Your top 10 decorating questions, answered!
Q: I'm sick of plain walls. Help me break out of my linen white rut.
We love this elegant combo
A dusty blue on the walls—Lounge by California Paints—contrasts with a black-framed mirror.
Bridges' design philosophy:
"Most things in life are beyond our control. What we choose to put in our home is not."
Q: Any tips for finding the best deal on a couch?
Q: The overhead light in my living room is so harsh. What are some other options?
Use a lot of table and floor lamps; the glow they cast is a lot more flattering than that from an overhead light. Play with heights by putting an interesting floor lamp on one side of a sofa and a small lamp on a table on the other side.
Mix standing and table lamps
Besides providing a good blend of light, they give visual interest to a room.
Let the couch breathe
Leaving at least 10 inches between the wall and sofa makes a room feel less cramped.
Q: I have a blank white wall in my small bedroom—and no idea how to decorate it. What do you recommend?
Frame a wallpaper sample
This is Bridges' own Harlem Toile pattern. Find it at sheilabridges.com.
Q: My apartment has no storage space. Help!
Look for a slim, nonclunky wardrobe. If you don't have a utility closet, keep cleaning supplies out of sight by looping everything over a sturdy hanger and covering it with a white garment bag. Hang it on a fun hook and let the bag fade into the white walls.
Let the storage blend in!
White storage pieces won't stand out against pale walls.
No bedroom closet?
A canvas garment bag keeps things chic and neat.
Q: How can I make my tiny apartment bathroom look cute?
Stripe your walls
Goodbye, blah bathroom! Search "paint stripes" on xomba.com to learn how.
Q: Any ideas for sprucing up my kitchen without a big renovation?
Replacing cabinet hardware adds interest, and a sunny shade of yellow on the walls or window shades brightens up a boring kitchen. In the spring, bring the outdoors inside with plants and trays of wheatgrass, stones or shells.
Swap in new knobs
Jeweler's, $6, anthropologie.com
More knobs, clockwise from top:
Tweet, $10, anthropologie.com; chrome, $3, Home Depot; Nouveau, $8, anthropologie.com
Q: Where can I put my TV without resorting to the dreaded (and expensive) entertainment center?
Art book look cuter than a TV table, and get the job done with flair.
All About Rugs
Consider inexpensive sisal or sea grass rugs instead of imitation Orientals (bad rugs are like bad hairpieces—only the person with the rug thinks it looks real!). Designer tip: Layer a small sisal rug over a larger one in a contrasting color. Research the options on sisalrugs.com, and check out other resources, such as ikea.com and crateandbarrel.com.
Q. Any other affordable flooring ideas?
Paint a "rug" in a solid tone on the floor using deck paint and tape. This works really well under a dining table, where crumbs would get ground into a real rug.
More rug resources:
• dashandalbert.com (They do great stripes!)
Negril rug, 4'x6', $134, dashandalbert.com for stores