I’ve always loved to visit designer show houses. Even though the rooms may be completely out of reach financially to copy, show houses are still a great place to get ideas that you can incorporate in your own home. You may be inspired by a color palette or by a window treatment or even in how the designer accessorized the room. There are always lessons to be learned if you look closely. Last week I was fortunate enough to tour two very different show houses; the Hampton Show House and the Holiday Hampton Show House. As different as each house was, I spotted several things the designers did over and over that are easily duplicated decorating ideas that you can do in your own home. Most of them are at little or no cost but will add that designer flair. Here are my top five tips to bring show house style into your own home.
1. Use a chair to display books and objects. I saw this done over and over again in almost every designer’s room. Chairs were used as little display tables and were stacked with books, art and decorative objects.
I think the image below shows a great way to display a small piece of art work that you just can’t find the right spot for on your wall.
2. Add an orchid. I assume the designers used orchids because they require little care and will last for at least as long as the show house is open to the public but I would have say, just about every show room had a beautiful (usually white) orchid. Orchids are affordable and add life and beauty to any room.
3. Add a geode. Gems are trending big time in interior design and geodes were spotted all over at the two show houses. I saw geodes on stands, geodes in book cases and geodes on top of stacked books. Not only are they beautiful but geodes add sparkle and color.
4. Add something gold. Gold was THE metal of choice at both Hampton show houses. Gold for light fixtures, gold for hardware, and gold for accessories. Tobi Fairley used beautiful gold accessories on an orange dresser with gold hardware from Lexington Furniture. Notice too the white orchid and look at the chair just to the left of the dresser.
Lillian August used lots of gold in her room but I especially loved the two matching gold bookcases.
5. Add photography. As a photographer, I have to say I was most happy to see so much photography used. There was quite a mixture between black and white, color, vintage prints and modern.
With Instagram we all seem to be photographers these days so why not pick a favorite image and hang it in your own home? My tip to get a professional look is to blow it up big and have it professionally framed. It will look just like the ones the designers used.
Patrik Lonn chose a statement photo over the fireplace of bright blue butterflies on a back ground of crumpled tin foil. (notice too the geode lamp and white orchid in the background).
Above is a colorful Gray Malin photo. I feel like he is following me this Summer as his work was all over our Nantucket house rental this past Summer as well.
I’m sure you want to see more of each of these beautiful rooms and I will be sharing lot’s more in the next few blogs…including the room that most inspired me. In the meantime, I would love to hear which of these design elements is your favorite? Mine is the use of photography.