As I walk through a client’s homes on my initial visit, I often see the most interesting things: large engraved tusks over a fireplace,  a bunny cage in a dining room, farm equipment hanging on walls.  Some make me smile, others make me ask more questions, and a few get me excited about the possibilities of integrating  them into the refreshed design.

So often the pieces are out of context or placed in a way that imbalances the space.  But with a special touch and bit of creativity I work to place these so that they embellish rather than detract.

For instance, I would reposition this elephant statue (previously collecting dust in a corner) into a more prominent player as a functioning side table.  No need to turn the entire space into an animal theme park, just a bit of whimsy in the right spot.

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If my clients are not lucky enough to have these strange items lying around I’ll often suggest bringing in some.  A rancher’s granddaughter that I am,  I do have a fondness for cattle and this next piece makes me smile.  It is a fun and functional piece that I would make work in just the right kitchen/great room space.  Yes, I think I could convince just the right person to employ this. May take me a while, but I would gently push and cajole.

Screen shot 2013-07-23 at 11.42.08 PMArtist Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba

This lovely gold horse is an example of something I’d typically see stuffed in a back bookcase somewhere.  I’d immediately take it out and place it more prominently — perhaps on a stack of books on the coffee table or on a mantle layered with a special painting.

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I’d add this photograph in a formal space  to act as a conversation starter. The trick is the context in which these pieces are used. The surroundings must be just so to pull something like this off.

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Of course, a pillow is an easy way to take a design ‘off-center’ and to inexpensively add interest and texture.  I could add this blue and khaki gem to my living room right now — it would look fabulous against my dark blue, over-stuffed Ikat throw pillows currently on my sofa.

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OK, this last one is simply fun and I couldn’t resist sharing with you.  Not sure I would use this anywhere except a teenager’s or child’s bathroom, but I’d delight in doing so!

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Want more inspiration?  More animal fun in this Scalamandre post.

Inspiration is at the heart of my luxury design services. What’s inspiring you?   
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