New wall color. Try repainting your walls from the tired buttercream to a more neutral greige. We love Sherwin-Williams' Agreeable grey. Its still warm enough to handle the traditional accessories but cool enough to give the room a more contemporary feel.
A new rug. A small printed traditional beige area rug with olives and maroon colors can date a room quickly. Try replacing it with a more transitional rug. A large scale of pattern, a distressed look or even a simple jute or solid rug can do the trick. Layering textures is an easy way to create a contemporary look.
Modern mirrors. Remove the ornate heavy mirror and replace it with a lighter version. with either a lucite frame or a thin simple metal. Remember its ok to mix metals.
Edited accessories. A lot of homes decorated in the 90's still have the French country or Tuscan theme winding through it. It's ok to keep part of the decor. For example the hutch in the picture, when paired with a modern element such as a chrome chair the two work well together. We kept the traditional lines of the chair but used a contemporary material. Both French country and tuscan decor have a well traveled look to them; they can absolutely handle out of the box accessories such as this chrome and white chair. Just remember the pallet; gone are the maroons, olives and deep yellow. think mixed metals, matte brass, pewter, black and grey.
New light fixture. Nothing can kill a contemporary room like a rooster light fixture... A simple switch of the light fixture can do wonders. There are so many lighting resources available with low cost lighting solutions. theres no excuse. Again, mixed materials, lucite, brass, wire, chain, Edison bulbs, LED. Any of these will update a space quickly.
Its so easy, with just a few updates, you can breath a new contemporary life into your decor.
Lara DiCianno Assoc. AIA
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