Making room seem lower


September 01, 1991|By Rose Bennett Gilbert | Rose Bennett Gilbert,Copley News Service

Q: I don't know how to handle the wall space in the back hall of our old Victorian. The ceilings are more than 10 feet high and it feels like a tunnel.

Would pattern help cut the height?

A: Anything that brings your eye down to cozy levels will help offset the tall, narrow feeling. I'd suggest that you also paint the ceiling dark to lower it visually, and use a couple of borders -- stenciled or wall covering -- to break the height into horizontal sections.

That's the optical objective in the photo we show today: A double helping of Wall-Tex wall covering borders has been applied to counteract the essential verticality of this small music room. You'll notice also how painted moldings aid and abet the illusion around the ceiling line, at floor level and under the window seat.

With coordinating fabric made into window shades, the walls become a harmonious background, pun intentional, for this room with a theme, played out on black and white keys.

Q: We'd like to move, but there's another baby on the way and complications about my husband's job, so for now we'd settle for a kitchen remodeling.

We realize that costs vary depending on what goes in and who does the work, but can you give me a ballpark idea of what kind of money we're talking?

A: Last year, nearly 5 million homeowners redid their kitchens at an average cost of about $18,000.

The figures come from the National Kitchen & Bath Association in Hackettstown, N.J.

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