05 August 2010

Details #5 - Finishing Touches

This is the final installment of a five-part, first week of the month series with The Decorating Diva. Each focuses on a single room detail that can make a huge difference in the success of that space's style.

Last month we looked at hardware. (See links for the full series at the end of this post.) This segment focuses on those last little details that sometimes go unfunded or get overlooked. Think about the last time you walked into a darling powder room, only to notice plastic clips on the mirror or an ugly white switch plate. Or try to imagine this bathroom with plastic towel holders? (As its designer, I try not to!)

Design is in the details. So this edition of Details focuses on finishing touches.


We look at them every morning when we comb our hair, but when was the last time you really looked at yours? Are the edges chipped or rusting? Does your mirror lack a frame? Mirrors glued to the wall are tricky and hazardous to remove, but can be framed for a richer look. Clip-on mirrors or builder grade medicine cabinet mirrors can be more easily replaced. For a couple of hundred dollars or less, you can give your bathroom a much, much better look!

For a great splurge, check out this beauty. (I want one in my next home!)

It's a mirror. It's a television. It's a stylistic and engineering marvel. It's a Seura!

I can see this Crate & Barrel Largo mirror really enhancing a bath with cinnamon cherry cabinets.

Pottery Barn's Kensington Mirror creates an instant bathroom upgrade

Installed Accessories

Chances are, your home has some permanently-installed accessories in one or more room that are taking away from their appeal. Examples include dime store kitchen paper towel holders, plastic flush levers on your toilets, plastic towel bars in your bathroom and builder basic switchplate covers. These are easy DIY upgrade opportunities on their own, or should be factored into any larger remodel plans you're making.

Flush out ugly tank levers with coordinating versions, like this Brantford model from Moen

Vent your home fashion frustrations with a stylish register cover, like this Scroll model from Restoration Hardware.

Switch to better-looking outlet covers, like these Porcelain beauties from Rejuvenation... Perfect for a retro bath!

Countertop Accessories

This is the easiest, most affordable, no tools or handyman required, update you can make to a kitchen or bath. If your canisters or drinking glasses are looking dated, visit your favorite home goods store or web site for an instant upgrade. They tend to be smaller, lower cost items, so changing out every few years isn't a budget buster. (Donate your old set to a charity, please!) They're also a great way to add color, texture and a new style component to your space.

Give your bath modern, international flair with Jonathan Adler's Berlin accessories

Add pared-down elegance to your bath with Pottery Barn's Quinn Beaded bath accessories.

Form meets function in these stainless steel canisters at The Container Store.

Countertop Appliances

What is your toaster or coffee maker saying about your kitchen? I'm tired... I'm old... I'm bargain basement? Countertop appliances are also easy upgrades, albeit a little more expensive. The first principle of countertop appliances, however, is store the ones you don't use daily. The only appliances that should sit out are part of your morning or dinner routine. If the food processor or stand mixer only gets used once a month or so, it doesn't need to take up room on your countertops. For those essentials you do use daily, consider models that add functionality and style to your kitchen.

Give your kitchen coffee bar style and flexibility with this Cuisinart Coffee on Demand machine at Williams-Sonoma.

Think of it as a toaster on steroids! This Breville Countertop Convection Oven, also at Williams-Sonoma, is so much more. I want one of these, too!

Breville also makes a top-rated, darned good looking juicer! Available through Amazon.com.

Enjoy the entire Details series!

Details #1 - The Lighting Edition
Details #2 - The Faucet Edition
Details #3 - Fabrics and Fibers
Details #4 - The Hardware Edition
Details #5 - Finishing Touches

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