Published By: Leon Tuberman
Friday, May 24, 2013
French-inspired decorating has been taking over American homes for centuries.
It’s lavish detail, attention to intricacy and pure romance make it the perfect
addition to any residence. For women, ease and convenience, especially when
getting ready, can make a home feel like a Parisian boutique hotel room.
However, one of the biggest additions that many Parisian women have that
American women lack is a dressing table or make up vanity.
What is a Dressing Table’s Purpose?
No longer considered a “stock” need, you would be hard-pressed to find a home
that has a built-in, modern dressing table. Today, women tend to get dressed
hopping around on one foot while wobbling to the bathroom. Something is lost in
the art of getting ready these days. Standing on two feet while leaning into a
mirror doesn’t make beautifying ourselves the fun canvas and artistic
expression it should be.
So, if there is one element of European design you are considering working into
your master suite- make installing a dressing table or a make-up vanity the
prime choice. Creating an environment for you to enjoy the process of getting
party or work ready, encourages you to slow down and take your time when
preparing for the day it is the dressing table. It can reduce stress, and
result in a better outcome. Here are some ideas which will let you transform a
dull closet or bathroom space into a dressing area to die for.
While installing a dressing table may seem like an expensive endeavor, it
really isn’t. If you don’t mind forgoing the built-in aspect of a dressing
table, you will find that you can make a beautiful dressing table from
re-purposed furniture. First, look for a dressing table at thrift stores that
has unique details such as curved table legs- i.e. “good bones”. Then give it a
fresh coat of white paint.
The accessories will be what make this dressing table romantic. Look for a
beautiful mirror to hang over it. Also, look for mirrored make up brush
holders, a hand-held mirror, or a few colored bottles full of perfume, lotions,
and cotton balls or make-up remover pads. These small additions make all the
If you happen to have a large master bedroom space that seems to feel empty
consider installing a wall of built-ins. As the center of attention on that
wall, have a vintage or custom made vanity table installed. Be sure to hang a
mirror overhead and install small chandeliers on either side for soft make-up
application lighting. The shelving surrounding the dressing table can be filled
with damask patterned cotton or woven baskets for storing scarves, hats,
gloves, and belts. Leave some of the shelves open to display clutches, favorite
jewelry and your favorite shoes.
Depending on your budget, you can buy built in shelving units at warehouse
style retail stores or you can hire a custom shelving company that will fill
the space perfectly. Either way, when you create a private and personal area for
getting ready, your bedroom becomes less of a place to sleep and more of a
place to enjoy while you get ready for another fun date night.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Wainscoting doesn’t just look elegant, it simply is one of the world’s oldest
forms of custom-made decor. Before built-ins and factory grade wood, elegant
moldings, paneling, chair rails and the like were often carved out of marble.
The more elegant and rare the wainscoting, the better. Originating in 16th
wainscoting came from humble beginnings, but nowadays it is synonymous with
higher-end homes, restored bungalows, and the casual elegance that every home
The Humble Beginnings - The Band-Aid of Wall Coverings
Originally wainscoting wasn’t the status symbol it is today. In fact, it was
used as a mask to cover up unwanted dampness in the lower part of the wall by
early English homeowners. In a climate where rain is the most common forecast,
it was a problem that would often crop up. Today, homeowners have better ways
to deal with accumulation of wetness, but back then improper insulation,
plumping, and poor drainage led to the invention of wainscoting for private
residences. Since then, it has become less of a moisture-hiding band-aid and
more of an element of prestige.
Once people caught on that the look of wainscoting could completely transform a
room they began wanting the panels to stretch even higher. The average height
of full paneled wainscoting skyrocketed from 42 inches high to 72 inches high
during the 1900s. A lot of homes built during this era have dining rooms with
near floor to ceiling wainscoting. This is one way to transform a dull dining
room into something worthy of an English manor even today.
Types of Wainscoting: 3 Different Levels & Styles
In days of old, marble and cloth were the two materials of choice for
wainscoting. Depending on the room and the practicality of the materials, these
were often debated upon and chosen between. Obviously linen and cotton would be
the more inexpensive choice, so even the material of your wainscoting could be
a reflection of your status in bygone eras.
