Details, Baby! How to Make Your Home (and You) More Fabulous!
Celebrity designer Courtney Cachet dishes her easy tips on creating a beautiful space without spending a ton of money.
Recently, I had the privilege of speaking at High Point Market (the largest furniture market in the world with two shows a year showcasing all the latest in everything furniture related) about where I think the world of design is headed, as it relates to how we live now. Seems pretty simple — just another “What’s On Trend” pep talk to the design enthusiasts. But it really made me think a lot about designing and decorating as a whole. When I got home, One Kings Lane (the flash sale site known for upscale and one-of-a-kind home furnishings) asked me for a quote on a favorite design tip to post on their site where I am having a Tastemaker Event this week. Hmm, more thinking…
I think at times we are too caught up in the glossy magazine photos and inspirational website pics and not grasping what really makes your home totally awesome. Kind of like how sometimes I read Fitness Magazine on a plane while chomping on a Kit-Kat — you know what I mean? I get it and I am interested but am I really doing what The Experts tell me to do? And if not, where are we missing the point?
I believe it’s due to the fact that we often feel we can’t do it. So you pick up a shelter magazine with photos of an $8 million home in Malibu and you say, “That home is stunning, but … [insert 27 different reasons you can’t have that home].”
The thing is maybe you don’t (never say can’t) have that home, but you can make yours better. You can make yours have that designer look, too, even if you don’t have an Hermes throw to toss on the couch. Trust me.
It’s all about details. If you don’t pay attention to detail, you will never have the look you desire. Go back to your Pinterest account and take another look at those photos you drool over — they are chock-full of details, baby! So instead of throwing down the magazine and forgetting what you saw — and loved — let’s try to break it down to simple steps.
Quality Over Quantity
I had a very chic friend from Paris whose home was decorated very minimally, but there was nothing lacking in this house. There wasn’t much, but what she had was the best of the best. I remember her bedroom had an antique chest, a large vintage Persian rug, Frette linens and the simplest cotton curtains but with exquisite silk rope tie backs. That was it. It was perfect. If it was done in the cheapy pieces it would’ve been a depressing-looking room.
Stop trying to fill up the room with cheap crap, because cheap crap in the home is just as obvious as a cheap pair of shoes. This detail screams louder than anything else. Buy quality, you wince once. Buy cheap ,and you wince over and over again as sure as those cheap-ass shoes give you blisters that linger for days.
So. Not. Fabulous.
Learn About Art
Framed photos of your children is not art. Shocking, I know! You should pick one area of your home to put all your framed family photos, like a table in the living room or a portion of a wall in one of the main areas. They shouldn’t be everywhere or in an entryway — and they shouldn’t be your only source of wall decor. We have become photo obsessed (myself included) but that doesn’t mean we need to cover the walls in images of ourselves, our dogs and our children — no matter how cute they are!
Inspirational quotes — even when painted on wood, metal or canvas — are not art. Sorry, Pinterest! And little prints of bathtubs in the bathroom and coffee cups in the kitchen isn’t on the list either. For the record, Precious Moments are not sculptures. OMG, I feel faint!
I’m not here to educate you about art nor am I interested in getting into a debate about what art is. Just go to museum, read a book, visit a gallery and see where it takes you. Go to art shows (NOT the ones at a Courtyard Marriott!), flea markets, and eBay and discover what you love. Hanging an original finger-painting by your 3-year-old is better than that $14.99 plaque from Target. If you don’t have the money for fine art you can still surround yourself with artwork — you just have to look for it. This will instantly make your home — and you — more interesting.
I design custom pillows and ottomans. It started out as a one-time thing years ago and now it’s turned into an integral part of the Courtney Cachet brand that I adore. This week, I’m featuring dozens of them on One Kings Lane. They are unique pieces and they can single-handedly make a room. They make it about you.
If you think you can’t afford one, Grandma’s green velvet chair is instantly cool when tricked out in modern fabric and gold paint. Give it a shot before you toss it. My first foray in this arena was with a ripped mustard yellow velvet wing chair my neighbor in Miami was throwing out. Gross wasn’t the word. Now it’s covered in Fortuny fabric and silk piping and sits in my bedroom looking rad.
You don’t have to spend the weekend in Paris at The Georges V or summer in Sorrento for it to qualify as travel. But travel — and the trinkets you pick up along the way — is what makes your home about you. Try and find cool, unique things when you travel and decorate your home with them. I bought my daughter a little statue on the street in Florence and it’s on her dresser in her room. My son has a vintage Spider Man poster I got at a flea market in rural Pennsylvania. These were not expensive but they’re special because of their back story. A little trinket from a trip you took to Montana that sits on your shelf is way (and I mean way!) cooler than a framed print of the Eiffel Tower if you’ve never gone there.
When you pay attention to the little things you will love the results. Details, baby!
Most important to your home are the people and pets you share it with. I don’t care how meticulously decorated your space is, if it’s not shared with those that you love none of what I just said will ever make a difference. Happy homes are always the most fabulous. So if you’re not there yet, don’t worry. You’ll get there. I did, and you can too.
Just so we’re clear … Don’t go buying some cheesy poster with a quote about hope now, ok?
About Courtney Cachet:
Perhaps you’ve seen her on The Today Show, or maybe you’ve read about her in Italian Vogue—Courtney Cachet’s sense of style has caught the attention of the international design and media worlds. The New York-based decorating maven is busy working on her latest venture, House of Cachet, decorating celebrity apartments, and filming style segments all over the world. Check your local TV listings for more of Courtney Cachet’s style ideas and tips.