Loved the Nantucket house we toured this week? Designer Frank Roop reveals ten insider tips that you can pull off yourself, no matter what your budget.
Cover cushions in contrasting fabrics. Instead of re-upholstering your whole piece, slipcover just the cushions, in a contrasting color or coordinating pattern. Roop, who covered the cushion of the daybed in the living room says, “I love that it looks almost like a mattress.”
Choose pieces that do double duty. Invest in pieces like x-stools, cubes, and poufs that can be dragged from room to room and used as a stool, side table, or ottoman. In the living room, Roop designed x-stools upholstered in a silk canvas fabric.
Cut and sew pre-made curtains for a custom look. Buy inexpensive panels in different colors, cut lengthwise in thirds, and have your dry cleaner sew back together for a new, multi-colored effect. Roop had three soothing colors of linen stitched together to create the living room curtains. In the sitting room off the dining area, he had three different colors in varying horizontal widths sewn together for a more stripe-y effect.
Trim lampshades with ribbon. Use a glue gun to affix grosgrain ribbon around the top and bottom edge of a run of the mill lampshade for a custom upgrade. Roop has all his lampshades custom made – the one on the vintage Danish chandelier is trimmed in suede while the linen shade in the master bedroom is trimmed with grosgrain ribbon.
Frame far away trinkets. Be it a kimono from your trip to Japan or a feather you plucked off the ground in the Everglades, framing a sentimental piece preserves memories and adds an exotic touch. Roop had a child’s dress that the homeowner brought back from India framed for her daughter’s room.
Put new tops on old bases. Swap out a ruined tabletop with a remnant slab of stone, or top a wooden cube, stone pillar, or other architectural gem with a custom cut piece of glass. For the sitting area off the dining room, Roop designed a Moroccan-shaped lacquered base to which he added a bronze top that is stamped with a Moroccan pattern.
Use natural objects as accent pieces. Celebrate simplicity by displaying a specimen that occurs naturally in nature, like a gnarly hunk of driftwood , a chunky mineral, or a spiky piece of coral. Roop filled a huge clamshell with hydrangea and placed it on the dining room table with a piece of old driftwood, on a brightly colored runner. In the entry, a simple glass vase is filled with branches beside a piece of quartz.
Collect pieces of the similar objects in the same color. No matter how mundane an object may be, a grouping in the same color scheme elevates then from plain to polished. In the kitchen, the homeowner displays blue and green seltzer bottles she had been collecting over the years.
Paint old furniture a spunky new color. Any old piece of furniture can be transformed with glossy paint – try chartreuse, tomato red, inky black or bright white. Roop had vintage faux bamboo chairs (the homeowner loves faux bamboo) re-lacquered in celery and reupholstered in a neutral stripe for the dining room.
Use several small mirrors to make a mosaic. Instead of hanging one large, pricey mirror, collect a number of small ones, and arrange in a mosaic pattern for maximum impact. In a niche off the entry, Roop hung mirrored-back sconces in a bulls-eye design to echo the round mirror off to the side.
Montgomery Curtains (www.montgomery.co.uk/) offers made-to-measure and ready-made curtains and accessories.