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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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