I myself have always been a stickler for details when it comes to decorating. Details add personality, depth and texture to a room, enhancing your décor when used properly. However, you need to walk a fine line with them: Used inappropriately, they'll overwhelm and be a distraction. I often compare this delicate balance to accessorizing an outfit: Too little and the outfit looks unfinished; too much and the outfit is a busy mess.
There is an infinite variety of detailing that you can use to add spark to your décor. Finials, fan pulls, tassels and trims, decorative buttons, cabinet knobs, cord covers and drapery hardware are just a few of the options. While this article focuses on only a small percentage of these, you owe it to yourself to have some fun exploring the many details of distinctive design.
DOOR KNOBS AND CABINET PULLS
Much like lamp finials, doorknobs and cabinet knobs/pulls of all styles are readily available online and range from traditional to whimsical (in shapes like fish, eating utensils (as for kitchen cabinets and drawers) and flowers). You can use such hardware to complement your furniture style with classic Queen Anne, Chippendale or Hepplewhite detailing, or you can use knobs that deliberately contrast with your furniture to make a bold statement.
TASSELS AND TRIMS
Another fun and effective way to add detail to a room is with tassels and trims of all sorts (also known as “passementerie”), and the options are almost limitless.
For instance, rope trims offer a nice alternative to welting on pillows, box cushions and table skirts and add color and texture. Gimp (or flat trim) is a great option for use with window treatments and bedding. In fact, I like to use gimp for areas that get a lot of incidental contact because these types of trims aren't prone to unraveling (unlike a tassel trim, for example). Gimp is also good for use as a border for drapery panels (and requires less sewing skill than does using a contrasting fabric border).
Tassels can be simple and monochromatic or elaborate, multi-colored works of art (and they are priced accordingly). In addition to the traditional “key tassel” like that pictured to the right, one of these more elaborate “statement” tassels can be used as a drapery tieback.
Generally, the selection of trims that you will find in stock at the fabric store represents a very small percentage of the choices available through custom order. If you have the time and patience, it's well worth the effort to pore through some of these custom choices (or have your decorator do it for you!). Many are only available “to the trade”, but it's relatively easy to find a dealer through whom you can purchase such trims. There are some great online sources where you can get more information about the many trim and tassel styles available. Check out the “Resource Guide” below for a few of these sources.
Details can be one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of decorating a room. Whether you apply these details to a completely custom design or to a mass-produced store-bought window treatment, any door, cabinet, dining chair, light fixture, drapery or upholstered furniture piece is an opportunity for embellishment that reflects your special style stamp. Give it a try.
ADDITIONAL TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS:
- Use cord covers on hanging light fixtures to hide the fixture's electrical cord and chain and to add some subtle drama (as with a cord cover in a sassy cheetah print). If you elect to purchase the cord cover (as opposed to sewing one yourself), just be sure to buy the type with an open vertical seam that closes with Velcro, allowing you to put the sleeve on without having to remove the chandelier from the ceiling.
- Where possible, install “rim locks” on your interior or screen doors. Rim locks are locks and plates that are fixed to a door's surface instead of being mortised inside the door and they can be quite elegant for a traditional home, providing some historic detailing. However, rim locks are not really designed for or adequate as a security lock. Therefore, they should only be used for interior doors or for decoration on an exterior door where there is another device for security purposes (such as a deadbolt).
- If you have bought pre-made pillows from the store that could use some pop or if you have plain matching pillows that came with your sofa, try hand-sewing or even hot-gluing on tassel trim or gimp for some added personality.
- If you have a store-bought throw or bedspread, sew some bullion fringe around the edges for a more luxurious look. Bullion fringe is also a great choice for trimming the kick-pleats on a sofa or for detailing an upholstered ottoman.
- Use “key” tassels on china cabinet doors or decorative boxes.
- Purchase inexpensive carved wood cabinet knobs and gold leaf or silver leaf them with liquid leaf. The look will be richer and more textured than knobs with a plain metal finish.
- Note that if you use a rope trim with a “lip” attached to it, it will be easier to sew between your seams with a sewing machine (as opposed to a rope trim without a lip, which needs to be hand-sewn on top of the fabric).
- Use decorative buttons (store-bought or custom fabric-covered) to add detail to window treatments, to closures on duvet covers, and to tufted ottomans, pillows and cushions.
- Use pleated trim to add nice depth and texture to the edges of duvet covers, coverlets and pillow shams.
- Fluted drapery rods with intricately carved finials like that pictured to the left and fabric rosettes
window treatment, taking it to the next level. You spend a lot of time and money designing your window treatments and bringing them to life with carefully-chosen fabrics. Add some details like these and your investment will be apparent (and well worth it).
Knobs and pulls:
Anthropologie (great source for quirky, unusual cabinet knobs and drawer pulls).
Shades of Light
Tassels & Trims (stunning selection)
Trims:Decorative Fabrics Direct
Tassels & Trims (to the trade only)
Kravet (to the trade: doesn't sell to the consumer directly)
The Curtain Rod Shop (drapery hardware, finials, trims, tiebacks)
Rim Locks:Baldwin Brass Hardware
House of Antique Hardware
Historic Home Hardware
|Copyright 2010 - All rights reserved - Pamela Yeaton|