Before & After: Shanghai apartment



International companies or organizations often provide housing for employees. As an teacher at international schools, the door of my home opened up to a broad spectrum of spaces, most needing some interior TLC. A young family in Shanghai, China, has been going through various phases of creating their home away from home. This takes time, patience, and will.

Phase 1: the apartment in “as is” condition upon moving in; white walls, nice wooden floors, lots of space.

Phase 2: bold colors on walls to liven the space up; mix n’match furniture for optimal use of space

Phase 3: (with SH services) repainting in calming and complimentary colors; selecting and repositioning of furniture; accessories like art are to come

Quite different, right? More on how Somebody’s Home services helped this apartment feel like home in the next Home Away From Home feature.


The tall wall dilemma


Recently, a client expressed her apprehension about the height of the walls in her new apartment. Without decor, tall walls can be intimidating and seem to take the focus of a space.

Here are a few solutions to this.

{1.} Paint~Selecting to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls or a shade darker, lowers the perception of wall height.

{2.} Hanging fabric or tapestry~ Hang a beautiful batik from one of your travels or a meaningful tapestry on a rod. A long piece of fabric with design and color draws attention and adds interest to a space.

{3.} Series of largely framed photographs~Select your favorite photographs and enlarge them; 11x 14 would do just fine. Tie your photos by theme like bicycles spotted on travels or sunsets, OR make them black and white for an artistic flair. Using the same frames or frames of the same color bring a tasteful order or symmetry if you like.

{4.} Oversized decor items~ One way to make the most of your large “canvas” is to hang oversized pieces. A mirror, painting, or wood carving are some that come to mind. These are simple options that highlight your wall size stylishly.

{5.} Decals~ Trendy? Sure. But, there are some varied and artsy options that can be a temporary solution. Want a zen-like environment? Stick up tall bamboos. Wanting to reflect a piece of home? A San Francisco or NY skyline will do the trick. For some interesting designs, go to Etsy.

{6. } Marimekko wall coverings~ Oh, yeah! Last Friday’s Find are a perfect solution to adding color and pattern without committing to color.




Any other ideas out there for tall walls? Please feel free to share.