The thoughtful use of color and lighting can bring an inexpensive and powerful change to any space.

Original or antique furniture, especially of unusual proportions, or built-in from wall to wall can enliven a box-like space. Texture give a feeling of luxury and softness. Wall-to -Wall carpeting used to cover floors and an accent wall can create many new dimensions. Rich woods give a feeling of warmth and natural texture. Wall paper in textures or patterns can add both color land texture.,

In a famlily room I designed recently, I used texture rather than furniture to lend personality to an uninteresting space. The only part of the room that had its look was the fireplace. It was simple and ungarnished. To give the room a personality, I used a textured paint on the chimney and hearth, extending the latter to create a low, built-in seating unit beside it.

Three-dimensional paint not only covered the imperfections in the wall and hearth; it provided a lively change from the other flat, smooth walls of the room. I used the simplest of all the texture paints, the texture latex formula that mixes readily with water, sold in most paint stores. This paint can be textured with a broom, sponge or trowel to achieve different "patterns" of textures, just as they were done with wet plaster in turn-of-the century homes.

Another kind of textured paint, called a sand finish, comes out of the can already textured in an all-over fine pattern. This type is more appropriate when you plan to texturize all the walls of a room, whereas the heavier, texture-it-yourself type is best used when accent area is to be featured.

To further personalize this space, I used a bold terra-cotta tile floor in a earthen color, a practical and rich floor for a heavy traffic space. The color is a perfect foil for the brilliant turquoise and rough Mexican cotton upholstery of the built-in seating and movable ottomans, and combines with the sandy-ochre of the walls to make a dramatic background for the south-of-the-border accessories.