How do I decorate a large empty wall space? My living room has a two story ceiling and a big beige wall.

From Carol

Oversized Chandelier from House Beautiful

Oversized Chandelier from BH&G

Many clients have this dilemma, especially those who live in newer homes. Contemporary builders like to open spaces up with two story living rooms or foyers, but that leaves expanses of undefined space. We have a few suggestions to try, depending on your room:

1. Paint can furnish a space. A richer color on the ceiling can help lower it to make the room more cozy. Also, a large featureless wall can be made more interesting with a warm paint color or wall texture (grass cloth or venetian plaster?)as an accent.

2. Add architectural details. Use crown molding to create a “picture ledge” around the room to visually bisect the walls. This should be at least 7-8 feet high or should correlate with window and door heights. You can display a few mismatched picture frames or an interesting collection (just don’t go crazy or start hanging fake ivy).

Faux Window with Raised Draperies from BH&G

Faux Window with Raised Draperies from BH&G

3. Raise the windows . . . But use an optical illusion. Hang your drapery rods a few feet higher than the windows to make them appear taller. You can even use a mirror above the window to “cheat” a transom window.

4. Go big. Hang an oversized dramatic chandelier to fill some of the empty air space. You can see it from every angle of the room and it interrupts the line of sight to the naked wall. You can also use mirrors here to creatively reflect the showpiece light fixture. Another obvious way to go big is to hang BIG artwork, but think about installing it off center for more asymmetrical interest.

Picture Ledge on Walls from House Beautiful

Picture Ledge on Walls from House Beautiful

5. Think vertically. Try to add some taller pieces of furniture, like bookcases or an armoire. If all the furniture is low, the walls will seem more ominous. Also, hang vertically formatted artwork or stack artwork vertically. (Okay, I am now done using the word “vertically”)

Off-center Large Painting from House Beautiful

Off-center Large Painting from House Beautiful

As always, for more ideas making your space cozy, give us a call! Or send your design question to help@sparkinteriors.com.

Happy Folk Art Created By An Elf…Really

Happy Folk Art Created By An Elf…Really

Shari Elf is the wonderful artist who creates these one-of-a-kind treasures in her little studio in Joshua Tree, California. By combining bits of, found objects, assorted junk & jewelry, Shari makes what she likes to call “Good and Sturdy Art.”   Her witty titles and captions elevate each piece into a combination of folk art and storytelling. [...]