Oct 19, 2011

Great design elements to use in your home.

When creating a personal, custom space for yourself, use these design elements to add texture, softness, ambiance, and provenance.

Lighting. A great pendant, a shapely table lamp, and even an architectural floor lamp, can be a dramatic accessory and a focal point to a room. With the right fixture in the right scale and color, you can complete the decor of a space and add functional light at the same time. This monochromatic room needed only one table lamp in a glamorous crystal, to add sparkle and reading light.  

Candlesticks: Whether you like classic turned wooden candlesticks or sleek glass ones, using real or flame less candles, nestled in the right place in your room, adds drama, softness, romance, and light. The new battery-operated LED candles are dynamite too. They offer safety and some even have remote controls and timers to turn on and off in 24 hour cycles. 

 Wreaths: Bringing a bit of color to your doors, fireplace, table, and even your cook top, with a great wreath. You can certainly bring seasonal warmth to these areas, but why not use one year-round. Boxwood, grapevine and twig and vine are some that can be dried, real or faux and look great all the time.

 Orchids: Even if you don't have a green thumb, a flowering orchid plant will add an elegant feel to a room, soften a harsh corner and look refreshing. They're not as delicate as you might think and they certainly look expensive. Nowadays you can find them in most big box hardware stores for under $15.  Add a group in a blue and white vessel for a traditional look or a single plant in a richly colored cache pot for a modern feel.

Vases. Empty or full, glass or ceramic, vases can add a finishing touch to any room.  Varying the scale, the shape and texture and adding a plant or leaving it empty creates focal points and add color.  The glass vases in this kitchen space bring a soft blue to a crisp white space, and the white-on-white textured vases on the table add interest without competing for attention with other architectural details.

Books: While I love open space on tables, books add a lived in feel, an architectural element, and sophistication to consoles, end tables and coffee tables. Placing them at an angle is both practical - these are study guides covered with wallpaper - and attractive. Your favorites will showcase your hobbies and personality!

Blue and white.  In nearly all decorating styles, classic blue and white vases, bowls, lamps and urns add a wonderful, warm touch. As a collection or simply by itself, a blue and white vase looks elegant, adds a sense of antiquity, and provides fresh color to a space. 

 Mirrors: With the ability to reflect light into a room, provide architectural detail, and even function as wall art, mirrors are one of the most versatile design accessories...not to mention functional!  They can add apparent space to a small room, create a focal point, and reflect a beautiful room for added enjoyment.   By using floor mirrors you can make a narrow hallway appear wider, and a low-ceiling room appear taller!   Be aware of what the mirror is reflecting.  A drab wall or the tops of furniture, won't add to the impact of using one.

Area rugs: The ability to define and divide a space can be accomplished with an area rug. Add visual interest, scale, pattern and texture to any room. By defining a space you can change the perception of a room's dimension. Enjoy the variety of materials, but get the BEST you can afford.  For neutral looks, add a great border as shown here, with a sisal center and a crisp brown leather edge.

 Panel curtains:  To add softness to any window, adding panels - even with existing blinds - will do the trick.  Have a small window? Flanking it with panels can make the window look larger.  Need a bit of texture or color? A great fabric panel curtain can add the layer to finish your space.  Of course they are functional!  Add privacy, block the cold, divide a space, and more with simple or detailed panels.