Several months back Elle Décor ran an article on how to balance a room and when and where to make a statement. I loved the article and realized that it might be fun to look at our fixtures in the context this advice. Here is the article excerpted with Boyd commentary (in bold) and visuals added for clarity:
“If you’ve got your eye on a piece of furniture you absolutely love but it’s a bit of a statement-maker, don’t be afraid to buy it. There’s always a way to make even the most eye-catching pieces work in your home, and as the great Bunny Williams said: ‘If you love something it will work, that is the only real rule.’
1). Let It Stand Out. Reagan Hayes, furniture and interior designer, makes an important point. “If everything is special, then nothing is special,” says Hayes. “If you’re trying to let one piece be a statement, keep other things smaller or less ornate.” You can’t fill a room with statement makers; it will feel like the room is shouting at you.
The most beautiful, quiet, non-“statement” piece we have in the Boyd line is Doyle Crosby’s Crisscross Pendant. It’s truly architectural and so refined it doesn’t need to shout…the painting in this room is doing plenty of shouting:
2). Mix It Up. Figure out what type of piece it is and try combining it with its opposite, says Cecilie Starin of Cecilie Starin Design. “Get it clear in your mind what type of furniture it is, old, new, painted, or wooden. Simple or complicated? Then try to juxtapose things,” says Starin. “Organic with geometric. Dark with light. Busy with simple. I think that is what makes a room interesting. Try to do something that is not like a piece that’s already in the room.”
The most literal example of “mixing it up” in our line is the Topanga series from Jamie Drake. These fixtures combine gleaming nickel with nubby shagreen, or blackened brass with natural maple, or polished brass with cerused grey oak…or…
The walnut on the Topanga I Sconces in this sexy bathroom are the perfect counterpoint to all that smooth soothe…
3) Go Back to Basics.It’s time to get reacquainted with your color wheel. “You’re going to want to stick with accent colors that are a complement,” says Hayes. “Whenever I get really stuck with color pairings, I pull out a color wheel and start playing with it. Maybe you won’t be using the same tone, but if they can complement or stay in an analogous color scheme it will create balance.”
When a designer brings up “color scheme” we automatically recommend the Grasse Sconce. The fiery orange, cool turquoise-blue, pristine white and sensuous grey were specifically meant to pull from opposite sides of the color wheel. The color range was chosen deliberately by the master of color himself, Jamie Drake.
I defy you to design a room where some version of the Grasse Sconce would not be the perfect complement.
4) Stick to the Rule of Three.When incorporating a piece of furniture, forget about matching everything. “We’re in a time now where there isn’t a lot of matching,” says Starin. “Instead, when adding color to a room, it’s good to pick it up in three different accent areas. You don’t have to use that much color to make it feel like there is color in the room. When you start using a lot of different colors, it can be hard to make it all work without looking too busy.”
The pop of color inside this Regent Pendant by Roger Thomas – used here in the Greystone Mansion – is totally customizable. We’ve done it in Kelly Green and Fuchsia. It’s dramatic and subtle at the same time and can be used as an unexpected place to reprise your accent color (any color) in any room….indoors or out.
5) Play with Pattern.If your statement making piece has a pattern on it, don’t be afraid to combine it with other patterned accents says Hayes. “For pattern, it’s generally best to not mix a lot of pattern that all has the same scale,” explains Hayes. “Instead a large pattern like a bold stripe pairs best with a smaller print; again it helps to create balance, where two or three large patterns thrown together could look garish.”
We LOVE to play with pattern at Boyd! Lately our patterns have played in the solid brass cage of the Marlowe (shown here close up in Blackened Brass and Imperial Red), and in the curlicues on the creamy base of the Alhambra and in the rigid geometry of the stacked plates of the Solas. But look further! We have bubbles on the Prosecco, swirls on the Catacaos, stripes on the Topanga II, a whole collection of pattern possibilities on the Emanation…etc.etc…. There are many ways to look at pattern…but we don’t do “garish.”
6) Look at the Big Picture.“Take a step back. Sometimes you need to squint and see what is standing out,” says Starin. “You won’t even read the really recessive colors or features. Make sure what you are seeing is what you want to stand out.” Figure out what colors and shapes are visible so you don’t lose perspective. If you’re overthinking the nitty-gritty details the whole room can feel wrong.
Well…you won’t have to squint to see an Icicle Ceiling fixture…not matter what the size…and frankly if you’ve got this fixture hanging from your ceiling no one will even notice the nitty gritty details…and that could be a good thing right?
7) Don’t Be Afraid to Play.At the end of the day it’s your own personal style. “Just play with rooms and areas and don’t be so stuck on a plan,” says Hayes. “Sometimes you have to shuffle and sometimes the smallest tweaks can make a really big difference and balance everything else out.”
I think we already demonstrated that we here at Boyd like to “play” – see #5 above – and there is something so playful in this lovely “girly” hallway that features the very masculine (Biedermeier? Deco?) sideboard and our stalwart Abacus table lamp. Unexpected? Yes! Fabulous? Yes!
8) Choose a Focal Point for Your Statement Piece.There are certain pieces that are more secondary like an end table, mirror, or nightstand and it’s a supporting element says Starin. If you’re looking for your statement piece to really up the wow factor make sure it’s a main part of the room i.e. a sofa, bed, etc.
Or light fixture? Right? This Topanga Chandelier really ups the “wow” factor in the lobby of this residential tower…right? WOW!!! Nuf said.
9) Keep Scale in Mind.You want to make sure that you’re really paying attention to scale. “You’re not going to want to combine a very large piece with something that is very small,” says Starin. “Not only does it look out of place in the room, it will throw off the balance and makes day-to-day living harder. You won’t be able to use things like a coffee table, end table, or lamp the way you need to if it’s too tall or too short.”
Scale is all relative…so we don’t judge…we mostly ignore rules about scale and let you choose. We have a full range of fixtures from plus size to petit. The limelight with its 15 ½” diameter is enormous by most designers’ standards, (yet in this huge kitchen the Limelight makes perfect sense), in fact it’s 3x the size of the 5” diameter optic pendant…but as we all know, size has nothing to do with performance….just look how beautifully the optic (below) handles that bar space!
That’s a lot of advice for one blog post…now go make a statement!