Q: I want to turn the top floor of an old Victorian into a separate apartment, but I'm confused by the ceilings, which slant down beside the dormer windows. Should I just paint them the same color as the walls and hope they disappear?
A: You have the right idea if you want to make light of your eccentric ceilings. One color, used overall, will camouflage architectural oddments and practically eliminate the negative.
However, you could take the other lyric from the song and accentuate the positive: Play up the architectural characteristics that will give your apartment added personality.
Designer Shana Bickwid offers plenty of inspiration in the photo we show here. She has taken a positive angle on slanted ceilings, accentuating them with shirred fabric that matches the wall covering. Even the window dress gets into the act: The curtain is draped over a single rod that is mounted on the wall well above the frame to give more importance to the window.
A few other tricks:
*Wall-to-wall carpeting -- a good idea for stretching space in small rooms -- features an inlaid trellis patterned "rug" within a solid color border. It's all Stainmaster carpet by DuPont, which makes practical sense, as well.
*Giant-size accessories play with scale -- the urns flanking the window are important enough to serve as focal points for the room arrangement since there are no major architectural elements below ceiling level.
Rose Bennett Gilbert is the author of five books on interior design and a contributing writer to other publications in the field. Send questions to Inside Advice, Maryland Living, The Sun, Baltimore 21278.