Tricks of The Trade


Here’s a peek into a few of my favorite ways I have used over the years to create a high-end look, at an easy to handle price.

Nothing finishes off a room more than well proportioned and well made curtains. As you may know, curtains use a lot of fabric, and the cost of your fabric can be what keeps you from window treatment perfection. Let me introduce you to painter’s drop cloths. They have a great natural linen look, and come in a large 9’x12′ size, and better yet will cost you about $29 each. For most windows or doors, a single drop cloth gives enough material for both windows. Make sure you invest in proper fabrication. Use a white cotton lining on the back side, and find a workroom or seamstress to properly pleat and hem them. The final tip, is to hang the curtains as close to the ceiling as you can, not just right above the window.

The right paint color in the right location can make or break a room. Whether you want them to be or not, doors are always a focal point of most rooms. A door does not need much paint to cover it, so getting your average doors to look great is not a costly chore. Nothing looks better than a black door. It works for a modern or traditional style, and adds instant style. Be sure to use a satin or semi-gloss sheen. If your door has a few layers of paint on it already, use a satin sheen to minimize the visibility of the texture.

I love the look of a symmetrical grouping of framed art prints. It makes a space look intentional and permanent. If you have a large wall to fill, it is a great way to fill up space. A grouping of at least six pieces does the trick, but the more the better. Find pre-made frames that have a lot of white mat board around the image, this gives it a gallery style presentation. If you don’t have the white mat, the look is not nearly as good. What is in the print does not as critical. I like to find an antique book with prints you can remove and frame. Some other ideas might be vintage postcards, B&W photos, or simple pencil sketches.

If I had a dollar for every house I have been in with a dated candelabra chandelier, I would be retired on a beach right now. That ugly chandelier can be a good thing. If it has a classic shape and a good size, simply paint it. I love to use a bright turquiose spray paint. It gives a pop of color, and can be an amazing focal point in a room. I like to use a flat finish colored paint, and then go over the top with a high gloss clear coat.

Great looking drapery hardware is not cheap. It can be easy to create something beautiful with quality yourself. Find a set of wood hardware that you like. I like to use a fluted rod, and a simple ball finial. An antiqued gold or silver finish is always my fav. Paint all the hardware and rod with a metallic spray paint. The next step is the trick that will make it look great, and not like a cheap DIY paint project. Use a bottle of brown liquid shoe polish to wipe on the pieces, than then wipe off. It’s pretty simple and easy, and will give that antiqued high-end look.

Nate Fischer

Nate Fischer

Interior Designer, Nate Fischer Interiors