Guest Blogger Mary Cook is the president and founder of Mary Cook Associates, Inc., an award-winning interior design firm specializing in providing full scale interior architecture and design services to a wide range of clients, with projects including multi-million dollar renovations, landmark restorations, adaptive reuse, and new construction. Over the past 20+ years, the company has grown to acquire national presence, implementing and managing hundreds of design projects across the United States.
Have you been looking for some simple and affordable ways to make your favorite spot a little more glamorous? Luckily, when it comes to creating a luxurious interior, you don’t have to spend like a movie star to feel like one. Here are a few easy tips that will have you living in the lap of luxury in no time!
1. Give any room a more luxurious feel by installing dimmable light switches for dining chandeliers, sconces, recessed cans, and other general lighting. Being able to control lighting can help you set the tone for any kind of function, and dimming the lights at a dinner party or other gathering can make the overall feeling richer, more formal, more romantic, and much more lavish.
2. Texture and pattern are great room enhancers. Adding unexpected patterns and/or textures in key places can create dimension, add interest or contrast, and result in a more upscale & luxurious feel. A few easy ways to do this:
a. Add a textured grasscloth wallcovering above or below a chair rail, or behind an open back bookshelf to instantly make any room feel more luxurious. The natural woven fibers of grasscloth provide a unique and eco-friendly alternative to regular wallpaper.
b. Reupholster an accent chair in a richly woven fabric to add interest and depth. This is a great way to save money while boosting the overall impact of the piece and saving it from the landfill.
c. In the right place – like the headboard wall of your bedroom – a patterned wallcovering can help balance proportion, add interest and richness and enhance emotional warmth of the space.
d. A quick and easy solution for any budget is to replace tired old throw pillows or slip covers with great textured or patterned ones.
3. Don’t forget to add variety – a mix of patterns and textures together can greatly enhance dimension. Silks, linens, leathers, wovens, wools and patterns can all be combined in the same space if their proportion is balanced to create real richness.
4. Deeper, richer hued paint colors can richen the mood in any room. Jewel tones like navy, garnet, jade and amber add luxury and sophistication when applied in just the right proportions.
5. Metallic finishes in accessories and furniture can give your home a more lavish look for less. Opt for ornate metallic-framed paintings instead of those with plain frames. Mercury glass accessories and mirrored front accent furniture can add lots of sparkle on a limited budget. Table frames, lamp bases, nail head details, or accessories can be highlighted with a shiny or brushed metallic finish to create interest and opulence.
6. Details, details, details. Generally speaking the more and finer the detail the more luxurious space is. Spend time focusing on the details at all levels of a space to make sure you haven’t missed an opportunity to add impact.
Here a deep navy damask print beneath the chair rail was paired with the shade Samovar Silver by Sherwin Williams above the chair rail to create an overall feel of sophistication. Then, layers of patterns, textures, metallic finishes, and wood tones were used throughout the space, each of these ingredients playing an important role in adding richness and dimension. Deep charcoal textural silk pillows, five richly stained wood species, polished chrome light fixtures, pearlized mosaic tile columns, and both old and new accessories create a sumptuous variety that enhances the overall composition and results in a more luxurious and sophisticated feel.
Soaring ceilings with two-story windows and spectacular mountain views will seduce anyone’s senses, but it’s important to make the room complement the view. Using deeper colors like this combination of Sherwin Williams’ Foothills on the walls and Silvermist on the ceiling adds sophisticated warmth, and helps to enhance the dramatic proportions while creating a pleasing space to enjoy a taste of the great outdoors.
The color of artificial light can vary from intensely warm shades to very cold ones, and choosing the right lighting can dramatically impact a room’s effect on those experiencing it. Luckily, lighting color can be adjusted easily just by changing the bulb type, and light volume can be changed by dimmable light switches. By combining a warm, candle-glow colored light (in tech speak: 2700 Kelvin) with dimmable capabilities, you can set the stage for a more luxurious, intimate, or even glamorous event.
Metallic and mirrored finishes can add an instant glamour to a space – and who wouldn’t love a little more glamour in their master suite? The mirrored chest, mercury glass table lamps, satin nickel chandelier, and nail head-trimmed footboard help the soothing neutral color palette come to life with just the right amount of glam.
Wall surfaces were designed for maximum impact, using four colors instead of just one to create dimension and help delineate the space. Next, lighting was tailored to support the space’s multifunctionality. After that, millwork was detailed; the addition of running trim helped to make pleasing proportions of the wall space while creating interesting dimension. Flanking the fireplace in just the right proportion, the custom cabinetry creates symmetry, integrates function, and with the addition of an interesting collection of accessories, adds tons of impact.
Art and accessories will always play a significant role in finishing any space. Simple groupings of interesting pieces can inspire and engage those who experience them. Pay close attention to the size, proportion, and number of pieces you choose, and remember to be authentic to your personal style. Make it a point to select only the best pieces for your space by choosing things that are authentic, beautiful, and meaningful to your life. It might take time to find the perfect pieces, but never settle for a room full of insignificant clutter.