Today, however cloth and marble wainscoting are nowhere to be found. Both are
rather ridiculous material choices for wear and wallet. Instead, today you can
find yourself choosing between wooden raised panel, flat panel, and bead board.
Raised panel wainscoting is perfect for colonial style homes that prefer a
For modern or mission style homes, recessed or flat panel
wainscoting works best. It offers a clean, simple look, and flat paneled
wainscoting works well for Arts & Crafts inspired styles as well. Bead board
is the choice for shabby chic decorators, cozy cottages and cabins.
Wainscoting Installation: DIY or Don’t Even Try?
Depending on the intricacy of your moldings, the measurements of your
installment, and the number of pieces to be put together, a wainscoting project
can wear on even the most handy of souls. If you choose tongue and groove
molding, or an intricate crown molding that requires a lot of fitting, cutting
and measuring it is best to leave the installation to the professionals.
While it may be a bit more costly, the finished look will be even and
streamlined. A professional job will seem like it was always meant to be
married to that wall. As a DIY job? You
may be more inclined to see your installation imperfections. No matter what
your style is, if you are looking to add an element of warmth and elegance to
your home- wainscoting has been dong that job well for centuries.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Do-it-yourself projects always begin with the best intentions. However, if you
are taking on any DIY project, especially one that you have never attempted
before, it can create when mistakes cause you to redo the same work repeatedly.
Getting DIY projects right, may take a little patience and a lot of trial and
If you are a beginner DIY-er it is best to start with projects that don’t cost
you a lot of money up front. Here are a few ideas for DIY home projects that
can keep your overhead price down, but your imagination up to the fun task of
creating customized pieces, again and again.
Magnetic Make-up Board
You have your makeup thrown in a big cosmetic bag, floating in a box, or
separated into several different plastic baggies. It’s no wonder you can never find the plum
shadow you love or the high-end blush brush you put a down payment on.
Sounds like you? Then you may be in the market for a magnetic makeup board.
Perfect for those cosmetic counter junkies, this project will keep all of your
items in sight and will enable you to use all the colors you own, without them
being covered with junk or lost in the abyss of the bottom of your disorganized
-Your existing makeup collection
-A magnet board
-A yard of fabric you love
-An old frame from thrift store (make sure it is big enough to be a surface
space for all of your makeup
- small round magnets that can fit discreetly on the back of an eye shadow (look
for these at the dollar store)
-glue gun and glue
Directions: Cover the magnet board in your fabric of choice. Glue it tightly to
the back of the magnet board with a hot glue gun. Add the frame that you got at
a thrift store- make sure it matches the fabric choice or paint it for some
added customization. Glue the individual round magnets to the back of each
makeup container. Glue magnets onto the back of small canisters to house your
make-up brushes with ease.
Suitcase Side Table
Cost: $25 (Budget this amount for the cost of the suitcase, stool, and
paint- go the thrift store route if you can)
If you want a nightstand but don’t want to buy a new one to the tune of
‘too-much’, then make your own with a vintage suitcase and an old bar stool.
-Paint for stool if not right color
Simply place the vintage suitcase on top of a three-legged stool. You can
attach it with Velcro strips if you have kiddos running around, or simply use
the stacking method if it seems sturdy enough. Decorate the top with a vintage
lamp, a few antique books and a small vase of roses. This look is timeless as
well as inexpensive. Both of these projects are perfect for beginner DIY-ers
because it gives them the confidence in their ability to re-purpose second-hand
items with style.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
There is something stark about a naked window. Cool light filters in through
sterile glass and creates a prime environment for blandness and faded furniture
and carpets. One of the simplest ways to make a home feel complete is to
incorporate some well-thought out window treatments.
Whether you choose dramatic drapes, easy-breezy sheers, or a quirky valance-
you will be surprised at how such a seemingly small detail can make your home
feel finished. Here are some ideas that can get you on right track towards
dressing up those poor, blank window sills.
Simple Yet Stunning: Go Bold and Go Striped
Floor length drapes are exquisite. They are as much of a big window staple now
as they were at the turn of almost every century. Evolving from heavy, velvet draperies
to fun and funky, today’s cotton materials can fit into any home. The key is
choosing something that has personality as well as purpose.
Pattern ideas? You can never get a bad window design from a simple striped
drape. Choose horizontal, chunky stripes to modernize the plain, ho-hum lateral
pin-stripe. Look for fun colors like olive green, orange, and navy blue to
drive home an accent color.
