Jill,
I put my holiday decor away, and now my poor main floor looks dead.  I bought new furnishings that looked great in the showroom, but have proven to be mistakes.  I just want my home to be beautiful and romantic.  It’s still so blah.  Any ideas?  Help!
– Brianna in Fairway, KS

Brianna,
When people ask me my favorite color, the answer is easy—“sparkly!”   I bring it into rooms any time opportunity allows.  Just as I want sparkles adorning my wardrobe, I want it in my rooms…glimmering in the corner, glistening overhead, reflecting all around. Like dancing sun rays, “room jewelry” allows happiness to radiate and interiors to come alive.

Light is magic.  Think of the shimmering gilded dome of our city’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.   Imagine your dream car buffed to a mirror shine while driving beneath the Plaza lights, local fountains refracting sunlight as they magnify the wishes purchased with tossed pennies, or a new driver—polished to a tee—launching the ball at Loche Loyd.  There is nothing like brilliant, shiny and new.

Bringing that sparkle into your home requires finessing existing light sources such as windows, fixtures, lamps, and candles. Reflecting or enhancing these will provide still greater effect, so select a few ideas listed here, get engaged, and adorn, adorn. One way to do this is to enhance the walls themselves. Today’s metallic paints and foiled wallpapers offer options in color, pattern and surprising zing. Some papers even feature tiny glass “beads” that reflect light and change their shade as you move about the room.

Windows offer the opportunity for natural light, so OPEN THEM!  It always amazes me when driving around such a beautiful city that so many homes have their windows—and window treatments—closed all day, all year.  Let the sun kiss your face and invite nature to join your lifestyle. Then enhance your windows with great drapes.  Try fabrics accented with metallic threads, beading, reflective embroidery details or rich, lush silks (any silks should be interlined to help prevent sun damage).   Add a “necklace” to your window with fringes bursting with beads and crystals.  You can echo the effect with decorative pillows.  Don’t be stingy…make it decadent!  Instead of covering your front door’s sidelights with drapes for privacy, add stained, beveled or seeded glass panels.  Consider complementing some of the room’s sparkle with deep velvets or richly textured fabrics. They will absorb just enough light to create depth and drama.

Every well-dressed room should have a chandelier!  In gracious homes, their employment is not just in foyers and dining rooms.  Allow them to serve your bedroom, bath or even your closet (your shoes and jewelry will sparkle, too!) Add bobeches (the small glass or metal dishes that appear to support the chandelier’s candles) adorned with beads, pearls or crystals.  Even changing your bulbs to the crystal clear style or a brighter wattage can add sparkle.  On your lamps, change the finial at the top to crystal.  Add a pair of sconces that flank your mantle and dangle still more jewelry from their arms.

To add some dazzle to your furnishings, consider polished upholstery tacks, decorative trims or new drawer and cabinet pulls.  New doorknobs for each room are a nice detail that can also enhance exterior doors.  When changing an exterior handle, replace or add a new kick plate to match.

Punctuate your mirrors with metallic frames and beveled edges. Place them so they are opposite a window or other light source to double the brightness. Artwork behind standard glass can emulate a mirror and can be used to your advantage in the same way—in most cases, clear or museum glass is preferable anyway.

Of course, accessories offer lots of opportunities for sparkle.  Crystal, glass, and metal objects reflect light, and can refresh a tired table or shelf.

After you have adorned your interior and adjusted the lighting, treat yourself to a romantic dinner.  Your home will now have something in common with our city’s twinkling lights as witnessed from the Hyatt’s Skies or the shimmering sculpture in its lobby. Or better yet, eat THERE (or your own special place) and return to your nest for a night cap. And just as you’re melting into your loved one’s arms, catch a glimpse of your room’s new jewelry—and the sparkle that matches the twinkle in his eye.

Make it fab!

-Jill

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Photos:  Jill Tran Interior Design and Co.

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