Vicente Wolf via House Beautiful

pretty for pretty’s sake

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? I have lots of favorites, all for different reasons.  I have my favorite “comfortable” flats.  I have my favorite platforms and wedges.  I’m partial to anything metallic or nude, which come in especially handy when you’re pale.  Black shoes are a little too Goth for my white stems.  And then, (drum roll, please,) I have my gorgeous, precious “closet jewelry” with heels so high I dodge to miss the chandelier on my way out.  I coined the term “closet jewelry” because they basically just decorate my closet.  They are little pieces of (very uncomfortable) beautiful art.  I love them, but honestly, unless I’m going to a (short) seated dinner, I rarely wear them.  But goodness, they are pretty.

They’re what we’ll refer to as pretty for pretty’s sake.

Let me explain.

The last post I did especially for moms, focusing on kid-friendly decorating.  Then I thought, what’s the reverse of kid- friendly?  And the word “fancy” came to mind.  When I think fancy I think gilded.  I think over the top.  I think white silk settees and other pretty but impractical things.  So I thought, let’s introduce pretty for pretty’s sake.  But let’s choose things that moms and non-moms can really live with.

How to “get pretty.”

Forget about needing it.  Add it just because.

  1. MIRRORS.  They are glamorous!  They are reflective.  They are available at any price and in any style.   The can be made any size or shape.  For example, a fantastic starburst mirror acts as curvaceous sculpture in a room full of squares.

    Vicente Wolf via House Beautiful

2.   WALLPAPER.  Though some of you probably grew up with blue and peach geese on your kitchen walls (or was that just me?!) I realize the notion of wallpaper can be scary.  However, there are so many amazing designs out there now.  Believe me I’ve spent countless hours browsing the books.   The good stuff is typically not cheap, but you’ll see the quality!  And the best part is you only need a little to make a big impact.  Consider your powder room.  Go bold.  Have fun.  In the master bedroom cover the ceiling with a sexy metallic or amp up your simple bed with a cool pattern on just the headboard wall.

Julie Couch Interiors

3.   SCONCES.  These are fun to find at antique and junk stores.  Electrical sconces are great above bedside tables when space is tight and a lamp doesn’t quite fit.  In the dining room, on a dimmer, they add just the right amount of glow.   Of course, if you want to skip the electrician, choose sconces made for candles.  You’ll only need a hammer, a nail and some matches.

Daryl Carter via Southern Accents

You’ll get all the romance and immediate gratification.

4.    SILK.  It’s true.  Almost anything in ivory or white silk is beautiful and totally impossible to live with, right?  Well, I had to have it somewhere in my house, so the living and dining rooms have luscious cream, pin-striped silk drapery panels.  They remind me of a ball gown, and there’s no way to spill red wine and destroy them.  Well, unless you have a really fun party, and in that case, you can always get new drapes.

Karyl Pierce Paxton via House Beautiful

5.   SCULPTURE.  It’s elegant.  It introduces movement and form.  It gives the room dimension.  Right now my budget veers more in the armillary direction, but my wish would be to go in the Le Quire gallery direction.

Amelie by Alan McQuire

Or if you want to see a real conversation piece, take a look at Herb Williams’ work made entirely with crayons.  Obviously, like most art we don’t need it.  It serves no purpose.  But, (and a big but) it makes almost anyone smile.  And that makes it pretty fantastic.

xo, jc