Going for shine

Like magpies we are all attracted to shiny things,  so if you come along to one of my Design Classes you’ll find me banging on about the importance of adding a shiny note.  Could be as simple and little as adding a shiny vase to a shelf or as elaborate as installing a long shiny console. Its a complicated biz interior design , there are certain elements that comprise the tangibles of a visually beautiful room (texture, space, colour, pattern, light – yadda yadda yadda).  So you kind of have to know about them in order in order to push them further.

Back to adding shiny things – glossy, shiny finishes enhance a room’s features imparting a reflective quality that bounces the light around beautifully. Particularly important I would say if you have a small room with little natural light. If you have a large room with lots of natural light like I do in my lower ground floor you need to tackle that slightly differently. In the early years of adding an addition to this house and having a glass wall over two floors I thought it was the best thing ever, since converting to the dark side it challenged me no end. It felt way to  sterile, architectural and not cosy and snug so it took alot of work with texture (rough, slubby texture ) and oodles of it and a whole different planting scheme in the garden to balance the excess of natural light! But that as they say is a different story – today we are talking shine!

If your walls are blemish free how about painting them out glossy – fab idea if you’ve been considering going dark – because the extra light that bounces off them will temper some of the darkness! I can’t bang on enough about the importance of texture because it totally affects not just the way your room feels but also the way your room looks. So if you are adding glossy things remember to counterbalance that with rougher surfaces. Smooth glossy surfaces are fab but read as cold and formal so you will need to add rougher surfaces in order for magic to happen. Told you its a bit complicated. Just remember when adding shine to put it next to something with a rougher surface, not only will you perceive it better it will have far greater impact in the room, making the space feel cooler than it really is. Easy at this time of year when we are about to start decorating our homes for the holidays. Large glass baubals nestled on a mantle next to sprigs of rosemary and pine cones, or shiny little t-light holders filled to the brim with herbs from the garden.

Couple of glossy images below, I’m off to the hit gym not easy on a dark, cold Monday morn!




6 thoughts on “Going for shine

  1. As always great tip! Would love if you’d yabber a little more about ( shiny things, dark walls) big living room space that looks south and has tons of natural sunlight facing the sea ( I live on the east Mediterranean , across Italy) . Keep on an excellent work!

    • Sounds a fabulous place to work – with a big living room facing south you can absolutely add shiny things just make sure you have enough rougher surfaces going on at the same time to counter balance all the space and light

  2. I’m trying to get up the nerve to paint a small but light filled office/guest room a high gloss kind of moody grey purple color (Sherwin Williams Mysterious Mauve – really pretty) but it is very small and the paint store claims they’ve never HEARD of putting high gloss on walls (I live in a VERY small town in North Carolina) and stared at me like I’d just uttered something completely stupid. One whole wall in there is bookcases so I can easily fill those with texture. Should I do it??? Patricia

    • It will look beautiful ignore the paint store. The only thing with glossing the walls is that you have to make sure they are in pretty good nick because any blemishes will show up big time. Let me know when you’ve done it cannot wait to see

  3. Very timely post for me. Thanks. Just choosing the stain and sheen for the floorboards in a hall with little natural light of a fair size. Thinking dark stain, rosewood, would you go matt or medium sheen for the varnish? Walls white matt textured with 1930’s horsehair version of artex not the best but I’m strangely fond of it. Thanks
    Ps amazed you are always up and blogging before I’m even up, you have do much energy it’s fabulous, live your comment for the day first thing x

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