WINDOWS let in light and are usually a prominent focal point in any room. They are also seen from the outside and so, whether covered with fabric or not, they are just as important to the exterior design of a house as the interior.
CETLINGS ace all too often disregarded and yet they are one of the largest surfaces in a room and therefore cannot be ignored. There are many ways to reduce or increase their height visually- either structurally or by careful choice of colour, for example. Many ceilings have a wealth of decorative detail in the cornice and ceiling roses, or in the rich texture of exposed ancient beams.
PANELLING AND ARCHITRAVES are an integral part of some period homes. Today, if plastcrwork is uneven or you prefer the panelled warmth of a wood wall, tongue and groove boards can be used to cover a ceiling, the wall below the dado rail or the entire room. When restoring or adding architraves, remember to take into consideration the dimensions of the room. Unadorned walls look appropriate and suitably stark in modern open-plan room, but try to replace missing architraves and panels in older houses with the correct pattern.
FIREPLACES have once again become the focus of attention in period homes and modern apartments alike with the use of gas-fired imitation coal fires.
STAIRCASES denote entrances and exits and by their very nature are dramatic, whether leading to a grand hall and reception room or to a tiny passageway to a cellar or attic. Although there are traditional ways of decorating staircases, you need not feel limited when planning what to do with them. Stencilling the treads of wooden stairs, using highly polished brass rods to hold the carpet in place, painting the wooden spindles with a paint effect and faking a dado rail to give a symmetry to the staircase: decorative devices offer endless possibilities.
STORAGE is a problem eveRy home decorator has to consider. Whether you like to display your clutter or hide it away, there is no disguising the fact that today we all have more household items and personal possessions than our predecessors. Displaying cherished possessions and beautiful objects is a clever way of accessorizing a room, but invariably there is a vast amount of material that has to be stored out of sight.