A bit of glam

I like a room to have a bit of glamour….
Glamour can be achieved in many different ways…..to me it stands for shiny and sparkly and a bit of 50’s Hollywood style. However, I wouldn’t want my whole room decorated in a 50’s or early 60’s ‘Mad Men’ way – as cleverly done as it may be in the American series (Great stylists!) I believe a way to bring a bit of that Hollywood glam into a room is through mirrored furniture. These days some online shops sell mirrored furniture however please be careful a lot of tack and replicas are being sold as the real deal! If you can source some authentic mirrored furniture then you will have an eye catching feature that will result in questions such as “where did you find that” and ” only you….” My favourite comments!

In the photograph above it shows my 50’s Parisian hotel console. I love it, it ooozes glam and makes candles and lamps sparkle in the mirror. I bought it online on Ebay from a reputable dealer and it took some time getting it transported. It was then dropped outside my house on the pavement with a delivery guy claiming ” Not my problem how you get it in” but after the hard work was done even my husband now appreciates it (not so much at the time….)

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Another mirrored example is my “mirrored cube”. Not an authentic 50’s but more of a wink to 70’s and 80’s glam pop. I love it; it’s simple, looks different and looks great with a vase on top – preferably filled with a colourful bunch of spring flowers….

Quick Mood Enhancers

 

I have a long list of accessories, – some expensive , some inexpensive – that instantly change the look and feel of your room.

Think: candles, flowers, scents – all relatively inexpensive and then the more costly purchases such as vases, quirky accessories, the required bold and gold (!) accessory, flea market finds with a story, art work..etc

Real game changers and the ultimate ‘mix and match’ accessories are Cushions. You can dress your sofa for winter ,summer, spring by adding or changing your cushions. In summer you might want to display some lighter textures, in winter you might want to go for (faux) fur. On a particular good or bad day you just might want to give your room a make -over and by adding some different cushions you achieve just that.

I think odd numbers are good and I think mixing the textures is a particularly good thing. I would recommend you keep all cushions on one sofa in the same hue or at least colour tone but add some pops of colour to give some excitement. Cushions are immensely diverse think of beautiful silk, soft cotton, rustic linen, soft fur and then of course the different brands they come in. I love Osborne and Little, and Pierre Frey but also Dedar, Missoni, Madeline Weinrib, Jonathan Adler. However I believe that with good interior style just like with good fashion style you should not need to only buy the most expensive items to create that special individualistic style. It is much more exciting to combine designer couture with a high street item. Same goes for interior design; try combining Pierre Frey with let’s say Zara Home – does it work? It can do!

The photo above shows an expensive Osborne & Little cushion with cushions from Art de Lys, Zara Home, and a designer Mariska Meijers cushion.

And another thing – cushions are there to look great, and are not there for practical purposes…You might get some resistance when trying to dress your sofa with more than 2 cushions. Please ignore the remarks, beautiful Louboutin shoes are also not meant to be comfortable but to look great!

Colour coding

Somewhere around 2002 I was living in Amsterdam with my then boyfriend (now husband) in a cute apartment close to the canals. It was a rental apartment and at the time a very convenient little place to live. At first we decided to just decorate the house with all my collectables (fortunately mainly mine) I say “fortunately” as I know that lots of my friends had to put up with “his” special- but often hideous- pieces of furniture…..as you do…My boyfriend didn’t have any furniture, having moved around for work and having lived mainly in furnished apartments….such a relief! So we were happy with the basic decoration and as it was a rental couldn’t really do too much about the structural and bigger things e.g. kitchen, bathroom – all decorated to the highest standard of the 70’s!!! However I had decided to make one change and now I come to my point; I wanted to paint the long living room wall. Best decision ever. I must admit I did linger a bit and had bought the paint but was a little afraid of the effect it would have…..however one weekend I went away on a girls trip only to come back and find my boyfriend had decided to surprise me and do it for me. After a few touch ups it looked fab – boyfriend had decided to paint the wall after a couple of whiskey’s so there were some minor smudges here an there! However the end result was very effective!

If you want to make an impact that won’t cost the world then paint out your walls in a beautiful hue. Immediately it changes the feel of the room, makes your art work pop out and gives new life to some of your old pieces of furniture you were considering throwing out. Then another thing…..if you really want to make an impact and create that cozy feel that really provides the ‘double take’ effect go for DARK. Don’t be afraid and certainly don’t listen to those who will tell you not to do it…..better still don’t tell anybody, just do it…..

More than 12 years ago I decided to paint the wall dark. When we moved house I decided to leave everything fresh and crisp with one exception we painted out the living room in a pretty duck egg blue….It didn’t take too long before I realised I needed my dark walls back….now I have kitchen, dining room, and 2 of the bedrooms upstairs painted out in a lovely dark grey

If you don’t want to go dark then don’t (trust me dark is more spectacular) but any good hue will make such a difference to the room…promise!

There are various paint brands out there such as Farrow and Ball, Little Green, and the more mainstream and less expensive DIY paints…..Personally I love Farrow and Ball and there is something powdery about the paint structure that some of the other well known brands can’t recreate….

Trust me on this one – have a go

Mix and match

Growing up in a small town in the Netherlands, I thought the only right way to go was to furnish a home full of antiques. My younger sister was often too embarrassed to bring back any friends claiming that the house was like a “museum”. When I started collecting stuff to fill up my room and later my student digs I thought in order for it to be right it had to be antique. How wrong was I! Fortunately everyone grows up!

My preference of furnishings now has to be a mix of one or two antique pieces (preferably a bit over the top with some gold accents), combined with a bit of art deco, some mid century pieces and the required contemporary items (e.g. sofas, cushions). Does this all get a bit overly complicated and end up in confusion?  No I love it. The different periods obviously have different styles and therefore provide intrigue and uniqueness.  The various style periods also provide the ever required layers and texture a room needs (think chrome with wood and leather etc) and can marry in harmony provided you display them correctly and leave the color scheme not too wild (I don’t mean white!! but actually DARK) and then go wild with pops of color here and there….

For antiques  I love to go with Empire style pieces – straight lines but with gold accents and often marble tops.

For Art Deco think wooden cabinets or cinema chairs with velvet cushions

For Mid century think of the ever successful Eames or La Fonda chairs or perhaps a nice Geoffrey Harcourt or what about a mirrored Parisian 50′ console?

For great art deco and mid century pieces try 1stdibs.com

Please dare to be different……