Home & Design

In a Cleveland Park home, Tracy Morris designed a kids hangout with art by Matthew Johnson.

Checklist: Design

Tips to make your home feel more polished from Tracy Morris, principal of Tracy Morris Design

Several years after a major renovation, many of my clients think it’s time for another redesign. However, it often turns out all their spaces need is a little TLC to keep them fresh. After that special attention, homeowners may find they’re no longer craving an overhaul—and in fact have fallen in love with their homes all over again. Follow these simple tips to refresh your interior spaces:

LET THERE BE LIGHT—An easy trick to make your home look more polished is incorporating unique and interesting light fixtures. Think of lighting not only as a necessity but also as a way to accessorize your space. Look for a fixture with an interesting shape, design or finish. Also, consider the type of light bulb you use. Some LED bulbs give off a blue-tinged light that can make a home feel cold. Make sure your bulbs have a color temperature of 2700k or less; the higher the number, the bluer the tint.

LESS IS MORE—Minimalism is key to making your home feel put together. Choose furniture and accessories you need versus items you like. Don’t go overboard; your space should be customized with small pieces like coffee table books and artwork that make it yours.

COMFORTABLE + COZY—You can create an inviting feel simply by adding a few throw pillows and a beautiful blanket in your seating area. These items can be easily swapped out for changing seasons and holidays.

HANGING AROUND—Hanging curtains near ceiling level will create a luxurious and upscale look, and long swaths of fabric give the illusion that a room is larger than it is. In addition, by extending the curtain rod past the width of the window (so that just an inch or so of the curtain hits the window itself) you can make the window appear larger and increase the amount of light coming in.

DON’T FORGET TO LOOK DOWN—Area rugs impart color and character. They can make a space feel cozy and inviting and can be the final touch that pulls a room together. It is important to make sure that the size of your rug is proportional to the space you are using it in; too small a rug will make your space feel smaller than it really is. Also, when placing furniture on a rug, remember to leave enough space for the piece being used; for example, an area rug should extend at least two feet behind the dining room chairs.


Pro Tips

“Function comes first when picking window treatments: Consider light, climate, privacy and noise. The first layer should support your needs. The style enhances the view and design scheme.”
—LISA TULLAI, ASID, Annapolis Interiors

“When you’re seeking the perfect eclectic look, antiques and modern pieces can be a winning combination if you pay attention to balance, scale and proportion.”
—Gina Fitzsimmons, ASID, NKBA, Fitzsimmons Design Associates

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Designer Erika Bonnell harmonizes disparate visions—and a nod to nature—on a bucolic Leesburg estate
HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

The company also publishes an annual H&D Sourcebook of ideas and resources for homeowners and professionals alike. H&D Chesapeake Views is published bi-annually and showcases fine home design and luxury living in and around the Chesapeake Bay.

The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

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