to a Room
Reprinted from Miniature Collector, October,
2003, by Suzanne Crowley
Layer, layer, layer! One of the common mistakes
with early roomboxes is that there is not enough detail. Unless you are
doing an art gallery or period room, minimalist is not that interesting
Add potted plants and greenery to a room.
Plants infuse a room with instant life.
Upgrade furniture where you can or invest
in one collectible, finely made piece of furniture. The addition of a few
nice pieces can totally transform your look.
Tell a story about your room. Are the occupants
about to go on a trip? Add luggage, travel brochures and designer shopping
bags. Has your imaginary owner just left the room? Add a plate of cookies,
a candy dish or a folded newspaper.
Add a rug to anchor the room. It’s amazing
how a pretty rug can infuse a room with drama.
Reupholster out-of-scale or tired-looking
Fix poorly done work. Don’t be embarrassed.
We have all come a long way! Examples of poorly done work include messy
upholstering, bad mitring or trim, pillows that are not quite square, glue
spots. Some mistakes are easily fixed. Remember the old saying, “When an
architect makes a mistake, he plants ivy!” You can always add trim or rosettes
to cover up something. Don’t let any mistake catch the viewer’s eye.
Pull the eye up in a room. Layer and stack
paintings. Stacks of two or three are nice. Another common mistake is a
painting that is too small over a couch or fireplace. Replace it with a
larger painting or add brackets on either side with an element on top.
Drape a handmade throw over a bench or sofa.
Cut a rectangle our of a complementary fabric and fringe the edge.
Add more decorative pillows. Handmade or purchased
pillows always add richness to a room. Sometimes pulling a darker colour
into a room by using pillows adds punch.
Pull in another accent colour. Use black or
a minor colour from fabric or other elements in the room.
Remember the rule of odds in decorating. Odd
numbers of things are more interesting to the eye than even numbers of
things. This works especially well when arranging accessories. Sometimes
a really large object such as a lamp works as a neutral and doesn’t count
in the tableau.
Vary your heights. This applies to accessories,
furniture placement and wall decoration.
Edit with a careful eye. Take out what does
Do the spindly leg check. Are there too many
brown legs showing in your room? Replace a table with a skirted one. Or
replace a coffee table with an ottoman. Exception: dining rooms, where
there will always be a lot of spindly legs.
Scale up and plump up the pieces. If you have
too many delicate pieces in the room, replace them with something plumper
and more substantial.
Add detail to a plain door by upgrading the
doorknob and putting a decoration with trim or a painting over the door.
Remember, you always want to try to pull the eye upward.
Add some very fine detail in an accessory.
One nicely done artisan piece will go a long way.
Add trim to pillows and chairs. Vary the colours,
style and texture. Stock up on tiny trims so you have plenty from which
Paint gold or black details on a piece of
Add fringe around a sofa or to curtains. Small
fringe is available on the market or make your own from grosgrain ribbon.
Just cut off the bottom end of the ribbon, and pull the threads off until
you achieve the look you want.