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Interior designers deal with smaller spaces, energy concerns

Smaller rooms are already the way of life in the newest homes being built in this country. Interior designers are accepting the challenge by looking ahead to furnishings which will be in scale with them.

They also are considering a need to conserve energy. A series of model rooms designed for Carson Pirie Scott & Co. here by Howard Rzeszewski, home furnishings fashion director, and Gorgianne Jirousek, fashion coordinator for the store, the full of good ideas for the '80s.

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They looked at the "nest" homes which are the concept of Peter Land, an architect who planned stacked squares and rectangles with common walls for energy conservation. their conclusion was that small quarters with small windows to save fuel should have interior landscapes, since the windows don't provide much of a view of the exterior ones.

The designers began with a 56-foot room which they divided into three sections for eating, living, and sleeping through the use of plexiglass walls. "We'd recommend using glass," Mr Rzeszewski says. "But for our purposes tinted transparent plastic walls were less weighty."

They used pale green quilted fabrics on the walls, again to save energy. Illumination of the rooms comes from lighting in the bases of such pieces as the platform bed, the sofas, and the storage pieces in the dining room.

The whole apartment has a feeling of cool openness and contemporary design.

The team took another approach for a second bedroom in what they call the "futurescope" rooms, which are on view in the State Street store through September. They deftly used the electric approach, starting with a bedroom that has black brick walls and to which color can be added in such appointments as towels and bedspreads.

In addition to putting exercise equipment in this room, they've also added a wall system for storage and entertainment equipment. Color comes from the red towels and an antique lace tablecloth, used for a bedspread, and attractive pillows.

A fourth room emphasizes possibilities which will come with solar heating. Walls to which solar collectors are attached will be at 45-degree angles to the roof, posing a decorating problem. But these designers found it no problem, breaking up the length of the angled wall with furniture clusters and an entertainment system designed for them. Shades of plum in this monochromatic setting make the bright room attractive.

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The last room in the collection was the one where money ran out. Like the homemaker who encounters this situation, the design team redid an existing room. Their solution was to add a sculpture and unusual lighting. "We created a theatrical situation, leaving the daylight as the neutral, and at night using transparent colored circles powered to let the existing lighting shine through them to vary from pink to magenta -- actually creating a different environment with this simple technique only."

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