Tag Archives: deborah needleman

A Bit of Frippery

One of our favorite chapters in “The Perfectly Imperfect Home” by Deborah Needleman is titled “Glamifications.” She says that amid all the “mundane tasks a house must perform, a bit of frippery is actually a necessity.” Glamour isn’t necessarily something either of us aspire to in our own homes, but we take to heart Deborah’s missive that “[s]implicity and glamour, hand in hand, make for a fresh and chic combination.”

When it comes to glamour, you can’t just stick a toe in. As Deborah says, glamour requires guts “because you need to express it with a bold stroke, not a tentative gesture.” The glamifying elements she identifies include wallpaper, lacquered walls, mirrors, “drippy chandeliers,” old fashioned writing tables, a little animal print, and shiny objects. Here are a few rooms that go all in with a lot of glitz:


from “Beauty at Home” by Aerin Lauder, image found here

If full-on Regency isn’t your thing, glamour works wonders in smaller doses. One elegant gesture might be enough, so long as it isn’t too timid. Here are more humble rooms with just a few glamifications sprinkled in:


from “Beauty at Home” by Aerin Lauder, image found here

Of all of the glamifying elements listed in this rich chapter, the one we love the most is old-fashioned writing tables. Here is what Deborah says about them: “Why bother with a quaint relic of a time when people communicated principally by letters? This is why: because like lunch on the lawn or a candlelit dinner, sitting down to a proper little table is entirely gracious. It is about the necessity of charm.”

Here are a few delicate writing desks that have us charmed (and convinced that they belong in the same category as chandeliers and gold gilt mirrors).

We might add one thing to Deborah’s list of glamify-ers, thick black and white striped upholstery:

What’s your approach to glamour? Do your rooms drip with elegant enchantment, or are you more of a glamour by degrees sort? Have a great week!

A “Bit of Quirk”: Animals in Decor

Our all-time favorite design book is “The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate & Live Well” by Deborah Needleman.  In the chapter titled “A Bit of Quirk” she says that “[s]tyle ought to be loose and easygoing; capacious and expansive!  A little something unexpected makes us comfortable.  Quirkiness and its side-kick, charm, represent the lighthearted humanity of your home.”  One of the ways she counsels bringing in quirk is by including animals in your decor.  No, not animal prints–that’s in the chapter titled “Glamifications”–we’re talking about funny little figurines, paintings, or functional objects in animal shapes, like andiron dogs.

Once we started looking at rooms through the animal decor lens, we realized that a quirky critter is almost always present in the spaces we love the most!

This incredible space in Spain perhaps has more than just a bit of quirk, but the overall effect is elegant.  There are lots of interesting places for the eyes to land, but none quite so guileless as the dachshund pillow.

Here’s another view of the same amazing space which is more overt in its animal decor, but no less fun.  This is a home we would love to visit!

The contrast of pale blue and black is unquestionably chic, but what we’re wondering about is what that crow is doing on the desk – we’re intrigued.

The mix of materials in this room is spot on, and that art?  Meow.

Animals abound in this sleek space – even the little stool looks like it might up and gallop away at any moment.

We think the print on the sofa textiles is part of what makes this space so inviting – and the animals standing sentry on the windowsill look like they agree.

Red House West || Animal DecorThis New York apartment is eclectic and inviting, but it’s the faux taxidermied goat that gives the room a sense of humor and shows the occupant’s “lighthearted humanity”.

This felted namda brings something joyful and fun into this simple space:

What about you? Does this “bit of quirk” have a place in your home? It certainly does in ours!
Come back on Wednesday for a full reveal of the Chamber of Secrets!