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Decorating & Furniture/House Decorating Cluelessness!


Hi Jo-Anne,

This is a really cool service. :)

We recently bought a house in April. It was built in 1920. The interior has been well-maintained by the previous owners, but it's a bit outdated. You can see shots of it here:

My taste is classical/antique. I like a warm, cozy and at the same time sophisticated look and feel. I love dark colors and things like old books and wrought iron.

We're cursed right now with awful wallpaper... it'll be a huge project to get that taken down, but we will eventually. Right now things look a little 'blah', especially the kitchen - way too much brown and neutral!

The bathroom (not pictured), is on 'sage green' overload. The tilework (halfway up the wall) is sage, as is the floor, the tub, sink and toilet! I painted the walls cream and added a cream curtain to the shower and cream window curtains, but it just looks so bland.  

Any ideas on how I can spice up the place a bit and add some richness and character? It's a small home, so I'd like it to have some serious character.

Thank you!!


First of all, my apologies for not getting back to you sooner.  We had a new grandson born who has been having some problems so I am behind on emails.  

Thanks for the photoss..that really helps.  Charming home. Let me suggest a few things for different rooms to help you.  Primarily, you need pockets of color to give the room the zip you are after.  

Beginning with livingroom, add an area rug and some panels picking up on the earth tone colors established throughout the home.  A rug sized at no smaller than a 5 x 8' will make a big difference in the room.  Also, bring your sofa at an angle following the angle of the fireplace for balance..bring chair up to it forming a right angle.  The room will feel more finished.  Add panels on a bronze rod with rings that bring some of the color up.  Use fabric with some weight to it like faux suede.  Also, add a large picture or tapestry over the mantle and throw pillows over the sofa.  

Dining area should have wallpaper removed and panels added to windows will give it more of a "dining room" feel to the space. You could even paint a tone on tone stripe in the dining area. Do the area in a dark rust or cinnamon color to give some punch to this area.   

In the sage green bathroom add some punch with deep purple towels and floor rugs.  

This little touches should help until you can really get into your redecorating.  

Happy Decorating from "The Queen of Decorating"
JoAnne Lenart-Weary

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JoAnne Lenart-Weary


I can answer anything that is decorating related. Wall and window treatments, color, furniture, placement, where to begin with a decorating plan, etc.


Almost 30 years as an interior decorator and 4 years of teaching professional workshops to other interior decorators/designers and interior redesigners. Board member for IRIS www.weredesign, founder of ODDAA (One Day Decorating Alumni Association) Weekly guest for ABC affiliate in Erie, Pa. Have also been on HGTV


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