According to Vincente Wolf, rooms, like people, ought to evolve. "We change; why not the interiors?" he asks. Although his designs are inspired by the past, he puts together his furnishings and accessories with a fresh, up-to-date attitude.
Mr. Wolf shares some of his design tips:
*Everything does not have to be expensive for a room to look good.
*It's better to buy a few good pieces than a lot of mediocre ones. Fill the eye, not the room.
*If you can invest in only one thing for a room, invest in a good paint job or good lighting.
*Choose one color and repeat it everywhere, so there are no boundaries of space. When you use a color everywhere -- on the walls, the floors, the upholstery -- it becomes a neutral.
*Try to stay with one fabric. Putting a different fabric on a chair, another on a sofa, a third on the windows, can make a room look disjointed.
*Try to look at antiques with a contemporary eye. Never choose a piece that looks good but that nobody can use. Consider scale and functionality.
*It's the kiss of death when accessories stay in one spot too long. Once you hang a picture on a hook, it stays there and before long you won't see it anymore. Instead, prop art against a wall, on a ledge, on a mantel, on the floor or on a chair. The room changes when you move accessories around.
*When decorating a room, first read about how to do a floor plan. One of the biggest mistakes is buying furniture -- a sofa, for
example -- by eyeing it. It's a nightmare when it arrives and doesn't fit the space.
*If you don't know how to arrange flowers, buy a lot of one kind. There's strength in numbers. Never put in those ugly green leaves the florist gives you. And never use plastic flowers!