CA Home + Design | Small Details, Big Impact

By Mary Jo Bowling

Photography by Sharon Risedorph

April, 2010

Creating a strong design statement doesn't necessarily require major purchases - just smart decisions. And in an age where clients require designers to demonstrate value, these strategies are being called into play like never before. We spoke with three Bay Area interior designers to glean deceptively small ideas that make a big difference in a room.


Designer Chad DeWitt's time-and-money savings design rule is simply this: simplicity. "Keeping things simple by using a limited color palette, and readily available materials is always more cost effective," he says. Of course, simplicity does not mean sacrificing style. For instance in this South Bay remodel, DeWitt splurged on a Nana-Wall system that opens to the deck, but saved money on the room's other focal point: the fireplace. Pre-remodel, it was an unassuming affair with taupe tiles, large grout lines, and an out-of-place wood mantle. DeWitt choose large gray tiles from Geologica, but suggests replicating the look by asking the installer to cut plain tiles into triangles and lay them in a geometric pattern, making inexpensive off-the-shelf materials into a bold custom design.