It is best to choose one bold color and then layer that
stripe with a neutral linen, cream or white strip to break up it’s brightness.
The balance of white and color will make the curtains seem fresh and fun. Be
sure that the material you choose allows light to filter in yet still keeps a
room fairly dark in the evenings or on particularly sunny days. Cotton and
linen are your best choices.
If your room is very neutral and lacks pizzazz, a couple of panels of highly
contrasted curtains ought to do the trick. Be sure they are bold, like a modern
native American inspired hatch-print or a bright white honeycomb pattern
against a brown wall. You want the curtains to pop, so make sure you choose
panels that are in your color scheme but that push the color envelope just a
bit. If you have large windows, break up the panels into fourths. This will
give the panels room to breathe between the widows they are complimenting.
Perhaps the price of drapes is what is keeping you from installing them. The
best way to get a good deal on window treatments, is to get multiple bids. Even
though getting bids may be something reserved for larger construction jobs, it can
be the one thing that will allow you to choose an affordable treatment. If you
don’t want custom made drapes, then consider making them yourself. There are a
wealth of online tutorials on how to sew, stencil, and hang your way to a
better dressed window.
Establish the Need: Privacy or Personality
No matter what color or style you choose, you first need to decide what your
need is. If it is privacy, make sure you choose curtains that have excellent
coverage. Whether panels or blackout blinds- you don’t want to get treatments
that are going to look good but serve no purpose. If you don’t need coverage,
or even for them to fully close, then be sure to choose a fabric that is
bursting with personality to really frame the picture that is your home’s
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Monday, May 20, 2013
The basement can be the biggest eyesore in your home, or it can be that hidden
gem that leaves people breathless when they leave. Whether you turn an
unfinished basement into a sprawling master suite, a wine cellar plus tasting
room, or a state of the art game-room, there are many different ways to make
your basement the belle of the ball.
The first step is to decide what needs your home has. After you identify holes
in it’s floor-plan then you can accurately move forward with making into the
best use of your basement space. Here are a few ideas to get your inspirational
The Master Suite is Sweet
Some designers disagree on turning your basement into a master suite, they
regard a basement master suite as a negative selling point, while others simply
say it matters on the market you are in and how you transform the space. If you
live in an area that has a lot of split level homes or in the city with town-homes
very tight on square footage, there is no reason to not use the biggest space
available for a master suite. It will be a unique selling point and can set
apart your home from others in the neighborhood with the same floor plan.
Before you proceed there are some things you must consider. First, be sure you
have enough room for the basement master to have an en suite. If this means you
plumb it for a shower and tub to create a full bath- then you must do that. No
master bedroom is complete without one. Also, you will want to make sure you
can keep it warm year round, even if you have to install a pellet or wood
burning stove or bring in an electric fireplace.
Another must? Be sure you have plenty of light coming in.
Most successful basement master suites are semi-above ground, or have a lot of
natural light pouring in from windows.
A Wine Cellar is Divine
Basements have the perfect temperature and room values to house bottles of wine
so they can age comfortably. With less light than any other area of the house,
the temperatures are also below normal making it perfect for creating a
marvelous cellar. Include a tasting room if you have the space, with a granite
bar and bar stools.
For an added flair of yesteryear, bring in an old record player or consider
installing a separate space for a cigar room. No matter how extravagantly or
simply you envision your wine cellar, you will always get thumbs up from buyers
and real estate agents when it comes to resell. Be sure that you decorate in
dark colors, warm leathers, and have dim, but welcoming light.
Game On! A Basement Turned Game Room
If you live in a neighborhood that has a lot of kids or teenagers, or your home
is in a price bracket that will appeal to adults with older children- a game
room is too enticing. There is nothing more efficient for closing a house sale
than appealing to a crew of unruly teens. Invest in a gorgeous felt pool table,
flat screens, and a gaming station. If you choose to make this your basement
renovation, you can sit back and feel certain that you will make money on your
resale if you cross that bridge in the future.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Friday, May 17, 2013
The master suite should be your private escape. Whether it’s a traditional
master with more square footage and a full en-suite or it’s identical to the
other rooms in your home, it needs to be the place you reboot. For parents,
worker bees, and the newly retired- you deserve a place to feel romantic,
sprightly, and young again.
