Artistic Accents Make Up No Extra Space
Sometimes, when you live in a small place or are particularly squished for space, you can give up too easily on achieving smart style. Don't! For starters, consider purchasing a very distinctive version of whatever basic pieces of furniture you will have to buy. You need a cocktail table and a dresser anyway, so why not take the time to select something significant? Make that specific item noteworthy and something to talk about!
Often, the most chic neighborhoods in older cities are filled with historic brick houses or stone row houses that are extremely expensive but offer very tiny rooms. If you can afford to live in one of these highly sought out neighborhoods, then your home should speak to the venerable nature of the area. Don't be afraid to seek out the truly unusual. For example, a hunt online led me to Martin Gallagher, a furniture designer-maker from Sligo, Ireland. In 2006, Gallagher graduated from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology Letterfrack, the National Centre of Excellence for Furniture Design and Technology, and went to work with a team of highly skilled craftsmen in one of Ireland's leading design and manufacturing companies. There, he honed his skills. As his website notes: "Growing up on a small rural farm surrounded by dramatic limestone mountains, windswept beaches and the awe-inspiring ocean, he has always drawn inspiration from his environment. A keen surfer, Martin has a unique perspective on the contrasting patterns and diverse effects created by the Atlantic Ocean."
Look at the amazing 3D Coffee Table and Stools design Gallagher produced as an example of a small piece of furniture. It is museum-worthy! This miraculous and complex design is just 27.56 inches in diameter and 23.62 inches tall. And this design is not just a table; it also presents convenient seating by incorporating leather-topped stools that are nearly a foot in diameter. While Gallagher works mainly to commission for private and corporate clients, he is also expanding his collection, a range of limited-edition furniture for "the more discerning client" wanting to make a statement.
Obviously, not everyone is able to commission one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture. Nevertheless, you can still get something that is unique to your setting and attainable with your budget. There are tons of ways to make this happen, from repurposing vintage furniture to purchasing a very special piece. Many interior designers believe that everyone should own one treasure — an antique or a family heirloom or a trendy statement.
Perhaps your place will only accommodate a narrow drop-leaf table. You can keep it flush against a wall most of the time, and when guests come over for a meal you can pull it away from the wall and flip up the wings. If everything is midcentury, you might paint the drop-leaf table in an accent color. If everything in the room is colorful, consider using a natural wood finish for the table. From midcentury to a solid maple top and turned leg, you can introduce a style accent to your room via a necessary and utilitarian piece of furniture.
Besides a drop-leaf table, a lounge chair in a living or family room is often the convenient opportunity to create a style accent. You need the chair anyway, but maybe you can upholster it in a dramatic patterned textile. Then, you can pull accent colors from that fabric to use for throw pillows, artwork and decorative window treatments like valances or side panels. What's more, you can draw on those same colors when choosing an area rug — or two. Keep these in mind as you select accessory items, such as plant containers, lamps, table runners and tablecloths.
Photo Cred: Roland Paschhoff