More style secrets from Chris Choy

Jaime Gross,  – December 21, 2005

• Change the hardware (door handles, window pulls). It’s one of the fastest and easiest ways to update your space. Remember that it’s the juxtaposition of traditional and supermodern elements that’s most visually fresh.

Use your paint palette consistently. To create a unified look throughout your home, let these colors inform the rest of your design decisions; carry paint chips with you when you’re shopping.

Scale up. Go for tactile punch with added texture ― felt-covered stools, nubby sisal rugs, for example ― to warm up a modern space.

Explore beyond furniture stores. Salvage yards and restaurant and office suppliers (check the yellow pages) often have better prices and more durable fixtures. Mixing in rougher, industrial elements creates interest.

Stay flexible. Sometimes it pays to break your own design rules.