For this Chicago designer, the perfect room is full of unique details
Tom Stringer heads Tom Stringer Design Partners in Chicago, a multi-disciplinary design firm that specializes in creating client-centered interiors. Though he’s Chicago-based, Tom doesn’t let geography constrain his style. “My travels are my greatest inspiration,” he says. He’s known for trotting the globe in search of offbeat objects for clients as well as exotic ideas for his line of furniture and carpets, available through Texstyle, the furnishings manufacturer. 
When asked to describe the perfect room, he just laughs, “It’s not perfect; it’s got lots of quirky details.” Take Tom’s helpful tips and make them your own in the pursuit of creating beautiful rooms that suit you and your family—perfectly.
Make a bookcase more interesting and more functional—put a header above the bookcase and cut out an interesting shape.
Double up the mirrors in a small bathroom to create more depth—contemporary restraint and light reflectance make a room!
Need two vanities in a small bathroom? Use a cabinet with a bowed front and shallow sides to allow for more floor space.
Have a small bedroom? Put twin beds end to end and use a curtain to divide the space. Less floor space and more fun.
Use light fixtures at different heights for a unique look—doing that creates more depth and visual interest.
Grouping of insects makes fascinating art in a small foyer area.
This is a wonderful use for space under a bed. And a concealed step makes it easy to be a princess.
Add storage without compromising light. This kitchen cabinet, located in front of a window, has a glass front as well as a glass back.
Do you have attic space that you don't know what to do with? Utilize the eaves to build a child's playroom, complete with door and windows, entry gate, and even green carpet for grass.
Here’s an inexpensive way to get the look of wallpaper without the cost—simply paint a simple design that looks like wallpaper.
For an interesting looking railing, use a flat cut baluster instead of spindles. This one is a tulip-like form—so cottage!
Hiding a TV in a paneled wall has never been so easy. This one does a full 360 degree turn in a hidden space above a cabinet.
Hidden drawers under a stairway are a great use of unused space. Add coke bottle glass knobs for instant cottage appeal.
Meet Another Designer
Hungry for more decorating and design tips? Learn from Washington, D.C. designer Skip Sroka, whose doable and attractive solutions make sure interiors live in harmony with their surroundings.