Star-Bulletin Features

Saturday, May 5, 2001

All the model homes at the Gallery Homes at Royal Kunia contain
original art work by artists at the Gallery at Ward Centre. Silk
flowers soften and complete the look.

Gallery style

Start with a theme -- romantic,
contemporary, tropical -- and go
from there to give your
home a model air

By Suzanne Tswei

The reason interior decorator Trixie Ballesteros glued fake daisies to the seats of the clear acrylic dining chairs is twofold: to make an artistic statement and keep visitors off the chairs.

Both points will be important tomorrow as Gallery Homes at Royal Kunia, the latest Castle & Cooke Kunia Inc. residential development in West Oahu, holds its public opening.


Grand Opening of Gallery Homes at Royal Kunia
When: 10 a.m. to 5 .m. Sunday, meet the artists who supplied original art work for the homes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Mawaho Street off of Kupuohi Street
Call: 688-0485

Gallery Homes, with three different models, caters to first-time buyers, which means the typical buyer is a young family with parents in their late 20s to late 30s with small children.

"Everything is based on research, and we basically know the profile of the buyer, even down to their education level and employment," Ballesteros said. Her decorating plans are drawn to suit the taste of the typical buyer, who in this case is usually college-educated and wants a sophisticated but hip-looking home.

Therefore, the daisies on the chairs, which give the room an eye-catching, nontraditional flair. And because visitors tend to plop themselves onto the furniture during open-house events, the silk flowers serve as a deterrent to furniture damage.

A romantic table setting adds to the air of a model home.

In real life, of course, this decorating idea isn't practical. But Gallery Homes offer many useful decorating ideas.

Ballesteros, the principal designer, planned the interior of each model on a theme -- romantic, contemporary and tropical -- to give each a distinct personality.

One common theme is that all the models include original artwork by artists at the Gallery at Ward Centre. Their paintings and sculptures are added to framed posters and other arty decorations in keeping with the name of the project. The artists will be at the open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow to demonstrate and discuss their work. Crafts activities for children, music, drinks and food also are included for the opening.


"Everything is based on research
and we basically know the profile of the buyer,
even down to their education level
and employement."
Trixie Ballesteros,
Interior decorator

Adding original art to one's home gives it a personal touch, Ballesteros said. Select art according to your taste and what looks good in the intended space.

The general rule is to keep the art in proportion to the space. For example, use a large painting to suit a large space or furniture. But rules are easily broken, and a group of small works may look better than one large piece, Ballesteros said. Try out different ideas before settling on a solution.

Family photographs, grouped in collage fashion or in a straight line, can work in place of a painting, she said. The photos need not be of the same size or in similar frames when placed as part of a wall collage, but if they are meant to be uniform, such as arranged in a diagonal line along a staircase, then the photos work best if similar in size; the frames can vary in color and material.

Interior designer Trixie Ballesteros had items sewn and placed on
the bed for decorative and practical reasons. It keeps open house
visitors off the furniture.

A detail of items Interior designer Trixie Ballesteros placed
on the bed for decorative and practical reasons.

In one of the model homes, Ballesteros offers a homemade display for children's art. She nailed two curtain rods to a wall, sewed strips of ribbons to them so that the ribbons act as vertical clotheslines, then clipped the art with clothespins to the ribbons.

"Children are constantly coming home with new artwork, and instead of putting it on the refrigerator, this is a fresh way to display the art," she said.

Original art gives homes a personal touch.

A grouping of family photos or ceramics could
work in place of a painting.

Here are more tips from Ballesteros, who works for ADI Design Group Inc.:

>> The Asian/tropical look with dark-colored furniture is in. Bright-colored or patterned fabric works well with dark pieces. Ballesteros used orange-and-green surfer-type floral print for the upholstery on the dark rattan living room set.

>> Use fabric to jazz up a room. Select unusual prints or pick a solid color to give a room a dominant theme.

>> Color the walls. Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to add interest in the home. You don't have to paint the entire room; sometimes painting one wall green while leaving the rest white may do the trick.

>> Bring plants inside. A living plant or even a fake one can fill in a corner and soften an entire room.

Interior designer Trixie Ballesteros continued
the motif of bugs on the wall and lampshade.

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