I get the best emails. This one is from Irana after she visited the Big Brothers Big Sisters 2017 Veneto show home:
“Ann, you’re so talented and creative. I really enjoyed the energy in that home. Thank you.”
Comments like this make my whole day! That “energy” she’s talking about? That’s what happens when you have all the right pretties and staging props in all the right places.
What do I mean by “pretties”? They’re the details and accessories that make a space visually appealing. Some people think of these as “frou frou” or “tchotchkes”—I say a house is not a home without some tactile touches.
Texture is the key…
You can achieve that by layering. Picture, for example, an art niche. Add a pot light. Then a framed mirror behind and an object in front. Always consider hard and soft. One of my all-time favourite pretties is a tray with a grouping of interesting things. Think about the objects on a coffee table—the coffee table book, fresh flowers, a tray with one-of-a-kind finds that suit your decor (modern, rustic etc.). You’re looking for conversation pieces. Pretty ones!
It definitely is a balancing act. Height, width, colour, texture—all these elements must be considered. There’s flooring, area rugs underneath your feet, the walls (a great textured wallpaper always adds some spice), the pendant lights above your island, the dining room table, the beds, vanities, open shelves and bookcases, the stuff in your powder room…. Add candles, fresh flowers, sculptures, greenery, lamps, pictures and the actual frames on them (Vertical or horizontal? How high? How low?), and mirrors (Beveled? Framed? Round, square or rectangular? Perhaps a grouping?). So many things to consider.
But whatever you do…
Please don’t randomly place things anywhere! Every detail needs a purpose, a rhyme, a reason…I’d rather have nothing than something ugly or irrelevant!
How do you know what to buy? What to put where?
Envision all the elements that surround the area you’re buying for.
- The colour of the walls.
- The colour of the floor/millwork/countertop.
- The SCALE of everything (big table=big pretty, small table=small pretty).
- What shape is it? Square, round, etc.? Do you want to follow that same line?
- What surrounds it? Fabrics? What colours? Do you want to “pop” a colour?
- Do you have a theme? Perhaps you’re leaning nautical, rustic, contemporary, or modern? Try placing elements following your theme around the home. Careful though: this is when less really is more.
- Finally, envision that pretty in that place. Does it make sense?
The right pretties create flow through the space. If you do it right, the house will have a rhythm, an energy that feels good. And you’ll enjoy being there because it will feel, well, pretty!