These homeowners adhere to a philosophy they call design empowerment -- meaning, to borrow a familiar slogan, "just do it." If a room needs a splash of color, grab a few art canvases and slap some paint on them or create an abstract collage from colorful paper. Frame it, and it's original artwork.
His philosophy applies to hanging artwork, arranging accessories, and placing furniture. Do it when inspiration strikes, even if it isn't perfect. You can always go back and change it.
The liquor cart is a throwback to the cocktail hour aesthetic of the 1940s and 1950s. The artwork is homemade paint-splatter canvases.
When accessorizing the dining room shelf, the homeowners assembled flat, curvy, narrow, and wide shapes. Also try blending matte, shiny, and rustic finishes for textural interest. Mismatched hardback books become accents with this trick: Turn the jackets inside out.
This old plywood sign, from a nearby manufacturing plant, was a basement find. It not only pulls in the coral hue from the adjacent sunroom, it's also a great dinner conversation piece.
Like what you see in this story? As of 2006, the items featured in this story were available from these manufacturers.
Liquor cart, black candlesticks on shelf - West Elm; 866-428-6468; www.westelm.com. Goblets - Macy's; West Coast: 800-622-9748; East Coast: 800-456-2297; www.macys.com. Dining table and bench - Crate & Barrel; 800-996-9960; www.crateandbarrel.com (product line varies). Chairs, striped glasses on liquor cart - Hold Everything; 888-922-4117; www.holdeverything.com. Shelf - IKEA; in the United States: 877-345-4532; in Canada: 888-932-4532; www.ikea.com. Tripod floor lamp - Williams-Sonoma Home; www.wshome.com. Light fixture - Pottery Barn; 800-922-5507; www.potterybarn.com (product line varies). Dark wall paint Kilz - manufactured by Masterchem Industries, Inc.; 866-774-6371; www.kilz.com. Light wall paint Diverse Beige - The Sherwin-Williams Co.; 800-474-3794; www.sherwin-williams.com.
Continued on page 3: Living Room