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Creative couple gets vivid, funky place to entertain

Ava and Dave are in the process of reinventing themselves. Ava is an IT consultant-turned-standup comic, and Dave is a real estate agent who is trying his hand as a rapper.

They have been married for five years but have spent the last few years living apart. They recently bought the home of their dreams, a 1960s-style bungalow, where they can finally be together and launch their new careers.

The problem was their old-fashioned — and minty-green — living room. It’s the first space you see when you enter the house and the couple was desperate to bring it up to date.

Dave sent me a little “design rap” to entice me into working on the project, and I couldn’t resist his rhymes. So I gathered my crew together and got ready to give Ava and Dave a space that is as creative and unique as they are.

The two performers enjoy a bit of drama, so I decided to give the room some retro glitz and glam: Rat Pack with a modern edge. I kicked things off by trading in the green walls for something more neutral and swapping out the old carpeting for some new wide-plank flooring.

I chose an ultracool color scheme of retro black, cool white and fiery red with a large dose of sparkly silver. I selected a fantastic black-and-red koi-inspired fabric as the jumping-off point and used it on a few chairs and pillows. I then put hot red silk drapes on the windows, cool black patent leather on a club chair, warm red upholstery on a large sofa and a black-and-white caviar-inspired fabric on a comfy chaise lounge.

Next, I got to work on the focal point of the room: the huge fireplace. I gave the existing unit a complete face-lift by covering up the old brick hearth and mantle with glittering ebony quartz.

For extra bling, I covered the surround with silver-dollar-sized stainless steel tiles that add a real Vegas vibe. I then painted the wall adjacent to the fireplace in horizontal silver and pearl stripes for added sheen.

Above the fireplace, I built out the wall for a new flat-screen television and installed speakers in the ceiling where they will barely be noticed.

For extra drama, I installed over-the-top lighting. In addition to traditional recessed lighting in the ceiling, I put up two sparkly crystal sconces over the fireplace and some lights at the sides of the fireplace, which will shine out horizontally onto the striped wall.

As a high-tech finishing touch, I installed a total room lighting-control system; it comes with a wall-mounted control panel that will set the mood for any lighting scene our couple requires — all with the touch of a button or wireless remote.

After adding final accents and accessories — a couple of area rugs, a few mirrored tables, artwork and colorful throw pillows — the space was finally transformed.

This once-minty-green living room was stuck in the ’60s no more. Thanks to vivid colors, funky fabrics, a fantastic focal point and out-of-this-world lighting, the room is now modern, sleek and sophisticated. And it is the perfect place for a creative and entertaining couple to create and entertain. How divine!

Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Divine Design.” For more ideas or information visit www.divinedesign.tv. Her column is syndicated by Scripps Howard News Service.

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