You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Designer Showhouse affordable tips

Local experts have ideas you can try. The house in Oakwood opens next week.

Whether you’re updating a bathroom or redesigning your living room, the 2013 Dayton Philharmonic Volunteer Association’s Designer Showhouse is full of inspiring designs to get you started. We went behind the scenes at High Acres, the former Rike estate, in Oakwood, to chat with designers about how to bring designer looks into your home without breaking the bank.

Break up larger spaces

Jon Blunt of Luken Interiors in Dayton divided the large living room into three sections. A big space can be overwhelming and a little daunting for guests, too. “Typically, once you get a seating area that seats more than six people, it’s nice to have separate seating areas,” Blunt said.

Use small groupings of furniture to achieve this divided look. “Keep some of the pieces easily movable for entertaining,” Blunt said. Guests should feel comfortable pulling up a chair to enter a conversation.

Blunt also included a reading area as part of the design. “It’s nice to have an area for some alone time, too,” he said.

Updated traditional

“Less is more” is the phrase of the day for designers. The elegant master bedroom by Laura Day and Susie Day of Today’s Home Interiors in Kettering features a stylish color palette and simple touches.

“Keep it simple, not high maintenance,” Susie Day said. “It doesn’t all need to match.” Too many matched pairs can lead to a fussy, bland look, whereas a bedroom should “feel like a retreat with an air of sophistication.”

When designing a master bedroom, aim to make it a sanctuary, as Laura Day says, “a room you can live in, not just look at.” Try mixing and matching lamps, chairs and even nightstands for an eclectic feel.

Room to grow

Teenagers and young adults aren’t exactly known for their impeccable taste. The key to a stylish space for teens and those heading back to the nest is “classic pieces that will never go out of style,” said Laura Quinn of Happy Roost Interiors in Dayton.

When designing the third-floor bedroom, Quinn invested in a few sturdy pieces like a headboard and sofa, which she accentuated with bright, clean accessories. “You can change out accessories as a person grows,” she said.

She suggested working with what you have, for example covering old pillows with new fabric, to defray costs. A few other simple changes, like swapping art for posters, can also lend teens’ rooms and young professionals’ apartments a more grown-up vibe.

DIY to cut costs

It’s not always necessary to break the bank for beautiful, custom furniture. Jaclyn Dunn of Lord and Dunn Interiors in Dayton said, “Find a wonderful piece of furniture with good bones, find an oil-based primer and paint and have at it.”

In her design for a second-floor bedroom, Dunn put the bulk of her budget into “the thing that’s most prominent: window treatments and wallpaper” by British design firm, Osborne and Little. As for other accessories, however, Dunn said, “You don’t always have to spend a lot of money. … (Get) inexpensive things that you can make more expensive.”

Dunn, also with Bockrath Flooring and Rugs, suggested adding color and life to rooms with flat-weave rugs. As an added bonus, these are reversible: two rugs for the price of one.

Brighten bathrooms

Bathrooms and kitchens always rank among the most expensive home fixes. But Patti Johnson of Patti Johnson Interiors in Lebanon transformed two second-floor baths without replacing the fixtures.

“You don’t have to rid yourself of everything vintage,” in order to make a house feel newer, she said. “Choose fresh, young, modern fabrics and warm up the space with color, texture and interest.”

The bathroom is “a very intimate space, it has to be your comfort zone,” Johnson said. She emphasized warm colors and a soft effect as opposed to a white-on-white approach. Even simply adding a candle or tea light can brighten up a bathroom

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

Dating website matches Trump supporters
Dating website matches Trump supporters

One California man wants to "make dating great again" with a Trump-themed dating website. Trump Singles is a not-quite-new, but suddenly ignore-at-your-own-peril dating site is aimed squarely at supporters of the president-elect. Founder David Goss launched the site in May 2016 for "like minded" people with the same political views...
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info

A new phishing scam is allowing hackers to gain access to unsuspecting Gmail users' accounts and target their login credentials, according to recent reports. Mark Maunder, CEO of security service Wordfence, described the scam in detail in a blog post, adding that it is also targeting other services beyond Gmail. Tech Times reported that the scam involves...
Tuna, star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, dies of cancer
Tuna, star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, dies of cancer

The cowbell won't sound quite the same now that Tuna, the star of the Amazing Acro-Cats cat circus, has died.Happy Cats Haven posted the news Friday on its Facebook page: "To all our fans of Tuna and The Rock Cats and the Amazing Acro-Cats, it's with many tears that we let you know that Samantha Martin's star kitty Tuna crossed the Rainbow Bridge...
7 small changes that will have a big impact
7 small changes that will have a big impact

It’s only a few weeks into 2017, but you’ve already come to an uncomfortable and familiar realization. New Year’s resolutions result in more guilt and depression than achievement. Forget about the big aspirations for a transformational do-over. They don’t work. How about making some small changes today that eventually can have...
Let’s have a cheer for the Amherst Hamsters
Let’s have a cheer for the Amherst Hamsters

Amherst, a tiny college of 1,795 really smart scholars in Massachusetts, made news last year when the board of trustees voted to drop Lord Jeffs as its athletic teams’ unofficial mascot. Lord Jeffery Amherst, historians discovered, was not necessarily a nice person. The 18th century British general reportedly once suggested giving smallpox-infested...
More Stories