Update nondescript furniture with light, modern motifs

Most of us want our homes to look up to date. And even those who favor fine antiques or period styles such as art deco are usually interested in knowing what sort of home furnishings are in fashion.

It’s actually not hard to stay current with interior-design trends because they come along less frequently than do clothing fashions. And at the moment quite a few looks are considered cool. In addition, an expression of one’s personality is viewed in our era as a perfectly acceptable style all its own.

Thus there are many ways to produce either a colorful or a subdued look and still be counted among the trendy.

Q: My small master bedroom is furnished with simple, light-colored maple pieces. Their style can best be characterized as nondescript.

Is it possible to give the room a more serene and modern look while keeping this furniture? The room contains a small lounge chair that could be re-covered.

A: You can achieve the look you want simply by taking the room in the direction already established by those light-colored pieces. Put a white slipcover on your lounge chair, for starters. And then buy an upholstered headboard, perhaps box-tufted, in the same or similar fabric as used on the chair.

Changing the carpeting would significantly affect the room’s appearance. I recommend a pale variation of celadon green. You could also add some accessories, lamps and accent pieces in white and celadon green. Any metal you might wish to introduce should have a silver finish.

The accompanying photo shows a modern bedroom design in the color combination I’ve just described. The wall covering, aptly called “Serenity,” comes from Graham & Brown (www.grahambrown.com). Its snowflake pattern in silver and celadon green would make even the most mundane furnishings look fresh and up to date.

Some new acquisitions will be needed in order to give your master bedroom a more stylish appearance. But updating a setting usually doesn’t require massive investments.

Rita St. Clair is a syndicated columnist with Tribune Media Services Inc. E-mail general interior design questions to her at rsca@ritastclair.com.

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