A little shimmer goes a long way

  • The wide availability of furnishings today make it easy to add a unique, shimmering touch to any room in the home.

    The wide availability of furnishings today make it easy to add a unique, shimmering touch to any room in the home. Stock Photo

By Joseph Pubillones
Posted3/22/2020 7:01 AM

Editor's note: Joseph Pubillones is taking some time off. This column originally published in 2015.

Throughout history, shimmering accessories have accented home decor. Years ago, cut-crystal chandeliers and girandoles (an often mirrored ornamental branched candleholder) caught the light from flickering candles and refracted it around a room. Domed plate covers and candelabras made from silver accented tables, and mercury glass spheres were found in drawing rooms throughout the world.


History repeats itself, and today the home furnishings marketplace is showing many glimmering objects.

We humans are drawn to shiny objects that captivate our attention, like a fish swims toward glittering bait in murky waters. A blushing bride-to-be will gaze at her diamond ring, and men often don foolish grins when entering a showroom filled with shiny new cars. It proves that all that glitters is not necessarily gold.

Adding shimmer to a room can be alluring, but be careful -- too much "bling" and the room will look like a futuristic bordello. It is all a matter of control and restraint.

In the world of design, the designer, like an artist, is responsible for layering all of the design elements: the correct pieces of furniture, the right shades of color, and also textures and finishes. This includes the selection of reflective surfaces that give a room its sparkle.

The availability of a wide variety of materials today makes it easy to add a unique shimmering touch to any room in the home. From wall coverings made of glass beads to mother-of-pearl paneling, lacquered walls, glazed tiles and specialized iridescent paints to mirrors of all colors and sizes, a "wow" factor can be attained in any room. Even metallic wallpaper -- an updated version of the wallpaper "groovy" parents or grandparents had in their 1970s kitchen -- is making a comeback!

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One choice a homeowner should consider is whether the walls should be background or if they should take center stage in the decorating scheme. It all depends on the intent of the design.

There are other ways to achieve a reflective and glamorous quotient in a room, aside from the walls. Consider furniture made with glass, mirror, brass, aluminum, copper, chrome and even stainless steel, all of which can achieve that reflective glint of light desired in a room. These materials can serve as the top, frame or base for some tables and chairs, but they also could be the overall decorative finish.

There is nothing more effective than a mirrored piece of furniture or a glass accent table or stool to add a dash of sophistication to a design. In addition to its reflective qualities, this type of furnishing brings a degree of lightness and balance to an otherwise expected decorating scheme.

The key is to select an item that may be a bit whimsical, but will feel natural in its environment and won't scream for attention. After all, your decor is a reflection of your good taste.

• Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida.

© 2020, Creators Syndicate

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