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In Jamie Levitt's white kitchen, hot-pink chairs and orange accents stand out like boldface exclamation points on a blank page. It's a little trick that Jamie, a home stager for the real estate market and single mom, uses throughout her Los Angeles home. "Pops of color are an easy way to give a room personality and punch," says the decorator. When she moved into the house in 2006, Jamie's goal was to transform the former owner's "very '80s decor" into something modern and inviting. "I wanted sophistication, but with the kids running around it also needed a little warmth." She tackled the floors first—out with the faux distressed wood, in with black bamboo. She opened up the long, narrow kitchen into the family area and replaced the country tile with sleek marble. Then she painted the entire expanse white and brightened the kids' rooms with saturated shades: bubblegum pink and lime green for 10-year-old-twins Emma and Molly; orange walls for Jake, 8; and sky blue for her oldest daughter, Sydney, 11. "The house is essentially a blank slate of black and white punctuated with jewels of color," says Jamie. "Each space has a distinctive style." Jamie's expertise is in giving a home instant appeal— arranging splashy Gerbera daisies (her favorite flower) on a table or putting out a few playful pillows to spice up an otherwise neutral palette. She's also an advocate of ruthless organization. "I don't like clutter or anything that doesn't serve a purpose," she says. "But above all, I like things bright and happy."
"The kitchen is where we all hang out," says Jamie, who often lays out a buffet on the island for friends and family, dressing the table with a burlap drop cloth to create a rustic counterpoint for china and crystal. "I like simple things mixed with luxurious," she says. Jamie also gathers the kids around the table for crafting. "We're big on Sharpies, beads, and glue," she says. She painted the table, made from discarded lumber, with boat lacquer for durability.