Antiques: Advantages of single focus design

When it comes to interior design principles, order is a mainstay. If something looks orderly, we are automatically attracted to it. You are probably most aware of this concept when you are shopping in your favorite clothing store. As store personnel busily fold and re-fold shirts for display, ask yourself if are you attracted to the display highlighting those neatly folded shirts in a rainbow of colors? Sure you are!

In home design, we are attracted to a bookcase neatly stacked with shelves of only books. With a quick glance, we realize that we can locate a book quickly. The shelved books are a single focal point in that room and the room’s orderly manner is attractive.

Here are some tips on how to make order the foundation of your next interior design project. Design a room with a single element in mind. This principle of “the one and the only” demonstrates that a room can come together around just one feature, like a colorful sofa, a collection of Asian teapots, a fireplace, or an ebonized secretary.

If family fun is your goal for a finished basement, incorporate grandpa’s antique pool table and highlight it by placing it in the center of the room, atop a rich oriental carpet. You don’t need a million accessories, just a good strong object or architectural element to act as your base.

Poster Pop

So, if you really love that old Coca-Cola poster from Dad’s basement workshop, feel free to draw upon its vintage color scheme and feature it. Remember, a new frame can change the look of any work of art. While frames serve a major purpose of protecting works from damage, they can also provide interesting design features.

A cheap, flimsy metal frame says that your Coca-Cola poster is nothing more than an old, tired reproduction. Yet, a frame with some substance can add some punch to any room. Uniting something whimsical like a vintage poster into a traditionally decorated family room setting can establish a more stylish feel to any room. What’s more, these collectible vintage advertising posters from the 1940s to the 1960s have good value and regularly command $750 to $1,000 in good condition.

Garden Grandeur

Try incorporating a single design focus into your garden. Like Claude Monet’s paintings, the beautiful gardens of the French impressionist’s home at Giverny focused on water lilies. An abundance of water lilies showed that his garden design was not a collection of many flowers, but instead, a celebration of one. Organized focal points make grand statements in design. Gardens filled with groups of the same flower, preferably in the same color, get bold attention. These are areas that visitors just can’t miss.

Focusing your design scheme on one major piece will result in a smart, cohesive design. When you concentrate on only one object or element in a room, you say a lot with a little.

Ph.D. antiques appraiser and award-winning TV personality and talk show host Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide. Join Dr. Lori on her next vacation cruise, focusing on antiques and watch her on the Fine Living Network’s “Worth Every Penny” and locally weekdays at 8 a.m. on Fox 4 TV’s ”Morning Blend.” Visit or call (888) 431-1010.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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