Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Spike that room

From page HS4 | December 06, 2013 |

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?

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:

  • Holiday sparkle. Over the holidays, Dallas-based designer Betty Lou Phillips, author of many best-selling design books, loves putting “fabulous-looking mercury glass Christmas trees” on the dining table where “they’re the perfect table centerpiece,” she says. The trio of trees, each stylized differently, vary in height (from 10 to 12 inches), and cost $35 to $75 each.
  • Bring on the bling. Karlie Adams, of Karlie Anne Interiors in Denver, likes a little sparkle with her distressed wood. “Even in our rustic Colorado designs, I’m using a little bling, a contemporary crystal chandelier married with a rustic stone fireplace or glass knobs on wood shaker cabinets.”
  • A room that roars, but softly. Interior designer Elaine Griffin of New York loves her leopard print. “Every room needs a touch of black and a touch of yellow, and a well-done leopard print is where the two meet brilliantly,” she says. “Uber-style icon Diana Vreeland adored it  and so do I, especially as a super-chic throw pillow.”
  • Find a fabulous fixture. Designer Katie Leede, owner of Digs By Katie of New York recently hung a 36-inch wide patina metal light fixture shaped like an exotic flower in a guest room. The “Flower of the Forest” chandelier, by Stefanie Odegard, drops its verdigris metal “petals,” which resemble large talons, from the ceiling in a showy spray. “It’s a dramatic wowzer that manages to work with the nature motifs running throughout the room — without overwhelming,” says Leede. The room with the fab fixture features a watery, earthy color scheme, wallpaper featuring papyrus plants (Leede’s own design) and artwork of birds and rock gardens.

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





Heard over the back fence: Attorney to warn about scams

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Road zone of benefit protester reaches dead end

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Six file for Dist. 2

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

District 2 candidates forum Aug. 14

By News Release | From Page: B1

EID ditch customers get relief

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1

Veterans receive wildland fire training

By News Release | From Page: B1

Market data open for local biz

By Ross Branch | From Page: B1

Volunteers clean up national forest

By News Release | From Page: A3 | Gallery



Russian metastasis

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

The Democratic-Chronicles: Not invented here

By Gene Altshuler | From Page: A4

My turn: Special interests at EID

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4



DA hogging Main St. parking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

CAO and staff hiring friends

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Altshuler’s hypocrisy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Small Farm compromise

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

EID and Dale Coco

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5



Roundup: July 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Dolphins ring up another title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Sharks defeat Loomis Basin in season finale

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Celebrity golf at Tahoe

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Dodgeball: Not the national pastime but …

By Shane Theodore | From Page: A7 | Gallery



At a glance: Comets to meteors

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

Taste the best at the State Fair

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Amador Fair honors cowboys

By Amador County Fair | From Page: B3

Tractor Supply Store recognized

By Uc Cooperative | From Page: B3

Arbor Day book helps to identify trees

By Arbor Day | From Page: B4

Learn about lavender and its many benefits

By Christian Women's Connection | From Page: B4

Builders’ Exchange honors scholars

By El Dorado Builders' Exchange | From Page: B5

En garde at Silver Screen Classic

By Auburn Silver Screen | From Page: B5

Lee’s Feed appreciates customers

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B5

My Time meeting in August

By Senior Day | From Page: B5



Weather stats 7-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Crime Log: July 8-10

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2



Arthur J. Funston

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Walter Vali

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Jean Lachelle Taylor

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate



Horoscope, Thursday, July 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, July 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8