Bright Ideas: Ordinary Objects That Inspire Design

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Doug Wilson on Mar 11, 2005 at 4:49AM

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Bright Ideas: Ordinary Objects That Inspire Design

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Vacation Memories

With just one day and a limited budget, how does Trading Spaces designer Doug Wilson turn boring spaces into showplaces? Here the celebrity stylist takes you step by step through his creative process and shows you how one ordinary object (what Wilson calls a "kick start") can inspire an extraordinary design scheme.

Bring back more than just souvenirs from your travels '- use the memory of a vacation destination to create distinctive looking decor. Here, a trip to the sun-soaked sandstone rock formations of Colorado Springs' Garden of the Gods influenced the choice of vibrant earth tones in a southwestern living room. Quarry tile in a scarlet shade mimics the park's geology and provides cool flooring during intense summer heat. The walls, color washed in three shades of orange that includes terra cotta, fruit punch and agate, seem bathed in late-afternoon sunlight. Fabrics for pillows and curtains, which include a shimmery orange faux silk and a more formal yellow-and-red pattern, pull their energetic colors from the wall treatments. A solid, cowboy-brown leather sofa grounds all the orange shades, while kilim pillow covers in nubby wool add textural contrast. Soothing natural elements, like an arrangement of gerbera daisies in eye-popping yellow and a rustic vase constructed of windblown wood, look as if they were casually collected on a day-long mountain trek.

From the book Doug's Rooms by Douglas Wilson. © 2004 by Douglas Wilson. Photographs © 2004 by Peter Margonelli. Published by Clarkson Potters/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.

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