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Realty Builder
Jax Daily Record Friday, Jan. 14, 200512:00 PM EST

The theme may just be the thing


Special to Realty-Builder Conenction

Ask any visitor to a decorated model home what they remember, and quite often the answer will be the themed rooms. Themes, such as sports, sailing or golf, provide a room with unique flair and personality.

“The model homes that are most pleasing and have the most appeal are the ones with a design people can envision having in their own homes,” said Judith Sisler Johnston, president of Sisler Johnston Interior Design and ASID Allied Member. “It is important to consider balance and exercise good judgment when selecting a theme for a room. These spaces should capture the same harmony and flow into the rest of the home so they are inviting to both family and friends.”

Themed rooms can happen in almost any room of the house and appeal to children as well as adults. In selecting a theme, consider hobbies and other interests as well as family values. Themes can be designed in small as well as large spaces.

Consider the sailing theme in this secondary bedroom in a boating community model home (right photo). Sisler Johnston created a focal point by adding a burst of color to the focal wall in the neutral room and fabricating canvas with authentic rope detail into sails, which are mounted on the wall instead of headboards. The room’s focal wall is typically a solid wall without windows the furthest away from the door.

Sisler Johnston used a nautical striped fabric for the bedcovers and coordinating pillows as well as window treatment accents. The same fabric was mounted onto a foamboard to create a life preserver mirror and a shadow box art piece for the wall. Special details highlight the room’s furnishings. Matching trunks at the foot of each bed feature the unique addition of nautical ornaments on the handles. An unpainted wood piece is transformed with the addition of a hand-painted mural on the front of the nightstand. Other nautical accessories and accents, including rope detail on the lamps, complete the look.

A sports theme sets the mood for a children’s room found in a family oriented community (middle photo). Sisler Johnston used fabrics and colors to blend with the rest of the home’s décor. This room has a wainscot of wallpaper with an all-sports border at chair height around the room. Decorative window treatments unify the room’s two windows, which are different in size. Area rugs and decorative fabric on the window toppers, pillows and customized fabric on the director’s chair along with the right kind of artwork adds punch and reinforces the sports theme. In addition to the bunk beds, furnishings include the signature basketball chair and a storage furniture piece.

“We are seeing more and more families opting for storage furniture pieces that have drawer space as well as compartments for TVs, VCRs and other accessories for their children,” Sisler Johnston said. “They offer a place for the real life accessories kids this age use, such a balls and hats, and the accessories become a part of the décor.”

Themed rooms are not just for kids as seen in this home office with a golf motif (left photo) located in a golfing community. Texture highlights the selections and nearly everything in the room reinforces the theme. Sisler Johnston chose a historical golf tapestry for the lounge chair, positioned next to an accent table with a hand-painted golf relief and a place to put golf balls on top.

The female golfer accent lamp makes the space comfortable for the woman of the house. The screen behind the lounge chair adds a sense of coziness while the ottoman serves double duty with its decorative leather top that reverses to a game table for checkers or chess. Historical newspaper articles on golf are framed as wall art. The bookcase adds personality as well as space for books and accessories.

Sisler Johnston advises the use of care in selecting a theme that you won’t grow tired of within a year or that is associated with a passing fad. “It never hurts to consult a design professional and run your ideas by them,” she said. “A trained professional can help you achieve balance and harmony with the rest of your house.”

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