Achieving an Elegant Interior Design

elegant table setting of flowers and candlesticks

Want elegant decor? Check out this book from Timothy Corrigan, The New Elegance: Stylish comfortable rooms for today to guide you.

Corrigan, an award-winning interior designer who works for the rich and famous from Hollywood to the Middle East, shares trade secrets for homeowners of any income level.

He explains that all homes should be both comfortable and livable as well as beautiful. I’m sure you will agree that comfortable furniture is the most important element of any room. By livable, he means that there is nothing off-limits in your home. Can you remember a time when there were certain fingertip towels in your aunt’s bathroom that you were not allowed to use, never mind a parlor she did not permit anyone to enter?? Those days are gone.

Corrigan’s book discloses the building blocks for successful decor. Several are the basic design elements like scale, proportion, symmetry, and the power of color, but others may not be as well-known to most. 

When it comes to the topic of architectural details, Corrigan says you have to get the “envelope” right first. Photographs from clients’ homes depict crown molding, paneled walls, plaster work, and medallions on the ceiling, fireplace mantels, and arched doorways. Hand-in-hand with these go the building block of what he calls “impactful surfaces” like mirrored or leather-covered doors and – move over subway tiles – stylish tile choices for the kitchen and bath.

The role of surprise is also found in elegant homes. For example, achieve the unexpected with a living room or bathroom mirror that doubles as your television.

Add drama in a room, Corrigan advises. Think over-scaled furniture, lush window treatments, striking wallpaper, or stand-out light fixtures. In the backyard, add a water fountain or sculpture for some theatricality. 

This book would be a great housewarming gift for someone to wants to learn about art and mirrors, layering, mixing elements, and the importance of details. Corrigan’s thesis is simple: elegance should be part of everyday life. I have to agree; life is short, use your fine china!

With many satisfied clients since 2008, Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering decorating services at reasonable rates. If you want to suggest a blog topic or have a decorating, downsizing/decluttering or home staging project needing professional help or are interested in hosting a workshop or quilt show, please contact her via her website www.sec-interior.com or phone 617.921.6033.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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