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DIY Interior Design Tips: An Interview with Michael Hale of retailREHAB

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

retailREHAB is a full-service design/consulting firm who helps retailers, and commercial and residential clients make the most out of their spaces. I help people make their vision come to life. I help clients pull together spaces based on their own style, need and vision.

What are some interior design elements that can give a sophisticated or elegant feel to your home?

Editing. I think one of the biggest challenges for most people is editing out stuff! Clear surfaces, vignettes of books on coffee tables and one great lamp go a long way.

How can people decide if a specific furnishing from a catalogue/store is right for a particular room or space?

Be eclectic in where you get things. I find pairing a vintage coffee table from a flea market, a great sofa from Restoration Hardware with a great rug from IKEA make it feel less like a catalogue room. I will say that if you can, try to go into the store to actually "feel" what you want to buy from a catalogue. Things always look and feel different in person - sometimes better, but usually not what I expected it to look like.

What are some common color combinations that could work well in a modern house?

Charcoal with white and orange, or light blue with lime and a touch of fuchsia, but I must say that I am a huge fan of whites, with just little accents or pops of color.

What advice would you give to homeowners who are redecorating and want to create a comfortable, resort-like environment?

Search the Internet for "resort hotel lobby." It's amazing what you'll find and print up the pages of what you like. Start with white walls, sisal rugs and then add accents and accessories that you find from lots of different resources. A room looks best when it is pulled together from elements that are both vintage and new, and then adding a little fabulous item into the mix.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

I can be reached at

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