Home & Garden

How to boost curb appeal, make a statement in the bedroom, and more

Amy Brothers suggests designing a room that can have multiple uses.
Amy Brothers suggests designing a room that can have multiple uses. JOYCE COURTNEY

Amy Brothers

Amy Brothers Interior Designs, Fuquay-Varina

919-522-7022, amybrothersinteriors.com

My design signature: I want to create classic, timeless designs with a modern flair. My designs are warm, relaxed and inviting. Keeping it current but timeless allows a beautiful design to be both fresh and familiar. At the end of the day you should feel comfortable in your beautifully designed home.

Best advice for a curb appeal facelift: Paint your front door a vivid color. It does not have to be bright but needs to be bold enough to be seen from the street. Sherwin-Williams has a great website to visualize colors on the exterior of a house before buying. Pots of flowers and greenery by the front door also add a dose of interest.

Most underrated décor color and why: I love using greens as a neutral. It is soothing, calming and works well with many color schemes based on whether you want contemporary or traditional. I love Sherwin-Williams Conservative Gray and Ancient Marble. Choose wines, golds and navy for a traditional feel. Using black, teal or corals gives a contemporary vibe.

My biggest design disaster and what I learned from it: What could have been a design disaster early in my career was saved by a knowledgeable installer. As a young, ambitious designer, I was asked to create a complex motorized window treatment on a curved wall. I quickly learned I cannot be an expert in all design fields and should ask for assistance in areas that are unfamiliar to me. Thank goodness my installer was able to measure and assist me with the various aspects of the complex design I had envisioned. This could have had a financial impact on the job had it gone wrong, as well as impacting repeat business.

Best way to make a statement in a bedroom: I feel beautiful bedding is essential. After all, the bed is the focal point of the room. I love a coverlet since it has a pillow tuck to cover the bed pillows. I also like decorative pillow shams and a bed skirt. Instead of a ruffled bed skirt, try a tailored box pleat with banding or buttons to pull in the colors of the room.

Favorite source for quick design inspiration: Hands down go to the website houzz.com. It is easy to navigate based on design questions and needs. Another source is magazine websites like House Beautiful, Architectural Digest and Southern Living.

Best $50 décor refresher: Install dimmer switches. Being able to adjust the mood of the room will enhance your enjoyment of it. It does not require an expensive lighting system. A simple $20 dimmer switch or two will do the trick.

Best décor refresher for under $250: Art does not have to be expensive. Simple framed prints can add interest to any room. On your next trip, buy pretty post cards or prints and frame them to remind you of that special vacation.

Designer I admire: Alexa Hampton, daughter of the design legend Mark Hampton, is one of the most influential designers in America. I love the timeless approach in her line of fabrics and furniture as well as her interior design projects. She has written several books that give much inspiration to seasoned designers in addition to the average home owner. My favorite of her books is “Decorating in Detail” (Potter Style, 2013).

Mom cave vs man cave: I think a good question to ask yourself when planning the use of a room is: How will it be best used? Do you need a reading room, meditative space, a craft area, game room or theater room? Why not create a room with multiple uses that more than one family member will enjoy. We use smart phones, iPads and other technology so much. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a room to enjoy each other’s company?