Discerning decorators take their inspiration from everywhere, incorporating hotels, restaurants, resorts and even designer furniture showcases: yours truly included. In fact, I’ve endeavoured to not only create visually stunning showroom aesthetics, but go one step further in the creation of an online showroom – visit my Shop The Look page for unparalleled interior inspiration, without having to hunt for that illusive furniture find.
If you are part of that cadre of interior design devotees - not unlike myself - here are 10 tips you can steal from showcases both online and reality, all the while incorporating your own interior aesthetic at home.
Many furniture showrooms don’t have an abundance of windows or other sources of natural light... For those facing the same design challenge in their own homes, large mirrors, either mounted on a wall or leaning in a safe spot could be the solution. Pieces like the Manhattan Shell Mirror reflect lamplight and any natural light coming into a room while helping make any space look and feel larger.
Showrooms might have a dozen dining sets and several living room spaces competing for attention, so in interests of defining spaces, rugs can aid in building borders that allow separate showcases to stand out as individual tableaus.
Consider area rugs to serve the same purpose in your own home when the aim is to create separate seating areas in the same living space; using smaller-sized pieces like the Wanderlust Woven Rug wont fail to add both colour and texture to neutral or natural flooring - or when a single room offers a double function.
If bold colours suit your style, but you’re hesitant to go overboard and risk creating a chaotic decor scheme, consider using colour to create accents and contrasts that offer a repose for the eyes. American designer, Libby Langdon chooses her wall colour during the design process, often using the furniture she’s going to showcase as her guide, off-setting a light-coloured sofa against dark walls or a richly hued headboard to set off light coloured wall coverings. Alternatively, decor items are the answer for pops of colour, encompassing cost-effective qualities to allow for frequent updates.
Designer furniture showrooms have the opportunity to present such a riot of colour and patterns that it is often the monochrome showcases that stand out the most for their unmissable serenity. Consider employing the same strategy to create a calming space to return to after a hectic day in the outside world.
All-white interiors set a tone of serene sophistication and are anything but boring when varied materials and textures take the place of a diverse colour scheme. To make the look work in your own home, integrate accents of glass and metal paired with pieces that offer subtle patterns and interesting textures, such as the Willow Rope Weave Rug in ivory or the Wolseley Marble Coffee Table.
Creating a “room” that isn’t defined by walls is a challenge in almost every designer furniture showroom and I'm sympathetic for the homeowners and renters who live in lofts or spaces with open floor plans facing the same challenge. Choosing a focal point to anchor each individual vignette is one sure way to add definition to decor in even the most expansive spaces.
Obvious anchors include large pieces like the Eastern Modular Extended Sofa or the dramatically designed Bradford Queen Bed with Canopy. Take cues from creative designers to employ fixtures like the Beariz Chandelier to serve as a room’s defining decor element.
It's no secret showrooms are constantly refreshed to avoid looking tired, so for this reason, furniture pieces are obliged to fill more than one niche. Consider this technique when designing your interior and provide endless re-configurations that will have your guests envying your renovation regularity.
Indeed, employing a set of three Canasta Gold Tinted Mirror Tables to serve as a coffee table makes a living room both fashionable and flexible, while an ottoman will rarely demand to be confined to one space. Multi-functional furniture pieces make it simple to rearrange a room to suit specific purposes.
A secret used widely among furniture showrooms: mixing and matching seating shines a spotlight on a wider variety of pieces while demonstrating decor diversity. Consider the Wainscott Extension Dining Table, for your interior inspiration, which can be paired with a mix of Waverly Woven Back Dining Chairs and Fanning Linen Dining Chairs to create a casual, comfortable Hamptons style. That's not to say this technique should stay in the showrooms; why be restricted in choosing just one seating design at home?
Add definition to an interior space with statement pieces, paired with subtle, yet complimentary pieces. Start with a show-stopping, attention-stealing wing chair, or significant art piece, and build a curated interior around a considered focal piece. The technique can also add a sense of grandeur and height in small rooms, while in bedrooms with lower ceilings, tall headboards can also have the same effect, counterintuitively creating an illusion of height rather than making a low-ceilinged room feel claustrophobic.
House Beautiful magazine echoes my sentiments: ambient light is paramount in creating mood, while direct lighting is key in creating practical spaces for purposes such as reading and cooking (my favourite past times...). Complete the layering with cushions, offering visual interest in pattern and texture, all the while suggesting unparalleled comfort. Is there anything better than sinking into a welcoming abundance of feather-filled pillows at the end of the day?
See both strategies showcased in my own designer display of the Jameson Living Room, incorporating levels of lighting, in this case a fireplace, floor lamps and overhead lighting, and includes cushions in coordinating textures from solids to stripes to subtle florals.
Now armed with a secret repertoire of designer furnishing secrets, refresh your interior with the style panache often seen in designer furniture showcases, and tell me, how do you use ideas from designer galleries and showrooms to inspire your own style?