Happy home design solutions don’t occur
by random accident
Before you go out treasure hunting, check out your surroundings. You want to have at least some idea of which furnishings will give you the most Bang At Any Price for your home decor. It takes a careful distillation of the best possible use of what you already have, along with an honest assessment of what you think you need vs. what you need to rethink.
Not sure how to do this? Visit here for the basics: Mixing Styles & Price #1: Prepping For Greatness
When you have at least established a working game plan for next steps, you are ready to explore.
There aren’t any rules aside from common sense, who said you can’t use…
- Outdoor furniture inside for a great look
- A dresser as sideboard in the dining room
- That fabulous antique chest you just spied can be used as a coffee table.
- A vintage rug to upholster an ottoman or cover throw pillows.
Your living quarters will be more interesting with the addition of furnishings used creatively and/or “off label”.
At cross purposes: To carry the theme of inventive re-usage further, look for inspired pairings. How about an antique Oriental rug on a concrete floor? Or a vintage beaded cashmere sweater (too vintage to be worn as clothing, of course) used as pillow cover?
Add a little glamour to modest surroundings and you’ll look like a genius.
Conversely, mix the right flea market find into a pedigreed setting and your “cool home” quotient will go off the charts.
Who knows? A little slumming could produce a stunner.
In times of recession, regular retail therapy loses a lot of its appeal. The alternative commerce approach of flea market shopping can be an unparalleled adventure in nest feathering on the fly. It can net real treasures, albeit buried under real schlock. For a guide to happy hunting at flea markets, start here: Flea Market Shopping #1: Be A Lord Of The Fleas
Spiff it up. It’s amazing what paint can do to change the look and character of an otherwise tired set of dining chairs. Look for old picture frames while you’re at it. They can usually be picked up for the proverbial song and will add a lot of character to your artwork and the rooms where your artwork lives.
When is low-end too low? Beauty (and value) is in the eye of the beholder, etc., but keep it real.
There could be an obvious reason why your purchase was so cheap.
If you buy junk, you own junk.
To be fair, Kitsch can be wonderful if used judiciously. It’s fun, silly and often that “blast from the past” feel adds another dimension to a well lived in home.
Snobs need not apply. Developing a flair for mixing High and Low end furnishings successfully is best accomplished by forgetting where the designated item comes from and how much it cost.
The real key to mixing styles successfully is to learn to actually see what you are looking at. Make choices based on relatedness, scale, proportion, color and so forth.
Really keep it real: look for authenticity. You don’t need an item to be stamped, sealed, cataloged or whatever, to note whether it’s made of real materials such as wood, stone, metal, leather, shell, glass, mirror etc.
Does it passes the“it is what it is” test? For example, a reed blind from Chinatown is 100% reed with 100% cotton string hung on genuine metal hooks.
Always remember that Faux is French for Fake.
(Mixing Styles & Price Three Part Series)
Large Featured Photo: erstwhilejewelry.com
Article Photo: designhappy365.blogspot.com
The original version of this article was published on Hamptons.com. It’s presented here as a foundation for further discussion.