My friend Dennis is an amazing guy. He is all about science and numbers and is absolutely hilarious. He has a caring, serious side too and like many, he is single-focused. Dennis can talk for hours on subjects he is passionate about. It’s his single-focused disposition that allows him to chat about one subject and keep others engaged.

In getting to know Dennis, I have discovered that he has a very unique design style that matches his personality. He likes light, crisp, clean and contemporary. He is completely allergic to clutter. He wants no accessories at all, none, no tables, no lamps, no trinkets. His favorite color is white and all he needs is a soft, cushy, white sofa and chair, and a TV. I would call Dennis’ style “Ultra Contemporary”.

I have many, many clients who want a derivative of this. They want light and bright. They are afraid of dark colors and heavy feeling furnishings. Folks like this have the same story. They grew up in the Midwest or on the East Coast where it’s cloudy and cold 10 months out of the year and that stays with them, even after they move to sunny Arizona where we have 350 days of sunshine each year. Dennis grew up in Detroit, Michigan!

So how do you achieve “light and bright” and make it interesting and inviting? Here are some thoughts…

  • Use light colors that compliment each other, cream, beige, ecru, and ivory all blend well together.
  • Use lots of different textures. Linen, burlap, chenille, chintz, and leather all have different textures that create interest and contrast.
  • Stick to lighter woods for tables.
  • Use wicker, washed wood, glass, and creamy colored ceramics for accessories.
  • Choose rugs that have a light background.


Light and bright can be beautiful if pulled together with a thoughtful attitude. Try some of these tips and create “light and bright” in your home!



Jill Morse

Interior Designer Associate Member IDS



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