20 May

The importance of Finishing Touches

Morning – thought I might yabber about finishing touches this morning – those little items that turn your pad from drab to fab in next to know time. If anyone has brought my  book Decorating with Style you will see that I’ve spent quite a bit of time discussing finishing touches. The reason – well often times people stop decorating too soon,and for me at least its the finishing touches that raise the bar that make you want to linger and stay in a room. I was somewhere not so long ago where all the main pieces were in place (sofas, chairs etc)  but barely a detail, nothing, zilch. It was the strangest experience because it totally effected how I felt in the place,which was pretty on edge. The more stuff you have in a place the more there is for the eye to linger on, get excited by, get  tantalised by , seduced and stimulated – its pretty easy stuff.  Who cares if it takes longer to dust, if it isn’t super practical. I can’t stand practical, practical equals boring!

It can be as easy as arranging a few personal bits on a side table (postcards, paintings, candles, flowers, books) that sort of thing. Our impressions of a room come not from the big big ticket items but from the details like  paintings on a wall, or  how books are displayed on a shelf. You don’t need to go out and buy a load of stuff,  most of us have mismatched candlesticks or t-lights hanging around the place, a collection of vases or china, heaps of little books. Personal bits.  A general rule of thumb should you wish to follow and even though I am a rule breaker I tend to agree here – family photos are best confined to bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways. Other little finishing touches that make all the difference include; hardware (think antique brass door handles, or quartz or inky black porcelain). Lighting is a game changer – when we get tired of a room we can’t all go out and change the sofa but we can change the lighting as it completely changes the atmosphere in a room. Any room with only 4  lights or less- will I hate to tell have  personality issues. It will read as practical and functional and hospital like rather than beautiful and atmospheric, the more lights softly glowing the cooler the space. Other finishing touches include bedding – as soon as I swapped mine around from white cotton to inky dark linen I couldn’t believe the difference. Now if I could I would spend the entire day in the bedroom I would, its one of the coolest rooms in the house.

Oh and just to warn it never ends there is always another little finishing touch you can add to a room. Another little posy of flowers, a cool little ceramic, another lamp – but that is the fun part right. It gets a little addictive. Some images below taken from my book Decorating with Style (photography Graham Atkins Hughes).

GG2_Phili1_007_0105It can be as simple as this – a few hats, paintings, bags – wham bam, nailed it!

GG2_Phili1_006_0087Or it can be more elaborate like this!

I’m off – early Pilates session and then its back for granola with almond milk from Gwyneth’s new book – am obsessed with the stuff, made heaps of it over the weekend.

Have a lovely Monday xx

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