Share this article

print logo

ENHANCE WHAT YOU HAVE <br> FRESH USES FOR OLD BELONGINGS PERK UP HOMES

Interior designer Alyssa Anthone hunts buried treasure for a living.

In her business, Interior Makeovers, she specializes in using her clients' belongings to create a new environment they will love.

"I call it a face lift," explains the petite decorator from her Snyder home. "Use what you already have, but enhance it."

Moving indoors in the fall and winter will be much more pleasant, promises Anthone, if you surround yourself with articles that you love.

"A home should be very personal, whether you have antiques and heirlooms or sea shells and photos from travel. Your home should be filled with your memories. Things that make you happy, that make you smile."

"People should trust themselves to give a spot to something they really love."

Anthone listens to her clients to determine their needs, likes and dislikes, then helps them redecorate, using many of their belongings in fresh ways.

"Say the sun hits your home in a certain spot in the morning," she says. "You may like to sit and read the paper. But the furniture is not really positioned for that. It's a case of, 'I would use this room more if ... ' "

"It's also where you are in life. The children are grown, you could have a more adult home, but everything just stays the same for 20 years."

In her home, the removal of one wall opened the entire downstairs floor plan and vastly increased the flow of natural light. Much-loved objects -- art, books, travel keepsakes and her Russian great-grandmother's hand-woven area rug -- are integral in the beautiful living room.

Tangerine and cream faux-finished walls feel soft and neutral. The original fireplace, once "dead and cold" white and red brick, was repainted to look like granite.

"I love warm tones and I love Italy," says Anthone. "I told the painter I wanted an Italian villa feeling. I wanted warmth without lots of earth tones and browns."

Anthone believes that art compensates for less outdoor time in cold months. "Buffalo is a winter city. We spend so many months inside, art can be used to create an inner environment of comfort."

"Fall and winter rooms are all about comfort because we spend so much time there."