Designers have their design tricks, it’s true. But perhaps the best-kept secret in any designer’s idea arsenal is in the details. If you take a moment to study the photos in design magazines or in online sites, those spaces that really stand out owe their panache to a unique set of thoughtful touches. I’d love to share with you how to add decorating details to your forever home!
On a recent trip to France, I was reminded of this when I passed a weathered door with a clever door knocker. How could anyone resist using it?
You might be thinking that adding a few special details is more appropriate for a traditional look. But in today’s transitional-contemporary world, where rooms have taken on a much more casual look, the details are still there.
Like a pretty garnish on a dinner plate, that extra something makes the whole experience more memorable and special. And when you are considering updating your spaces for a comfy life now and in the future, it makes a lot of sense.
What am I talking about? A woven fabric panel on the front of a sofa pillow. A mix of silver and brass hardware on a cabinet. Painting a table base or a fireplace mantel in a bold-hued lacquer paint. Using a contrasting fabric on the back or arms of a chair. A piece of textured ribbon glued to the inside of a picture frame. A glass ornament ribbon-tied to a lamp base. Adding a border to anything: a rug, a mirror, a wall, or a floor.
Just look at this delightful yellow painted mantel in Claude Monet’s dining room at his home in Giverney, France. The blue and white tiles really make the yellow color pop, in a good way. And the green vase collection is a wonderful idea. Notice that there is an odd number of elements here being displayed (odd numbers of items are much more interesting than an even number). The bright green color of the porcelain pieces is a marvelous contrast.
Details like these are what separates your room from anyone else’s, and are a wonderful, personal way to make your spaces uniquely your own.
These modern dining chairs shown above are decked out in 3 fabrics, a textured solid for the seat and back, a modern scroll for the backs, and an accent of a solid welting (piping) around the wood frame.
This leather chair (photo below) gets a warm accent from a rabbit pillow, a nice contrast in textures and a definite boon for comfort.
Adding details takes a careful eye and some imagination. I love this part of my job as a designer. It’s so much fun to conjure up little surprises that can make an entire room stand out in a way that’s customized for my Baby Boomer clients. It can make that forever home that much more fulfilling.
So if you’d rather leave the details to a pro, I’m here to help!