I don’t have the creative genius to decorate my home as exquisitely as Designer ShowHouse 2013.
But I can steal ideas from the people who do.
The show house, a fundraiser for the Junior League of Akron, showcases the talents of interior designers and decorators who made over rooms in the 1933 Tudor Revival home.
They’re an ingenious bunch. They can disguise a room’s shortcomings and create one-of-a-kind decorative elements, sometimes on a shoestring.
Here are some of my favorite reproducible ideas from the show house. Feel free to steal them for yourself.
• The design team from Garth Andrew Co. — Jeff Andrew, Gillian Andrew and Stephanie Burklo — placed blown-glass orbs around their wine-theme basement to simulate the look of bubbles. Some were hung on a wall as part of a grouping with other art elements. (The globes had small holes in them, so they were simply hung from nails). Others were placed on shelves, stabilized by little adhesive, rubberized disks that acted as feet.
The globes the designers used were pieces of art glass a few inches in diameter, but you could get the same effect using ball-shape Christmas ornaments.
• The Garth Andrew designers also disguised the unattractive waterproofing on a basement wall by hanging a decorative sheer curtain over its entire length. Even though the solution was based in practicality, the curtain added softness and color to the space without the heaviness of a more substantial window treatment.
• Allison Perley-Harter of Perley Gates Art & Design added bling to a powder room by attaching jewels to a strip of fabric with hot glue and then gluing the fabric around the rim of the pedestal sink. Dabs of hot glue aren’t too difficult to remove from a hard surface like porcelain, so even if you didn’t want a permanently bejeweled sink, you could still dress it up for a party.
• Another special look for a plain sink: Fill it partly with small, smooth river rocks, as John Antro did in a small bathroom. Antro, of John C. Antro Interiors, also skirted the sink with a tailored covering made from menswear fabric that could be dry cleaned.
• Amy Douglass and Katie Heinz of the Interior Design Studio in Medina didn’t want to darken the living room more than necessary, so instead of installing window treatments, they placed planters filled with tall, curly branches in front of the two windows flanking the fireplace. The branches provided some privacy while still letting in light.
• Another window treatment option came from Denise Liszka of Kolour Kraft Painting of Ohio and Karen Starr of Hazel Tree Interiors. Both designers hung framed panels of translucent glass over bathroom windows for privacy, attaching hooks over the windows and chains to the tops of the panels. Starr used patterned glass, while Liszka created a faux stained glass window by laying a decorative piece of metal grate over glass and decorating it with stained-glass paint and shiny accents such as beads and glass shards.
• Liszka also installed framed fabric panels to add interest to the walls over a soaking tub. The benefit: When you redecorate, you can change the fabric easily. This wouldn’t work in a tub-shower setup, but it’s a nice option for a garden tub.
• Another idea for adding color and softness to a bathroom full of hard surfaces came from Suzanne Harvey of Suzanne M. Harvey Designs, who hung a curtain panel in front of the door of a utilitarian shower stall. Using a decorative tension rod means you don’t even need to fuss with a permanent installation.
• Can’t find a lampshade in just the right color? Paint it. That’s what Dan West of Dan West Interior Design did to match a paper lampshade to the orange accent wall in the family room.
• It’s typical to anchor a table and chairs with a rug, but Linda Russell of Russell Interior Design didn’t stop there. She layered smaller area rugs under the table to bring in the various colors used elsewhere in the room.
• Homasote, a type of fiberboard often used for soundproofing, can become a decorative pin board when it’s covered with fabric and hung on a wall with picture hooks. Elaine Woods and Karen Carpenter of Chez-Del covered three vertical panels with a kicky fabric and hung them side by side to cover much of a wall in a bedroom designed for a teen.
You can get your own inspiration by visiting Designer ShowHouse 2013, which is open through May 19 at 657 Ridgecrest Road. Tickets are $20, and hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Sunday, Thursday, Friday and May 18 and 19.
Mary Beth Breckenridge can be reached at 330-996-3756 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also become a fan on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/mbbreck, follow her on Twitter @MBBreckenridge and read her blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/mary-beth.