KC Home Design
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|The Trade: Elephant in the Room|
Words and inspiration by Kenny Beall and Hayley Wilson from The Trade
Every room needs a piece of interest, just as every outfit you put together needs that one piece that’s just a bit off. There’s something about that one unexpected piece that peaks your interest in its owner. Whether it’s a family heirloom, an antique found on you last trip to Morocco or something you purchased at the Plaza Art Fair, it can add an element of surprise and start a conversation.
Think about how a strange piece of art makes you feel. I would much rather someone feels something, anything––even complete distain for my choice of wallpaper––than nothing at all. So what if that antique vase collection doesn't fit in with rest of the home. It makes you curious, right? I love walking into a home I’ve never seen before and discovering the little treasures within each room. It’s so much fun to notice all of the details and pieces a person collects. It tells so much about them and their life story, whether they collect walking sticks, they have an eye for Japanese art or they have an interesting display of taxidermy squirrels (huh? I had no idea they were so strange!).
Great finds are fun throughout your home, but you can also think of that one amazing piece that can anchor a room. This is the sort of design anyone can handle; there’s nothing to over-think! This is also the way I like to attack a project. If I find myself overwhelmed with options and going in too many directions at once, I focus in on something.
Start with one standout piece that you love (for me, it was my entrance hall rug) and allow this piece to drive the surrounding design. My rug dictated the colors on my walls and then the runner going up the stairs. More importantly, it did not make me feel as though my entire home needed to have a matching theme. I know you’ve all read this before, but please stop making everything in your house match your Tuscan villa theme or whatever design scheme you’ve been force-fed.
Focus on that interesting chair or piece of sculpture you’ve turned into a table that does not “match” the rest of the space. Even if you have bold taste or have an affinity towards busy rooms with contrasting colors, prints, and textures, one showstopper chandelier will center the room and focus your attention the same way it can bring drama and importance to a very simple room.
Bottom line: Keep pushing your own boundaries, taking risks and using pieces you love. Stop worrying about the elephant in the room.