from Southern Accents magazine, found in Outside the Lines blog (

1.   Mix contrasting styles and shapes.

“Understand the value of creating tension, like a sculptural feminine chair next to a sturdy masculine table.  The overall effect is serene and beautiful.”  – Windsor Smith

This is my #1 rule of decorating.  Juxtaposing contrasting styles doesn’t create chaos, but rather brings balance to your home.  Take a look at the image below:


Found at Modern Interior Design by

Admittedly the table decor is a bit fussy, but the furniture is nicely balanced.  While the modern furniture has beauty, as do the gilded chairs, putting them together creates a dynamism which highlights the lines, texture, and patina of each.

Strictly modern or strictly period decorating bores me.  Let your rooms come alive with a playful mix.


Found at

Here the rich wood floors, primitive farm table, and traditional white chairs blend perfectly with the sleek modern lighting and the hip chalkboard wall.  It’s the warmth and character of the wood that keep this sparse, modern space from devolving into coldness.

2.  Add more lighting.

In the corners of your rooms especially, you need more lighting.  And you need it at a variety of heights.  Pot lights in the ceiling, a crystal chandelier or a clean-lined pendant light can take care of the overhead lighting.  But do not stop there!  In the corners, by every seat, on a little table placed in that forgotten corner.  Lighting draws people into a space and welcomes them.  Use it abundantly throughout your home.

3.  Enhance your entry.

Go outside and enter your home as a visitor would.  What do you see?  Create a gracious environment starting here.

Lighting:  A hanging light, oversized pendant or chandelier over a round pedestal table if you have the space, or a pair of sleek, modern candlestick lamps on a bow-front chest, or a classic lamp on a modern console against the wall if you don’t.  (Note in the picture below, as beautiful as this space is, how much better it would be if the console were a sleek lucite instead.)

Walls:  Hang a single LARGE piece on the wall – artwork, mirror, even an empty frame with an ever-changing image hung inside it.

Found at from Atlanta Home magazine

Found at from Atlanta Home magazine

Floors:  “Lay a herringbone parquet pattern in your entry hallway with the V pointing inward – it’s as if the entire floor is an arrow inviting you in.”  – Windsor Smith

Hope you enjoy playing with some of these ideas in your own space!

Thanks for reading,