This time of year, I have eggnog on the brain and soon, perhaps, also on the hips. But the big question when considering a holiday beverage is not how fattening is it? But is it spiked?
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One way is good; the other, well, can be extra good — if you go easy!
The same holds true for rooms, which are also better spiked. That is, along with having all the right ingredients — a sure color scheme, proper scale, varied textures, good balance, and well-placed lighting — they have a splash of a little something unexpected. A touch of wow, mmmm, I like that.
The right room spike can transform a space that’s nice in an OK way into a room you remember, a space that makes you say, “Oh!”
In my home, I shoot for such moments when I slip a cowhide rug unexpectedly under a carved French desk, place a spicy orange silk pillow on a gray microsuede sofa and prop a silver lamé teddy bear on my teenage daughter’s bed.
Teddy bears don’t wear lamé, which is exactly what makes the shiny bear a spike. A fuzzy brown teddy would be merely an accessory — eggnog straight. The lamé is the rum in the punch.
And we all know what happens when you have too much. A room with too many spikes gives visitors a visual hangover, the way an over-stimulating trip to the toy store can make good kids cry.
Think of a room spike like a fashion spike: If you’re wearing a little black dress, the spike can be red lipstick. But if you add red shoes, too, you’ve blown it.
It’s like I tell my college-age daughters, who are gearing up for holiday parties and can pull off any fashion: “You can wear tight. You can wear short. And you can wear low-cut, but you can’t wear it all at once. Pick ONE.”
Take home: Spike with restraint. Use one spike per room.
Besides being tastefully and judiciously applied, successful spikes must fall on the right backdrop or they backfire. First, the whole room must cohere. Then, look over the context and ask what would add an element of sass, maybe break a little rule, show a little moxie.
This week, I asked a few of my favorite designers to share their favorite wow moments, their decorating equivalent of a little rum in the punch. Here’s how they said they’ve recently spiked an already well-dressed room:
You get where I’m going. Now, please pass the preferably spiked eggnog. Cheers.
Syndicated columnist and speaker Marni Jameson is the author of “House of Havoc” and “The House Always Wins” (Da Capo Press). Contact her through marnijameson.com.