N&O Design Team

Consider the area rug first and the paint color last

February 2, 2013 

Cathy Calloway
Cathy Calloway Interior Design
919-906-8526 or cathycallowayinteriordesign.com

Five words that describe your approach to design: Collaborative, fresh, adaptable, livable, creative.

What element of design should come first - and why? Large area rug or largest piece of furniture should come first. It is easier to select upholstery fabrics to blend with a complex rug pattern than the other way around. Paint color should come last.

Best thrift-store find you’ve ever scored: A paneled old door. I had it cut down, antiqued it barn red, turned it sideways and used it as a headboard.

One foolproof rule for choosing art work for the home: Pick what you love! It should be in keeping with the room and other art. Of course, if your room is all neutrals, your art should be the “splash” and tell a story.

Favorite design blog: I am not a big blog user. I have used Houzz.com for clients. Periodically, I peek at desiretoinspire.net and cococozy.com for fun.

If you had $100 to spend on your home, what would you buy and why? A few gallons of paint. Paint the foyer, entrance rooms, powder room. Cheap way to make an impact.

What/who inspired you to become a designer? I discovered in high school I like to arrange things, create vignettes. One thing led to another, so I majored in design.

My hardware store must-have: Black and Decker lithium screwdriver/drill with a light. Of course, touch-up pencils and self-stick cushioned pads should always be handy.

Biggest design no-no: Being afraid to put color on walls for fear it will make the room seem too small. Color will make it 10 times more wonderful.

My best tip for do-it-yourself designers: Start with larger items and work down, mixing colors and textures. Don’t be afraid to get professional help if you get stuck or to give it the final pizazz it needs.

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