Monday, March 30, 2009

Defining Your Luxury: Keeping It Simple

You've heard the phrase: Keep It Simple Silly! (ok, I modified a little, but you get the picture)

The next step in defining your luxury and your home comes through editing. That is, don’t be afraid to clear the house of items that are not used or don’t suit the interiors. Who knows, hold a garage sale and maybe fund some of the changes you really want. It always amazes me when I make a comment about re-styling certain accessories to a client, how many times I hear "Well, I don't really like that anyway, but..." No buts. Here it is, I give you permission to move that object to another location or even out of your home. Would you constantly invite people into your home that you could not stand? Probably not. Then, why bring in and keep things in your home that you can not stand? To me it is a negative energy that you build in your home. Instead of smiling when you walk into your room, you frown. Be picky and choose carefully.

The second point of editing is controlling what, how and how much you display. A common issue is that we will inherit family heirlooms that we feel compelled to display – after all it was our Great Grandmother’s! What we forget sometimes is that displaying every bit of our 12 place settings in the china cabinet is too much for the eye to focus on at one time. Instead, chose a couple of settings to rotate through the year or display more of the larger serving pieces with 3 place settings. Invest in clear or metal frames that allow you to show a complete plate setting, most of these can be purchased at craft stores or online. This will give more limelight to the items, while carefully storing the remaining pieces. For those of us with multiple sets of china and crystal, try highlighting each set during a month, such as the birth month of the relative. Treat it as a revolving art showing in your home!

Another tendencies is to spread collections or accessories all over the place. So again, visually there is no stop points for the eye to focus on, just the same-looking pieces everywhere. Try grouping the accessories, usually into 3 or 5. It really becomes beneficial if there are height and detail variances that again add interest for the eye.

Don't believe me? Here is a case study for you. Look at this room that appeared in the April/May issue of Western Interiors (

It is beautiful, isn't it? Regardless of whether your style is traditional or contemporary - there is just a peace to this composition. Notice the bookcase of relic jars. There are actually five there. But the other elements of color and material are simple as well and are in threes (use of stone, use of white) and the wooden sculpture is striking and of a large enough scale that it can stand alone. Now for the caption "The family room of a Beverly Hills, California, residence, 1978." This room by Michael Taylor is 31 years old. But the simplicity of the design and use of accessories has made it timeless. This is the effect that simplification can have in YOUR home.

Next Time: Building Your Base

Until then, It is Your Home, Your Style and Your Luxury.

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