Lighting plays a huge role in romance. Chandeliers, low wattage bulbs, and sexy
drum lights can either improve or ruin the mood in your master. If you are
looking for ways to make your bedroom less of a place to sleep and more of a
place to connect with your significant other- these lighting tips can transform
a dull bedroom into a romantic getaway.
Romance Lighting Rule #1: Sometimes 1 Isn’t Enough
Depending on the size of your master bedroom, you need to have enough light to
make it feel cozy and glowing. If you only have a single overhead light hanging
from a ceiling that is large enough to house 3 chandeliers, then you may need
to make adjustments. The trick is to create a room that has fewer shadows. A
shadowy room can seem cold and uninviting, but a bedroom that has every corner
dimly lit, encourages a canoodle or two.
If you have the budget to rework your electrical supply and have a rectangular
sized room, consider hanging two lights from the ceiling instead of one. The breaking
point between the two will allow every corner of the room to shine just the way
it should. Make sure to put them on a dimmer so that you don’t overload the
room with too much illumination. You want it to be subtle and relaxing, not
feel like aisle eight at the supermarket.
Romance Lighting Rule #2: Floor Lamps Flourish
If you don’t have the budget to install new overhead lighting or add to the
existing ceiling wiring, then why not add floor lamps? The best way to make a
room seem romantic is to get two identical lights for either side of the bed.
If you can find some that are on their own personal dimmer switches, that is even
better for bedroom bliss.
Look for lamp shades that have romantic patterns, like damask or chevron. If
you don’t like the look of patterned lights, then why not opt for a chandelier
floor lamp? Drum shades that have intricately beautiful crystal inner-workings,
have the amazing ability to transform a bedroom into your own private boudoir.
A little too ‘red light district’ for you? Plain drum shades of linen material
are low-key but still project a neutral romantic glow.
Romance Lighting Rule #3: Candelabras are Cupid’s Lighting Choice
With so many candle-lit chandeliers these days your head may be spinning with
options. Inspired by days of old, when candlelight was the only way to see one
another after sunset- you can choose to install a wrought iron candle
chandelier or simply paint the one you have. If you like the rustic look,
consider adding one of those pillar candle lamps. They really resemble a line
of candles complete with flickering electric wicks and all. Sweet dreams!
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Water features are a little slice of some far-off heaven in our own backyards.
Their sounds soothe and their aesthetic adds a zen element to an otherwise
boring lawn. However, perhaps what is the most beautiful part of backyard ponds
is the foliage that begs to be planted alongside it. Some of nature’s lovliest
blooms do best in a water rich environment.
If you want to load up your water feature with Koi fish and lure a few
bullfrogs- by all means, but the flowers will be the icing on your aquatic
“cake”. Here are some of the most beautiful plants to ever grace the edges of a
man-made pond. Choose wisely my friends, as these plants have the ability to
make or break those dreams you’ve been having about a watery getaway within
your own lot.
Bog Plants that Soothe: Arum Lily & Indian Rhubarb
If you want your pond to look less run over by scum and more intentionally
designed, plant a few of these gorgeous flowering bulbs. For starters, every
pond deserves to have some classic lilies. The Arum Lily is perfect for wetland
area and grows up to four feet tall. Be sure that it gets plenty of sunlight
for if you do, there will be gorgeous long-stemmed white lilies shooting out of
your pond by the dozens.
If you like the more natural pond look, why not opt for Indian Rhubarb? Purple
when it flowers, also called the Umbrella plant, it’s small buds look like
small feathers. It is also perfectly content in dappled shade or full sun. So,
if you have a pond that experiences different amounts of light throughout the
day due to overhanging trees this may be the flower for you. It can grow up to
6 feet tall, giving some much needed height to a pond that may seem sunken.
Bog Plants that Wow: Siberian Iris & Candelabra Primrose
If you are looking for pockets of intense color around your pond, you should
look no further than these two. The Siberian Iris is deep purple with blue
edges and golden freckles near the center. It opens up to be a butterfly shaped
bloom and looks especially appealing with morning dew or rain on it’s tendrils.
A showstopper for sure, if you want drama in your backyard- an iris can handle
the role with the utmost in elegance.
