I have noticed a trend lately among new builds in my area; especially in over 55 housing communities. It seems the rooms sizes are smaller but the ceilings are really high to give the illusion of more space. This may seem great at first glance but figuring out what to do with all this vertical space can be very challenging for my clients. The problem with really tall ceilings is that if you don’t address them then your room can feel cavernous and cold.
Last week while at the Hampton Show Houses I took notice of what the pros did as they were presented with very tall ceilings in both the Hampton Show House and the Holiday House Hampton. Here are five decorating ideas if you have tall ceilings.
1. Hang em high. When it comes to window treatments the higher the better. Designer Tobi Fairley took her window treatments right to the ceiling in the master bedroom of her show house room. Even though that head board was quite tall, it was dwarfed by the soaring ceiling height. The window treatments visually filled the space and kept the room feeling balanced. It’s not inexpensive to do this but it really is the best solution. Hanging the window treatments lower would simply draw more attention to the tall ceiling and could make the room look “top heavy”.
2. Use tall art work to fill the space. Art work should always relate to the shape of the wall you are placing it on and a tall wall begs for tall art work. Designer Gil Walsh used what appeared to originally be a screen to fill her soaring wall space.
3. Add a hanging light. Using a hanging light in a room with a tall ceiling is a great way to not only add more light but also bring the eye down to a more comfortable level. Notice too that designer Katie Leeds hung her window treatments right up to the ceiling.
4. Paint horizontal stripes. Designer Michelle Smith of Studio MRS used the age old trick of painting wide horizontal stripes to “fool the eye” into thinking the room is not as tall as it really is. She too hung her window treatments to the ceiling and used the same horizontal stripe so that they seamlessly blended with the wall.
Melanie Roy also used horizontal stripes in her show house bathroom to make the super tall yet small bathroom seem less imposing.
5. Create a lower wall height with molding. Elsa Soyars chose to create her own wall height by adding clearly defined molding at the top of wallpapered walls. She cleverly created what she wants you to see as wall vs. ceiling. The large sputnik shaped chandelier also fills in some of void between the ceiling and walls as well as adds visual interest.
Do you have tall ceilings? If so, what’s your favorite way to decorate?
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.
This week I had the good fortune of spending two days in the Hamptons, touring not one but two fabulous show houses; first the Hampton Designer Show House and then the Holiday House Hamptons Watchcase in Sag Harbor. I took so many photos of the designer rooms and I have so much to share with you. Check back early next week because my next post will show you how to bring show house style into your own home. You can do it just like the A-list designers did it in the Hamptons.
Here is my first tip: When displaying objects, use books to add height and interest.
Have a great weekend everyone!
I know over sized chandeliers are very on trend these days but another option is to use several small pendant lights. Check out this multitude of glass pendants I saw at the CitizenM Hotel in New York.
Looks like even the Queen approves. Have a great weekend everyone!
Just a little over two weeks ago my husband surprised me and told me he had rented a house on Nantucket for my Birthday. I will admit that at first I was somewhat freaked out..my clients!…the expense!…I can’t take more time off! Well he knew I would say all of these things so he just went ahead and booked it so that I couldn’t say no. I really had no idea what to expect so I was very happy when we walked through a private gate to this cute rose covered cottage, just steps from town.
It was the perfect house but I couldn’t help but chuckle because as we walked through the tastefully decorated cottage I could see the tell tale mark of a decorator in every room. I could even identify most of the vendors for the furnishings. Take a look and see all the trends and vendors I spotted! The living room furniture is very on trend white linen, with English arm style sofa and side chairs. The Emerald green double gourd lamp (Lamps Plus or One Kings lane), bright botanical pillows and coordinating art work adds the “pop of color”. (notice how the colors of the art work perfectly coordinates with the pillows) The two side chairs are detailed with nail head trim. A large clam shell (Ballard Designs) sits on a grass cloth wrapped coffee table. (I know several vendors make grass cloth covered tables but the first one that comes to mind is Thibaut). Two on trend spool chairs flank a faux bamboo side table with a bright yellow vase that I have seen in multiple stores including Homegoods. A table vignette with two apothecary jars and faux blue coral on a tray. The sleeping porch bed has a bedspread that I recognized as coming from Serena and Lilly (I just ordered one for a client) and some on trend paisley and medallion patterned pillows. The master bedroom has bedding from Restoration Hardware and I just recently saw the lamps on One Kings Lane. I also instantly recognized the three photos above the bed because they are from the hugely popular and super hot photographer Gray Malin. Malin shoots lots of ariel views of beaches so the umbrellas and bathers become dots of color and pattern. Here is the link to the set above the bed. He also sells his work on One Kings Lane so maybe the lamps and photography were purchased together??
The kitchen was quintessential Nantucket cottage with open shelving, butcher block counters and a pot rack. There was a Dash and Albert stripped rug on the floor and a rope ball next to the door that I believe is also from Ballard Design.
and on the other side of the kitchen….
a pair of trendy red industrial stools and another Gray Malin print. This one is called Bermuda Pineapples.
So I guess it’s just normal considering my job but I am wondering if the rest of you that are decorators or designers do the same thing? Are you always spotting and identifying trends and vendor sources when you visit someone’s home? I would love to know!
This was one of my favorite beds at High point. I love the colors, the chinoiserie canopy and the fresh white bedding accented with the the bold graphic design. Most of all though I like the pillow arrangement. So often I see too many pillows on a bed, multiple layers deep and it’s just not practical. Two large square, one smaller square and that’s all you need.
How many pillows do you have on your bed?
have a great weekend everyone!