Designing with a (re)purpose • Great Spaces

Posted on 14 Apr 2010 at 11:25am
By Steven Lindsey

If you want to redecorate, call Anthony Chisom first — he can turn any blah room into a great space all from items within the home


Chisom lives by his philosophy that you can never have too many pillows. In the living room (below), he added pops of color with bright colored chairs. (Photos by Steven Lindsey)

A bad economy is no excuse for being unfashionable. And that’s why hiring Anthony Chisom, creative director and CEO of Anthony Chisom Interiors, has become a hot Dallas trend in home décor. Rather than completely starting over with a room, he surveys other rooms in a home to see what could breathe new life into another space.

"Anything within the house can be used. Know that everything is moveable and interchangeable and can work differently in a new room. Make the items do what you want them to do," Chisom says.


Chisom worked in retail for years, but decided to repurpose his own life to do what he’s always loved.

"I started in 1999. I found out about my HIV status and didn’t want to put my dream on hold any longer," he says. "Interior design is something I was always drawn to. I had all these books and magazines about it and I’d always help friends with their rooms and things of that nature."

He then found his own niche of designing that wouldn’t break the budget for clients and could keep the entire process in the home.

"I would take art, furniture, desks from other rooms, just about anything you can imagine because interiors evolve. How a room is set up today may not work best for you tomorrow," he says, referring to the latest addition to his interior—an almost-two-year-old nephew, whom he plans to adopt with his partner, Derrick Smith Gentry.

For a general room repurposing, which includes rearranging furniture and art, as well as accessorizing with items within the home or recommending affordable options from home stores, his fee starts around $500. He also brings an objective eye to helping people purge items that may be way out of style that they’re holding onto for sentimental reasons. Clients may not want to get rid of these items, but they don’t have to be center stage, either.

During a recent visit, he showed how quickly and easily a living room can be reorganized to create a different vibe. He also shared some quick ways anybody can change a space on the smallest budget.

Follow these simple tips for your own repurposing:

Color, color, color

"Color is an easy way to enhance your space and make it look completely different," he says. "It’s my top tip to add color through paint, whether it’s one wall or many. Also, adding something like colorful fresh flowers helps heighten the senses."

Think small for trends

"You can never have too many pillows," he laughs. "Places like West Elm make it very easy to switch out with pillow slip covers. Go from a solid to something with a pattern. Keep your house as simple and basic as possible and address trends through accessories that can more easily be changed."

Invest in quality for larger furniture

"Spend money on key pieces," he advises. "When buying a sofa, look at the interior makeup. If you go to the retailer and ask them, they’ll let you look at the interior structure. Make sure it has good bones, good springs. If you have good furniture already, work on getting things reupholstered, recovered. I also like to reclaim things. Older furniture seems to be sturdier."

Light up your world

"Lighting is best done in layers, overhead lighting, lamps. You can also have lighting put into your crown molding so it washes your wall in light. It’s nice to have a good source of natural lighting. I like to mix it up with lamps. I’m not real matchy-matchy."

Design for your lifestyle

"I prefer an open space because it feels more relaxed. I know some people like things very categorized and separated, but I prefer an open flow," Chisom says."Living is different than entertaining. Keep that in mind when buying furniture. If you do a lot of entertaining, make sure you can move it on your own!"

For more information, visit AnthonyChisomInteriors.com.

This article appeared in Dallas Voice’s Great Spaces Magazine April 16, 2010.

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