5 Designer details that will take your home from ordinary to extraordinary


It is usually the little things in life that really matter–a loving family, health and a roof over our heads.  And it is the little things that usually bring us the most joy—a child’s laughter, roly-poly puppies or a field of blooming flowers.  When it comes to home decor, the little things that turn an ordinary home into a memorable and extraordinary space is the attention paid to seemingly small details.  Here are our top 5 designer details that you can use to create the home of your dreams:
  1. Lampshades:  Lampshades are one of those items that we simply take for granted.  We buy a lamp that usually comes with a shade, we plug it in and never look at it again.  But a well-made and/or well-tailored lampshade that compliments your home’s decor can become more than just a functional item; it can become a beautiful accessory that ties the room together.  If possible, top your lamp off with a finial and always keep the seam of the shade turned away from the room so it is not visible.  Custom and personalized shades do not have to be expensive.  Search sites like Etsy and Ebay for unique and affordable lampshades.
  2. Trim details:  Window treatments, upholstered furniture and accent pillows are made more interesting when designer details like braid, buttons, fringe, contrast welting and nailheads are added.  Pay attention to other details as well.  A sure sign of an inferior item is mis-matched patterns at the seam so make sure patterns match at the seams in both accent pillows and seat cushions for an upscale look.  In the photo above you will see beautiful examples of trim on the leading edge of the drapery panels, contrast welting on the chairs and seam detailing on the throw pillows.  Try to imagine how unfinished or boring this room would look without those details!
  3. Mix old with new:  Family  heirlooms and antiques add a sense of personal history to a space and can easily be paired with newer pieces.  Your grandmother’s china, for example, can be beautifully displayed in a contemporary glass hutch or your father’s favorite ottoman can be reupholstered to coordinate with other upholstered items in the room.  A designer will often mix the old with the new to create a pulled together yet personal room.
  4. Personalize:  Family photos gathered on the console, your favorite childhood books on the bookshelves, children’s artwork framed and proudly displayed with other art,  a hand-knitted throw tossed across the back of the sofa, a bowl of rocks collected over the summer–all of these items are unique to your family and to your home and will make it feel more inviting for both you and your guests.
  5. Remove the clutter:  Take a quick photo of your room and look at it with a critical eye.  Do you see lots of unnecessary items scattered all over the place?  Does every single surface have something on it?  If so, it is time to remove all that clutter and display only those things that are important and add value to the room’s design.  Every good designer knows that a well placed single item can often carry more impact than a jumble of items placed around the room. Perhaps you have spent years, and a fortune, collecting your prized crystal collection, for example,  only to have it’s impact lost when it is scattered all over the house.  A collection is meant to be displayed together!  So gather some of your favorite crystal pieces and display them on a mirrored tray on the coffee table.  Take a look at your bookshelves and see if they are cluttered with lots of dust catchers or if they are storing books as they were designed to do.  Restyle them to hold your books, along with a few family photos or prized souvenirs or even a small piece of art.  If you have lots of “things” you can always interchange them throughout the year for a fresh new look.

As in life, it really is the little things that will make all the difference in whether you have a  home that is ordinary or a home that is extraordinary.

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