If you want color, but prefer a plant that has a little less of a stage
presence, you should look into the Candelabra Primrose. More of a ground cover
or pond wall hider, primrose only grows 18 inches tall. Its cluster of bright
pink buds make any pond’s edge look like it’s sprinkled with a little magic
Bog Plants that Make You Smile: Leopard Plant & Globeflower
If you want a little happy in your peppy pond, then you want to plant something
that begs you to smile. Bright yellow blooms from the Leopard Plant and
Globeflower do just that. The Leopard Plant has scepter shaped buds and can add
a regal edge to a pond needing some dimension. The Globeflower has rich
butterfly buds that explode onto the scene in dozens of bright yellow layers.
Either one is an excellent choice, but together they really add some sunshine
to any cloudy day.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The appearance of the modern bathroom is becoming more and more like something
out of a sterile glass museum, and less and less of a washroom per se. With
freestanding glass sinks, waterfall faucets, and “no-touch” motion sensor
activated hot and cold sink knobs- it seems that the bathroom is turning into
more of an oddly inspired outer space loo instead of a cozy, getaway for
bubble-baths and hot showers.
For those who live in restored bungalows or farmhouses and
love the look of their by-gone era bathrooms, with no wall-mounted handle-free
spouts in sight, restoring original hardware instead of replacing it altogether
may be the best option.
If you love the history that your bathroom holds but want a little more modern
convenience, you don’t have to throw out those original details with the
bathwater. Instead, here is a guide which will help you decide whether your
original fixtures are worth restoring by yourself or if you need to hire a
professional. Either way, with so much of the modern design world taking over
historical elements- it is well worth discovering if your bathroom fixtures can
remain a part of your home.
Is Your Bathroom a Candidate? Instead of Replacing, Refinish
You may have begun the search to replace your old original faucet because it
has begun to work less than perfectly. However, in your search you may have
found that purchasing high-end knock offs of original looking fixtures cost a
pretty penny. You may have thought that reproductions would be cheaper, but today’s
reproductions look so close to the real thing it’s almost as if they charge you
extra for their ability to trick your eye. Not only can reproductions cost a
lot, but installing them into an old plumbing system can sometimes prove to be
If you have considered replacing your existing faucet or knobs but have come up
dry, then think about refinishing them instead. If your exiting hardware is in
great condition all you will need is a do-it-yourself refinishing kit from your
nearby hardware store. While the kit can cost upwards of $150 it is well worth
the investment to save your existing hardware. However, you will also need a
small fan for ventilation from the stripping fumes and a lot of patience to get
that desired high-gloss look that was originally part of the look.
When to Hire a Pro? When You Shouldn’t Attempt it Yourself
However, if your fixture isn’t in good shape, you may need to hire out the refinishing
job to a professional. For instance, if you have noticed pitting or really
rough surfaces on the fixture itself, those are near impossible for a novice to
remove. A professional with have to bring in a pro-grade sander and tools to do
away with years of build up and surface distortion.
If you also want the glazing to appear brand new, then you may need to have a
professional resurfacing franchise handle the heavy lifting. The process can
not be handled in the privacy of your own home; the hardware needs to be
transferred to a facility near by. Whether you choose to try to do it yourself,
or hire a company that has done this hundreds of times- there is a lot to be
said for restoring original elements in an older home. While it may not be
convenient, the end result is well worth the time and money.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The word custom is a loaded one. Chock full of hidden costs, anything custom
simply means you will be paying way more than manufacturers do. For some,
custom is the utmost in elegance. For others, custom is just another word for
overpriced. If you have a great eye for design and are working with a stock
cabinet budget, there are some simple tips and DIY ideas to turn those
lackluster storage units into something that glossy magazines would photograph.
Skip Custom Cabinets, Go for Custom Shelving & Trim
Custom cabinets are not necessary. Whether you have cabinets already in and are
looking for ways to make them more complete, or you are in the market for brand
new cabinets, but know you will have to go the stock route; save those extra
pennies for the last minute details. Open shelving that can be adjusted to fit
your plates perfectly are one way to make them look custom made. For even more
of a unique element, consider installing a plate rack or slim silverware drawer
that can make your cabinets perfectly suited to your kitchen’s needs.
