Find the Light

Do you ever look around your house and wonder why you have such large windows but the room still seems dark? Most of my clients do this at some point. When I am working on their house their request is always, “please make my house look lighter, bright, and airy.” In the seventeen years that I have been doing this I have never had a request to make a room dark. I have painted two bathrooms in a Coco color but then we added a solar tube to keep it bright. It is safe to say that light, bright, and airy will never go away so keep pursuing the light in decorating and you can never go wrong. Last week we looked in on a St. Charles model dining room that found the light. So this week let’s take a peek into the living room of the same St. Charles model to see how it found the light somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Remove dark fabric cornicesAfter Image with molding looks bright! - Interior Design - in the Villages of Florida.
The windows were previously treated with dark fabric cornices that were installed below the transom windows. When light is shining toward the human eye, everything that is in front of the light becomes darker. The dark cornices drew the eye right to that spot on the window cutting the window down visually. If you are considering buying fabric cornice boards keep the fabric light. When I am choosing fabric for windows I always hold the fabric book in front of the window to see if the fabric stays bright or looks dark.

• Window Molding
We added large casement molding around the sliders and windows to frame them. To finish the windows we added white headers with crown molding. I like adding molding to windows for two reasons. The first being that white will always stay bright like the light that is coming in through the windows. The second reason that I like molding is the investment quality. There is no one who will ever buy a home with molding and decide they simply must rip it out! Fabric cornices are expensive and personal to the homeowner. The price that was charged for the previous cornices probably would have paid to have the windows finished in molding.

• Molding adds height
When the entire window is treated with molding the window looks larger! The window is not cut by the dark cornice so the optical illusion is that the window is higher and wider.

• Move china hutch
Last week we looked in on the dining room of the home. We showed you how we moved the buffet into the dining room to create space for dramatic art. This week you can see that we moved the buffet to the wall in front of the kitchen where the buffet used to live. The china hutch looks better in the living room space because it provides visual weight in the room. The visual heft of the china hutch balances against the large entertainment unit on the opposite side of the room. The china hutch needed some color to make everything inside pop, so I suggested that the homeowner buy large teal platters to stand up along the back of the shelving. This addition of color in the back of the china hutch made everything stand out and added color to piece.

• Large art
We added a large colorful picture to the wall beside the slider. The picture in the before was too small for the wall so we re-located it. Now the room feels visually balanced and the weight of the furniture is evenly distributed.

• New sofas
The homeowners purchased two new sofas in a soft teal and crème color. These sofas were semi-custom because they could choose each part of the sofa, from the style of the arm to the cut of the cushions, in a style that they liked.

• Two new recliners
The homeowners also purchased two new recliners. The chairs are a medium grey color that doesn’t darken as much as the former burgundy recliners in front of the window. Always try to order wall hugging recliners even if they are not hugging a wall. The wall huggers keep you from laying out into the walkway when reclining.

• New Rug
The homeowners purchased a new rug. The rug is a whopping 10’x13’ and that is hard to find! The rug is a mix of woven colors in the room and free of pattern but the woven colors pull the space together.

• New side tables
The homeowner purchased new side tables that were more to their liking than the ones in the before photo. The new tables have a shelf which is much more functional.

• Lamps
The homeowners purchased new lamps in teal-green glass. The light pouring in from the sliders makes the glass lamps look amazing even when the lamp is off.

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

Before and After Pics Below