Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Favorite Things

We all know that Oprah has her favorite things and so do I; only mine have to do with interior design. I'm often asked by clients and friends what furniture items I like to use most when decorating. In no particular order, here's my current faves...

WING CHAIRS: Enjoying a renewed popularity, these functional chairs have been a classic staple in home furnishings for hundreds of years. Originally, the side "blinders" were designed to block the occupant from cool drafts and keep the warmth of a nearby fire from escaping. Today it's more about the traditional safe feeling one gets when seated - ls though you are being embraced by luxury and privacy - no other seating provides quite the same ambiance. Current design trends for the wing back include very pronounced "blinders", extremely tall backs and the side "blinders" can now be seen on everything from sofas to upholstered headboards. Nothing updates the wing back like covering it in a contemporary fabric with a large scale motif.

BANQUETTES: Though they were out of fashion for a period, I have always loved banquette seating for eating areas, family rooms, attics and bedrooms. A sense of nostalgia is conjured up when I see one. They are far more functional than just a couple of chairs because they free up critical space, provide the most amount of seating , allow for extra storage under the bench and gives you plenty of opportunity to bring in your sense of style with colorful fabric-covered bench cushions and pillows.

DESKS BEHIND SOFAS:. Most designers adhere to the principle of not having the back of a sofa displayed prominently in a room design. Typically a sofa table or console is used to hide this less than flattering side of the largest seating surface in the room. I prefer to use a writing desk instead. I love its dual purpose; not only are they aesthetically pleasing to the eye, they provide valuable new work space. With the advent of wireless technology more people use their laptops in every room of the house so I find this little surface is big on function.

GAME TABLES: Likely due to current economic conditions, I am convinced that more people are staying - and playing at home. The majority of my clients this year have requested a game table in their family rooms. As for seating, I do see more clients investing in upholstered, tub chairs with casters so they can easily be wheeled from one area to another allowing for optimum seating. Whether these tables are used for homework, snacks, cards or board games they are likely here to stay. Styles range from inexpensive to luxe and many come with game components like chess pieces and interchangeable game boards.

TUFTED SOFAS: Not much to say, I just love the textural and visual interest tufting provides to what can be a vast piece of upholstery. Tufting comes in and out of vogue and can be found on the seating surface, back of the sofa or both. It looks great in both leather and fabric but I do prefer using it in a solid, velvet fabric as the play of light and shadows from the tufting breathes life into the piece.

FUN ACCENT TABLES: These little jewels can provide more than just a hard surface for your drink, they can be real conversation pieces if you let the furniture reflect your personality. I've seen fun table bases like the kangaroo table above from Butler Specialty Company to airplanes, globes, film reels, anchors, and so on. Finishes like mirrors, gilding and paint can provide some much needed interest to a dark, lifeless corner of your room.

There you have it, a few of my favorite things. If you'd like to share your favorite things or have a decorating challenge feel free to blog back or call me up.

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