It is always important to add trim to the cabinets whether below or above to
give them that finished, high end appeal. Amazing what a little crown molding
can do! It is well worth the small amount of extra work and a few dollars to
trick every-one's eye into thinking you really blew the budget in the cabinet
Handy? Do As Much As You Know You Can Then Go Pro
One big mistake that DIY-ers make is to take on too much during one project. If
you are a pro at refinishing cabinets, installing hardware, and even adding
trim- then do all of the work you are comfortable with doing on your own first.
If you have never laid hardwoods before, installed granite counter-tops, or
switched out a dining chandelier or faucet- don't attempt them without some
significant help. You can save money and time by bringing in the big boys for
the bigger jobs.
While doing-it-yourself may seem like the cheap route, it can
cost you more if you have to continually buy new supplies and hardware as a
result of repeated trial and error. Make a list of all the things you have done
before and stick to that list. Create a second column for those jobs that are
out of your comfort zone. Get a quote for only the items you can’t do on your
own. That is the best way to save money on a do-it-yourself kitchen remodel.
Table Legs & Plywood: High End Finishes?
It may seem like a trick, but the key to a high end kitchen is that is simply
needs to look like one. No one leaves tags on their kitchen cabinets or spray
paints the maker’s name across the front. That makes renovating a kitchen the
best place to fake high-end finishes on a budget. If you are buying stock
cabinets consider adding table legs to the set that houses the stove or
dishwasher. This small detail- even though it won’t be the main grounding
element for the cabinets (you will still need toe-kicks to hold it in place)
can appear to look custom to the naked eye.
Also, if you have open space above your stove, dishwasher, or refrigerator that
needs to finished- but you don’t want to add more cabinets- use plywood. Get
bead board or wainscoting to add depth to the wood, but paint it in the exact
same color as the existing cabinets. Trust us, no one will ever know.
Published By: Leon Tuberman
Monday, May 13, 2013
It’s the common conundrum. You fawn over a certain piece for months. Whether it
is a loud Chevron printed rug, a splashy oil painting or a dramatic damask set
of drapes. It is quite common for
homeowners to fall in love with a certain piece ‘knowing’ that it would
complete their home. The only problem? More often than not when the day comes
for that coveted treasure to be brought into your design aesthetic, it doesn’t
seem to fit. It’s too loud, there is too much pattern, and you are not sure if
can you handle that much added colored or texture?
Layering colors, textures, and size-appropriate furniture is a science, and
there is such a think as over-decorating. Here are few tips to help you ease
your buyer’s remorse and which will teach you how to train your eye to
appreciate new additions. Look for these three things in order to assure
yourself that you made the right purchase.
Exercise #1: Shock Treatment
No matter what- the first few moments that you have a new piece of furniture or
art in a room- your eye will be jarred. Let that initial shock wear off before
you run to the return line. This may mean that you let the item steep in your
living room’s current mix for a few days. This may mean moving a throw pillow
from the old chair to the new couch or moving out a blanket or a piece of art
that simply doesn’t go anymore.
Exercise #2: Move Out Inconsistent Accessories
It is perfectly fine for a new piece to create a new balance of color and
texture in the room. In fact, if the piece you have brought in has a life of
its own you will probably have to do a little editing post-install. Don’t think
that means you have chosen the wrong piece.
Perhaps the whole reason you wanted that element in your
room for so long was that the spaced lacked personality. Let the personality of
the item shine through, and scale back other smaller accessories that were
trying to accomplish the same effect but never quite succeeding.
Exercise #2: Color Palette Sweep
There are so many shades of colors. Even grays and blacks can have purple or
brown undertones. These small color changes can make a piece blend in
beautifully or stand out horrifically. The key is not only match colors well
but to match tone too. It is perfectly fine to include several different colors
or shades of the same color, but you need to make sure you follow the rule of
3’s to a ‘T.’ Decorate 60% of the room in one color, 30% in another, and 10% in
an accent color.
To see if you have blended correctly- and to see if that new sofa is the right
shade of cinnamon, do a sweep across the room with your eyes. Don’t focus on
the room, don’t focus on the item, don’t even really let yourself stare at the
room too long. This is simply a peripheral exercise to see if something stands
out to you. While not a perfect practice, it can help you to see just how great
the new item does blend in to the existing room. If it adds interest, great! If
it is so interesting you don’t see anything else? Start rummaging for that