Practical, smart ideas that are both doable and attractive
Produced by Rebecca Christian
"Interiors must be in harmony with their surroundings," says award-winning Washington, D.C., designer Skip Sroka . Sroka believes that a new house or room design should not look overly new; he prefers design that appears to have been in place for a long time.
In the following pages, see a dozen design tips from Skip, who is known for his uncanny knack for blending aesthetics with pragmatism. Whether it's making a small kitchen seem larger or adding interest to a ho-hum space, Skip offers doable and attractive solutions.
Adding texture with woven wall coverings surrounded by nailheads brings new life to this library.
Small alcoves can take on a much larger and grander sense of space by fitting them wall-to-wall with one concept, like this mural.
Install a low relief tile around your fireplace surround to give a new dimension of interest.
By using glass doors, tiling the full wall areas, and having the floor set in a more random pattern, this small and narrow service kitchen feels larger.
If you want to use a wallpaper whose seams may show, put it on the wall horizontally instead of vertically. Use small metal strips to define the seams, adding unique graphic interest to a small space.
Painting large stripes on the wall defines the space and makes a great background to showcase art and lamps.
The use of simple horizontal moldings in this narrow foyer gives it a larger feeling. Note how the small molding aligns with the center mullion of the window.
Achieve a sense of relaxation by keeping fabrics plain, a technique that was used in this inviting lake house.
Don't always do the expected. Here instead of a frame inside the area over the stove, a pattern visually expands the space.
Mix different textures. The smoothness of the polished lamp mixes well with the roughness of the stone. The geometry of the bronze table silhouettes well against the leather. The nailheads also create texture.
Keep simple spaces just that: simple.
Don't be afraid to mix the rustic-like these chairs-with the more refined.