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Westchester Professionals’ Tricks Of The Home Design Trade


Call it a post-McMansion-era, suburban problem—rooms that are actually too big. How to deal? We asked local interior-design pros for their best suggestions to bring those cavernous spaces back down to size, visually. 

“There’s no room that is too big! I had a 3,000-square-foot room, all open and contemporary. I divided it up into conversational areas, a place for a bar, and spaces for the pool and game tables.” 

Ayse Lewis
Ayse Lewis Interior Design in Harrison 

“Consider large chandeliers that drop down, and then you make smaller groupings to make it seem like a more intimate space. You should also always have light on the tables and make sure that light fixtures aren’t too high up on the ceiling. I hate spaces that are lit like department stores.”

 Susan Anthony
Anthony & Olanow Design Group in Rye

“Larger rooms, especially if you have higher ceilings, can handle really big pieces of artwork as fabulous focal points.”

Kaja Gam
Kaja Gam Design, Inc., in Ossining

“If it’s a traditional room, I’ll add crown molding and oversized base molding. Gilding the ceiling a mix of gold and silver leaf brings the ceiling down and adds warmth, and Venetian plaster on the walls brings the room in.”

Susan Marocco
Susan Marocco Interiors in Bedford

“Use lighting to define spaces. A hanging pendant over the piano becomes your ‘music room.’ A pair of standing lamps or sconces on the wall becomes your ‘hallway.’ Your light should be a combination of several different sources—recess, hanging, and portable or table and floor lamps. Nothing defines a room like lighting does.”

Lyn Peterson
Motif Designs in Mamaroneck

“Make sure you have architectural details, such as crown moldings and base boards. I love to paint moldings a tone of white, and paint the ceilings and the walls contrasting colors.” 

Alice Silverman 
Creative Interiors in North Salem

“Area rugs should be placed so that furniture can fully sit on them and not be half on and half off. And covering ceilings with dark wood moldings helps fill the space.”

Jacqueline D. Cutler
Jacqueline D. Cutler, Inc., in Scarsdale

“Avoid using too many recessed lights, which can be harsh, and instead use various table and floor lamps and sconces, along with a dramatic chandelier. A chocolate brown or deep gray are good choices for wall colors to make it feel cozy.” 

Laurel Bern, Laurel Bern Interiors in Bronxville 



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