How to decorate an empty space

A folding screen can create privacy for sleeping guests — while adding a dash of glamour to your home. (Photos: NYTimes)
Here is the question: “I recently relocated and took with me basically nothing. What’s the best strategy to fill up an apartment? Should I buy everything at once? Or wait and build it out?”اضافة اعلان

Well, even if you can afford to buy everything at once, it probably is not a great idea, because you risk ending up with a showroom look, which is never appealing. The goal is to be your authentic (and perhaps contradictory) self, not to buy into someone else’s one-size-fits-all uniformity.

So aim for a home that looks like it was assembled over time. And the best way to achieve that — short of hiring people to scour online auctions, rural flea markets and vintage shops — is to take the time. Buy pieces you love and want to keep around. Enjoy the process of discovery. Find inspiration in your travels.

To create some coherence, before you start out, decide on an overall style and color scheme. Make mood boards from magazine clippings, visit blogs, comb through Instagram, and roam décor stores, antiques markets, and garage sales. Using these inspirations, lay a foundation of basic items like a sofa, coffee table, dressers, and the largest table your kitchen will accommodate — it can function as dining area, workstation, extra counter space, and family hub. The rest will follow.

There are multiple factors to weigh when deciding whether to use marble, including where the marble will be quarried, and the intended life span of the project you are doing.

Oh, and you will need a mattress (perhaps I should have led with that?). It’s expensive, but it has a major advantage: No one will see it, so it does not have to match anything that comes later.

Another question: ‘My pullout guest bed is in the middle of the living room (as they often are). I’m a renter and can’t do anything structural, but I would like to make the area more private for guests.’

Consider a folding screen. It can solve a multitude of problems, and add a dash of glamour to your home. While the screen cannot replace an actual wall or door, it can be very effective at creating the illusion — or delusion — of separation.

Positioning a screen in front of a drafty window creates a cozy spot for an armchair (in French, folding screens are called “paravents,” or “wind blockers”). Or you can use one to filter out an unattractive view without cutting off the light. A screen in a corner prevents the divan in front of it from “floating” in space. In a large room, a central screen allows you to delineate a small seating area (or space for a sleeping guest).

To create some coherence, before you start out, decide on an overall style and color scheme.

Almost any material is fair game for a screen.

“I’d like to install a marble countertop in my kitchen but want to know: Is marble really sustainable?”

Marble itself is extraordinarily durable and will probably outlast you, your kitchen, your house, and your children. It is a natural material, taken out of the earth, and the supply does not seem to be in danger of running out any time soon. Major points for that.

However (and this is a big “however”), quarrying marble requires an enormous amount of energy and water, and the process can create waste in the form of off cuts (oddly shaped leftover pieces) and copious dust. Many coveted types of marble come from Italy — including the city of Carrara, source of the block from which Michelangelo’s David was carved. But transporting something so weighty burns up a lot of fuel. If you are building something with a long intended life span, marble might be a good choice. But if you’re working on a countertop you plan to replace in five to 10 years, you might want to consider alternatives.

Or at least cut the distance that the marble needs to travel and buy American. The Vermont Danby quarry is in New England, and marble produced there was used to build the Jefferson Memorial.

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