Designer rooms show how to wow without going broke

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services


A master bedroom by Nicole Santella of Artemis Construction and Design in Larenceville, Pa. On the left is a set of barn doors.

PITTSBURGH The American Society of Interior Designers once again showcases the talent of its members at the 35th annual Duquesne Light Home & Garden Show.

"Local and Sustainable" is the theme of the dining room created by Nancy Drew of Drew Designs Ltd. Its painted in PPGs Warm Wassail.

"I centered the room around a table from Eastman Tribe made from reclaimed Douglas fir barnwood by local artist/craftsman John Eastman," Drew said.

The sideboard was made from the same reclaimed wood and has a roughhewn yet industrial look. Artist Stevo made the colorful mosaic fireplace surround, which has the aesthetic of a stained-glass window. The flooring is cork and the chairs on either side of the fireplace and around the dining table all came from Pier One. The lights over the table are from Lowes. The paintings on the walls are all original works by Pittsburgh artist Cory Bonnet.

"Its all about knowing how to put it together," noted Drew.

All four designers tried to use affordable options to demonstrate to consumers that you dont have to have a trust fund to create a room that looks pulled together.

"We try to be very budget-friendly," she said.

The genius of Melodie Schooley of the Pittsburgh Basement Co. is illustrating how you can use space in creative ways. Her basement room features an under-the-stairs pet habitat including a built-in crate and tiled area for dishes with their own potfiller faucet. The LED chandelier came from Cardello Electric.

"Its about new ideas for under-used spaces," said, Schooley, who has been focusing on basements lately.

She got an old door from Construction Junction, painted it and set it up as a table using white sawhorses from IKEA. The glass top was custom-cut by Rex Glass. Storage space is provided by cabinets and a sink and counter. The walls are by the Basement Co., which specializes in finishing the look of concrete block.

Going very custom and very sleek is the master bedroom by Nicole Santella of Artemis Construction and Design. The bed frame is a concrete platform set against a headboard of charred, sawn white oak. Dark, dramatic and very handsome, its all wire-brushed.

Across the room, a ventless, bioethanol fireplace is set underneath a concrete console. The sliding barn doors are also custom made of white oak with Lumicor panels. The chairs are from Four Hands, but the tiny table between them was made of quarter-inch steel with a reclaimed wood top simple to make if you have the equipment and the material. The completed look of the room is seductively masculine.

Designer Erin Faith of Faith Color, Consulting and Design created a home office using found furniture and a few new items.

The idea for this room is a that of a young adult who has inherited some items or a downsizing baby boomer who has kept a few things. The focus of the room is a peel-and-stick vinyl world map that pops against PPGs Blue Cloud.

"This color works best in a room with lots of natural light or a large space. Otherwise I might only use it on one wall," Faith said.

The drafting table in the middle of the room was a Craigslist find for just $10. The bookshelves are from Target for $17 each.

"I made the ceiling light myself," she said. Its made of three free-hanging light bulbs surrounded by clear glass balls hung with fishing line. The most expensive item in this very attractive room was the Pier One chair. It cost $499.

"The idea is mixing what you already have with some things you build or buy."