You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Your Home: Makeovers

Cool changes

Update any space easily with these designer tips — and fresh products from New England companies. No contractor required.

“Striking wall art has the power to invigorate an interior, taking it from dull to dynamic,” says kelly Taylor of Kelly Taylor Interior Design in Providence. “The key to adding art is to create layered focal points and varied visual stimulation. As your eye moves through a series of rooms or walls, mix up the media. Black-and-white photographs can give way to subtle watercolors until the eye reaches one large, commanding textural piece.”

> Allegheny River, NY+PA by Sand T Kalloch, $3,400 through CasaDesign Boston, 460 Harrison Avenue, Boston, 617-654-2974,

Continue reading below

“Occasional furniture — a wooden chair, side table, or bench — in a bright color is a great way to introduce an unexpected jolt of energy,” says Kevin O’Brien of OBrien Design Group, based in Boston and Providence.

> Colt Lowback side chair, $680 at O&G Studio, 30 Cutler Street, Suite 130, Warren, Rhode Island, 520-247-1820,

“Light colors on the floor can make a room feel more spacious, make furniture feel lighter, and help reflect light back up,” O’Brien says. “But people are often afraid of dirt. Try a washable indoor-outdoor rug like a Magdalena York striped rug — it has a beautiful flat-weave construction and it’s impossible to stain.”

> Magdalena York striped rug, starting at $19 per square foot at Michelle Willey, 8 Union Park Street, Boston, 617-424-6700,

Continue reading it below

“Lighting can be used to divide a space visually,” O’Brien says. “I like to hang a series of pendants at different lengths to break up the visual horizon and conceal the spaces beyond.”

> Chelsea Pendant, $250 at Simon Pearce, 103 Newbury Street, Boston, 617-450-8388,

“Paint is the tried and true transformative tool,” says O’Brien. “For really dramatic changes in intimate spaces, try a deep tone with a high sheen level. Ceilings and floors are often overlooked as paint opportunities as well. A few coats of high-gloss enamel can bring new life to wood floors.”

> Quiet Home Paints, from $41 per quart at Quiet Home Paints, 95 Market Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire (by appointment), 603-493-2023,

“A bold rug added to a neutral palette can redefine the entire room,” says Taylor. “It doesn’t have to be large or extend under your existing furniture. If you have a simple sisal already, add a colorful graphic 5-by-8 rug on top.”

> Dash & Albert wool rug, from $95 at Neatly Nested, 373 West Broadway, South Boston, 609-923-4459,

Changing the shade on an existing lamp can completely revamp the look, O’Brien says. “Modern fabrics, trims, or a painted finish can update even a traditional lamp base. I like a shade painted a warm or bright color on the inside for a subtle hint of a bold color, or with silver leaf on the inside for a really sparkling dramatic effect.”

> Dunes and Duchess gold-painted lampshade, $160 at Hudson, 12 Union Park Street, Boston, 617-292-0900,

Send comments to

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of