Living Room Ideas With Turquoise

But, he added, an attractive, functional small room can improve a buyer's overall impression of a house -- an observation echoed by Orlando interior designer Maria Lorenz.

''When we design a model home's secondary room as a child's bedroom, we keep in mind that buyers will bring their children,'' she said.

''We try to make it appealing enough to draw the child into the room so he plays while the parents look. Afterward, when they think about all the models they've seen, they tend to remember the one with the room their child liked.'' Lorenz designed a boy's bedroom for a Greenbriar model at Tuscawilla. Space-expanding elements in the area, which measures 13 feet by 10 feet, 4 inches, include:

-- A two-level built-in platform covered by wall-to-wall carpet. The first level is a play area, facing three long windows that jut out to create a bay effect. A mattress covered with a colorful fitted sheet occupies the upper level.

-- Built-in furniture. A combination bookcase-dresser and student desk stand at opposite ends of the room. Both pieces are of white laminate for a scratch-resistant, easily cleaned surface.

''Simple built-in furnishings are easy and relatively inexpensive for the do-it-yourselfer,'' said Lorenz. ''It doesn't . . . have to be expensive custom cabinetry to be attractive and functional.''

-- Use of wallpaper borders and contrasting paint colors to define space. An Aztec pattern wall border 3 feet from the floor has colors that match the deep turquoise paint below. The wall above the border is painted a soft cream. The impression of width is provided by using the same border near the ceiling. The wall above the border is turquoise.

-- Uncluttered window treatments. White miniblinds on the room's windows establish consistency without detracting from the overall effect.

Some builders offer a secondary bedroom as an optional den. To accomplish this, the space that would have been used as the closet is left open to accommodate a desk, wet bar or entertainment center. Dens sometimes are designed as an adjunct to the living room, with French doors between the two areas.

Bruno said uses for secondary rooms sometimes are tied to trends. Home offices are prevalent, while interest in exercise rooms has declined. Orlando architect William Hegert said some buyers dedicate the room to a hobby, installing shelves and glass doors in the closet to create a showcase.

The room's architecture can be manipulated to achieve a more spacious effect. Maitland architect Larry Brown included a long Palladian window in a 10-by-11-foot bedroom at Catalina Home's Hollybrook development in Lockhart. The window is topped by a recessed niche that creates a focal point above the otherwise flat 8-foot ceiling.

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