add some curtain panels on each side. They don’t need to close all the way; they are merely decorative, but boy do they add a lot to a room. The fabric will really add some softness, weight and color to the space. Use fabric in a color similar to the wall color to keep the room looking large and formal; use a contrasting color for a more casual, friendly look.

Instead of matching table lamps on either side of your sofa, update your lighting by installing wall sconces above the side tables. There are many plug-in varieties, so no hard-wiring is needed. Another option is to hang pendant lights from the ceiling right above the side tables. It’s a great look, and it also frees up space on the tables. This is a great look in a bedroom too.

Dining room: Most people have matching dining chairs, which is expected and certainly reasonable. But for a little more pizzazz try one of these ideas: Replace your head chairs with fully upholstered wing chairs or parson’s chairs. Choose a fabric and color that blends with your living room, so the chairs can be brought in for extra seating. Or reupholster your existing chairs in two different fabrics—one fabric for the side chairs and another for the head chairs.  As in the living room, add curtain panels to plain windows to add texture, color and softness.  Add crown molding to the ceiling to define the space, and paint or wallpaper inside the crown.

Bathrooms: Perk up a plain bathroom with large, colorful artwork. Pull a bold color from the artwork and paint the ceiling with it—you’ll love it! Keep the walls neutral. Repeat this bold color in towels and accessories.

Bedrooms: I love lots of pillows on the bed. I know it’s harder to make in the morning, but it sure looks pretty! For a queen size bed: Two Euro pillows (large square) in the back with decorative shams, then two standard pillows with decorative shams, then two decorative throw pillows, then one smaller rectangular pillow or round bolster pillow in the front. The pillows you use for sleeping should hide behind the Euro pillows. Please use sheets in coordinating colors! A cozy duvet or throw blanket (again, coordinating colors please!) can be folded at the foot of the bed.