DeCocco Design, Raleigh
919-612-6464 or DeCoccoDesign.com
Five words that describe your design philosophy: Updated, creative, detailed, colorful, personal.
Your favorite recycling/repurposing/craft project: Use a hollow-core door from the ReStore (costs about $5) to create a laundry room counter, using some edging veneer, stain and polyurethane. It looks fantastic and is a wonderful example of sustainable design.
Best way to spend $100 for maximum decor impact: Purchase an old side table or bench from Craigslist or the flea market something with great lines, ornate carvings or substantial size. Paint with an unexpected color for an eye-catching accent in any room.
Favorite design blog: houseoffifty.com. Its a great mix of interior design, fashion, food and more.
Fun design twist for a nursery: Graphic wall paper on one wall acts like a mural. Paint the ceiling something other than white, as that baby will be looking up.
Your favorite window treatment: Nothing transforms a room like full-length drapes. They frame the window and add warmth and polish. Look for timeless fabrics in updated colors so that youll love them forever. Make sure the panels are lined. Lining protects the fabric, adds insulation and makes the drapes hang beautifully. These details are the stock and trade of every interior designer, and everyone can benefit from them.
Best way to dress a window over the kitchen sink: A stationary roman shade is an easy way to add interest. Use a fabric with pattern and/or colors that tie into adjoining rooms to give a nice flow throughout the area.
Your rule of thumb for mixing old and new: Mixing old and new is the best way to prevent a flat decor. Start with one piece that will be the main player in the room, like an old oak chest of drawers. Add an upholstered chair that has oak legs, and throw on a silk accent pillow. This pulls a common element the oak together. Put a favorite collection on top of the chest, along with a mercury glass lamp. Now, youre mixing textures rough, smooth, sparkle and shine.
Biggest design no-no: Choosing inexpensive furniture with that dark espresso finish; it shows every nick and scratch and ages poorly. Invest in real wood, even if it means heading to the thrift shop (where there are wonderful bargains on well-made items).
My best tip for do-it-yourself designers: When undertaking any project, do your prep work and take your time. Good design doesnt happen overnight.