Small moves that make a major difference.

June 5, 2019

These interior tweaks are like the idea of your mother in a new dress. Subtle updates for your interiors to make it look hipper and edgier without bothering with a major overhaul. They’re for when you want to make your home look cooler without spending a ton of money.

Not blatant statement-making moves but chic modifications you can add stealthily.

The idea is for people to notice that the interior design is beautiful without thinking too hard about why. Here we share easy tweaks that can make a major, if understated, difference.

Top a Table Emphatically

Wanted to brighten and modernize your breakfast nook? Go mod. Hire a glazier to manufacture a circle of glass to fit the table top of your old fashioned cherrywood pedestal table, and have the back of it painted with a great poppy turquoise colour such as Benjamin Moore’s Gulf Stream (eggshell finish). Next, conjure a suitable context. There should never be a one-off odd duck that doesn’t go with anything else. Repeat the hue in your prints and lacquer on the ceiling. Add white woodwork in the room as a foil. Read more, ‘Buon Appetito: Taking an Italian Approach to Entertaining.’

Fill Architectural Framing With More Than Paint

Capitalise on existing millwork in an unexpected and evocative way. Set custom de Gournay ”Japanese Garden” chinoiserie wallpaper within the architectural molding. The wallpaper can become the focal point of the room and the impetus for the overall colour palette. Go with a larger-scale design for impact and be mindful of the repetition in the pattern so it cut off in a way that feels intentional. Zealous DIY-ers take note: we wouldn’t recommend this as a project homeowners take on themselves. You might need an interior designer to oversee it.

Remake an Entrance

We all know the nip-tuck trick of painting a front door to lift a home’s facade. But take a brush to the inside of your home’s primary portal.

If your home lacks great architectural moments – the natural stop of a door makes it the perfect accent object.

Anything from a red, chocolate or a great coral, that can feel like the colour in the desert when the sun sets behind the mountains to black. Distinctive door colours can double as signage. Paint a powder-room exterior door black so you can direct guests to the bathroom with ‘the black door.’ Read more, ‘Curb Appeal.’

Cover a Bedhead

We love using textiles to warm up and enliven a room. In the bedroom, try swapping a traditional headboard for a rare fabric draped from the ceiling to the floor.

Hanging a dyed Indian bed cover, by tacking black, big-toothed upholstery hooks to the top of the picture moulding should do the trick.

The cosseting fabric will have great impact but also nuance, contrasting the rough texture of the cotton with fine cottons, linens and silks of the bedding in similar colours. Read more in our Directory for Upholstery.

Sneak Pattern Into Chair Backs

Try upholstering your chairs in two contrasting fabrics to bring life, dimension and visual interest to a room without windows or other upholstery. You can cover most of the seats in a solid fabric such as linen or velvet and then use a print for their backs. It’s a good idea to choose a durable fabric for seating that will have a lot of wear and tear and then complement with a delicate back.

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