Non-Extreme Makeover

4.24.2007

By Jason Lamphier

Home furnishing can be a rough enterprise, but when the alternative is a roomful of shabby sidewalk finds from sophomore year, it's time to buck up and breathe a little life into your lowly quarters. Turn to a simple primer like Let's Get Comfortable: How to Furnish and Decorate a Welcoming Home (Meredith, $34.95) for some clear-cut advice from modern design mavens Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, and you'll discover that amping up your digs isn't so much about decorating as it is about collecting what strikes your fancy. Gold and Williams's chic offerings have been picked up by popular retailers like Williams-Sonoma Home, provided to guests at hip hotel chains like the Ritz-Carlton, and used to deck out the sets of Sex and the City and The Apprentice. (So you can rest assured that these guys know what they're talking about.)

'Make your goal to find furnishings you'll want to live with in five or 10 years, so that updating will mean only rearranging a few pieces or changing pillows,' the duo instructs. 'Pick pieces that will be points of interest but not jarring notes.' To hold the mix together, Gold and Williams recommend creating a 'serene shell' of neutral-colored walls, floors, and window treatments. And the best part? The daddies of design are down with playing it cheap, suggesting you hit up flea markets for low-priced knickknacks that won't leave you on the edge of your chaise longue the next time pre-party cocktails get a little out of control.

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