House Beautiful is a very stylish home decor magazine, so it is not a shock to see such a captivating house appear in the May issue of House Beautiful. The house belongs to Annie Brahler whom is an obvious collector of fine French furniture. She shares a love like most of us for French furnishings, and it is so exciting to see what another collector has done with her home.
For all of you who want to decorate around white, this home will certainly inspire you.
Here is ten tips I can share that I see that she did with her home to make a high impact rich appearance.
1. The first thing that she did was she obviously collected furniture that she liked. In each of her rooms, I can see she loves Louis XVI styled furniture. A rich piece of furniture is NOT over looked. In her living room, you can see she choice Louis XVI tables for her end tables. Both have rich patina. Consider collecting only furniture that you adore, and design around those pieces.
2. You can see in one of the photos that Annie Brahler loves gilt wood mirrors. She didn't paint them white, ..... are you shocked? It seems as though many white based interiors also paint the mirrors. I am so glad she didn't. I honestly love the richness of gold, and these old world mirrors have incredible patina that are built over time. Trust me, I have painted over one Federal eagle mirror that I wished I never had touched. I ruined it!
3.Collecting is best done where you can display your collections together. Use wall sconces, use one big giant display cabinet, but keep them in one place. People are inspired by stories. They like to hear what you were eating when you bought the little tortoise shell trinket box. If you have too much, consider layering your collections. You can see she features two mirrors that are like one another together above a fireplace. Placing items in groups of three give you bigger impact than displaying them by themselves.
2. Closets contain lots of color, so consider basing your paint choices around white, gray black or beige. I have seen decor pictures that feature closets in red and purple, but if you notice, the closets are also cherry picked for the photography to capture the best image possible. You never see the closet looking as it were on a daily basis, so choose a color that would work with all your wardrobe colors.
Bright white does look rather nice, and with closets bright white always makes things appear bigger. Black is another choice, and one I have used in the past in many of my homes. Black can make your closets look very luxurious, but dark. Choose a color that you love, and if you do have a walk in closet, consider featuring a tall chest with a mirror to dress up the space. Shoe and accessory display will always make your closets appear more designer, so consider that into your plans and also factor in A LOT of storage for those bulky sweaters that never seem to look good on the hanger.
3. Gold is still rich today when paired with muted tones such as gray and beige. Gold is also the perfect accessory for bold colors such as Kelly green, and lemon. Gold is the perfect accessory in any interior. Don't underestimate the power of gold leafing. Gold leafing can really bring an accessory to appear like real metal. Spray paint doesn't even compare.
Gold Leafing Tips.... My best advice when gold leafing.
4. Look at the pictures of the incredible demi lune sideboard that is used as a island in the kitchen. Also in her closet, the island appears to be several dressers or french antique or vintage pieces pushed together. I would have to say this has to be one of the most inspiring aspect of the pictures of her home. Don't spend thousands on an island that you aren't excited about. Obviously she is a collector of French furniture, and having a demilune as an island is certainly something you never see. Don't be afraid of taking an exceptional piece of furniture and hiring a carpenter to build on to the piece for the room you wish to display it in. Many people take vintage french chests and dressers and turn them into sinks for their bathroom. Why not work with existing built furniture and transform it? If you are able to score big on an antique piece, why not work with it? If you find a fabulous vintage piece, work with it.... AND ON to my next point.
5. Marble makes everything richer. If you are considering a transformation on your home, and wish to work with white, consider spending the money in your counter tops. In one of the apartments we lived in, we made the mistake of exchanging out the cabinetry in exchange for Ikea "do it yourself" cabinetry. Although we didn't own the apartment, it taught my husband and I a good lesson. - Never ever rent out a home that you own! I have messed up so many apartments with plaster! - Detailed work is never overlooked. Our apartment turned to be a mess because we aren't professionals when it comes to wood working! If we did own the building, marble counter tops would have made the kitchen so much more elegant, while a good layer of white paint was all that was needed. Sometimes cabinets are still fashionable. After looking at the options in many stores such as IKEA, you don't get quality. Today you can hardly SOLID wood cabinets. AND, when you do, they cost a ton of money. Invest in marble counter tops for the bathroom and living room, and consider re-working the original cabinets. Switch out the doors. Removing the original cabinets can cost you dearly.
6. Great seating can make all the difference in a room. While you are shopping around you will always find furniture that you can paint, or mirrors that you can gold leaf, but good upholstered furniture is hard to find. Amazon has a number of inexpensive pieces that really give you a lot of bang for your buck. Consider investing in a exceptional couch that you can base your living room around. Consider keeping your eye out for a great looking bed. BIG pieces make an impact, so invest in great looking pieces that will end up taking up a lot of room. When you do bring it together, pair down your belongings. Keep things very organized so that you can appreciate your better items than the endless junk that everyone owns in their house. Invest in storage and make the most use out of your closets.
A French parlor's daybed sits in the living room with a gilt table with a white marble top used as a coffee table. On a mantel two gilt wood mirrors and an oversized empire chandelier are paired together to make a big impact. A massive empty picture frame, propped against the mirror, along with antlers her children collected on hikes. Glass domes shelter antique taxidermy.
Here she grouped linen-covered Belgian bergères and a Louis XVI side table with a 19th-century French gilt settee and Dutch footstools. A gilt neoclassical mirror hangs above a mantle with white washed antlers. A Belgian crystal chandelier and sconces sparkle against walls. A beautiful magnolia flower sits on Annie Brahler's coffee table adding to the white palette that her house is based around.
See more of Annie Brahler's home in House Beautiful.