Top tips on adding a touch of glamour to your home
PUBLISHED: 12:50 01 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:50 01 October 2014
Interior designer Charlotte Starling shows you how to bring that elusive wow factor into your home by mixing up your styles and unleashing a sense of drama
It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what makes a home glamorous or super-stylish. For me, glamorous spaces are those which effortlessly combine the elegant and the exotic, the theatrical with the tantalising.
If you want to conjure the appearance of lavish luxury in your home, it’s all about mixing styles and textures with aplomb. Daring use of bold colours and generous sprinklings of metallics layered with velvet, furs and silks all help, but mainly individuality and imagination and quite a lot of chutzpah is what’s required. So, while you don’t have to have an A list budget to achieve that elusive wow factor in your home, you do have to be a little daring.
Good taste is highly subjective, but there are some who just seem to have an innate sense of beauty, colour and style. These are people whose homes you go to and you secretly covet everything they own. ‘Oh this old thing’ they say, ‘I picked that up at a flea market in Paris’ or ‘it’s a vintage sari of my mother’s’, that they’ve just happened to fashion into a deeply stylish, interiors-magazine-ready and enviable tablecloth. The lesson to be taken from this is that the most important element in achieving that elusive X-factor is to make the space yours.
You shouldn’t ditch the rulebook entirely, but at the same time be brave enough to not follow the crowd. Something as simple as putting a familiar item in an unfamiliar setting will shake things up a bit and create the all-important element of surprise. So for example, you could put together an over-the-top ornate mirror with a battered, vintage leather chair on a utilitarian sisal rug. Or line the walls in your loo with a madly-eccentric patterned fancy wallpaper. Combine this with vintage finds from various eras, an abundance of gloss and shine, and the result will be an opulent room that delights the eye.
Furniture with gloss, glass and lacquered surfaces reflects the light beautifully and adds a touch of instant glamour. If you paint the walls a deep sumptuous colour, bright-coloured accessories and artwork set against them will really pop out at you. Stylish homes keep clutter behind closed doors, which opens up the space and then you can really make a feature of one stunning piece of furniture or an invigorating colour scheme. Glossy touches like an ornate gold chandelier will lend a feeling of casual grandeur.
Even if your budget is of the shoestring variety, there are plenty of ways to inject a little luxury. Rooms like bathrooms and kitchens are expensive to replace, but you can update them fairly easily. Change cupboard handles on kitchen cabinets and paint them a bright colour, or replace the old taps in the bath with spa-like shower fixtures in shiny chrome.
Curtains seem to have fallen slightly out of fashion recently, but nothing adds drama to a room and frames a window like a really fabulous pair of curtains. Curtain designer Sue McCarthy-Moore of Stitchinghouse Design in Poundbury advises that “it’s so much better to have lots and lots of a cheaper plain fabric so the curtains are really full and generous and puddled on the floor, than a little of an expensive fabric which makes curtains look skimpy. You can always embellish them with a little braiding or fringing.”
So mix up your styles and textures, be daring with bold colours and metallics and unleash your sense of drama and you’ll create a home like no other!
Charlotte Starling is Creative Director of Velvet & Dash Interiors based near Dorchester. A keen supporter of local businesses, she works with Dorset-based designers and artists to offer styling and sourcing services for the home. Find out more at velvet-dash.com or call 01300 320 657.
Decorating Masterclass with Farrow & Ball - Adding Opulence
There are two key ingredients when it comes to creating a truly luxurious space – not being afraid to use colour you might shy away from in normal circumstances, and trying out new decorating techniques with wallpaper.
Cocoon yourself in colour with deep, bold tones such as Brinjal, Green Smoke, India Yellow, Stiffkey Blue and Incarnadine, as they will create an atmosphere that is dark and mysterious while remaining inviting and relaxing. By painting all four walls in a dark colour, you will instantly add glamour to even the smallest of rooms.
Another great way to create a space that oozes with opulence is to use wallpaper. Opting for patterns featuring metallic detail, such as, one of our Ocelot, Lattice or Rosslyn designs with accents of gold and silver detail, will instantly transform a room from something ordinary into something luxurious.
Recently, we’ve seen a trend towards people wanting to move away from gold and silver, towards accessorising with copper – a warmer metallic which offers a stylish alternative. At the beginning of the year, we launched the first ever wallpaper to feature copper detail – Samphire – a highly sophisticated pattern and the epitome of modern glamour.
Finally, to finish off, you’ll need to make sure you choose suitably luxurious accessories! Gilded mirrors, ornate wall art, candles, quality fabrics and rugs will all help towards perfecting a truly lavish space!
Sarah Cole, Director - farrow-ball.com