10 Questions Decorating Secrets from the N&O Design Team

Great design springs from creativity

April 5, 2013 

Angela Jones

Closet Factory, Raleigh 919-669-7988 or angela.jones@raleighclosetfactory.com

Design philosophy in 10 words: Creativity trumps money in creating the “wow” factor.

Best decor bargain I ever scored: Fabulous antique crystal chandelier found in a box on the floor of a thrift shop in Clayton – $120.

No-cost or low-cost way to improve kitchen cabinet organization: If you are designing a new kitchen, keep in mind that deep drawers function more efficiently than base cabinets with doors. In an existing kitchen, separate various categories of ingredients, equipment and utensils. Organize with drawer dividers, multi-sized plastic bins and cubbies. Arrange according to frequency of use. Adding pull-out trays is a huge improvement over stationary shelves in base cabinets.

Every child’s closet should have: Rods and shelving that your child can easily reach. With these, a child will begin to get ready for the day independently and become responsible for putting their clothes up at the end of the day. Include a hamper in the design. A child begin to appreciate the value of staying organized in every stage of managing clothing.

Every master bedroom closet needs: To maximize every inch of available space. The best time to start planning fabulous closets is before building plans are finalized. A few minor changes at that point can greatly increase storage and function. Most closets have tons of wasted space. Equally important is adjustability. Shelves, rods and other components can be moved, adjusted or removed to accommodate evolving needs. Favorite design blog: Houzz.com. I like the way it’s organized; you can designate any area of the house or any feature and find really creative solutions and pictures too. It’s a great place to get ideas.

Favorite repurposing project: Two current projects are tied. In one, I am repurposing a spare bedroom into a luxury custom closet with shoe wall and granite-topped island with velvet-lined jewelry drawers. In another, we are repurposing a spare bedroom into a study/home office with custom decorative wall paneling and desk. As part of this, we are converting the walk-in closet into bookshelves and filing cabinets with a printer station.

Biggest design no-no: Being misled by deceptive advertising. I am always on the lookout for a bargain, but you must always consider quality and customer service in your decision-making. The lowest price is not always the best value.

My best tip for do-it-yourself designers: Keep a file of rooms you like from magazines and online. After you accumulate a few, spread them out and you will find there is some common thread throughout. It might be a color combination, a mix of patterns or a specific decorating style. There will be something consistent in those pages that will give you a starting point in planning your design. Also, be on the lookout for interesting things everywhere you go. I am always on a treasure hunt!

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