Discover the potential of these underused design moves

In interior design, there are those universally acknowledged and accepted design choices – avoid the unflattering cast of a central light source, always use a well-functioning furniture arrangement and remember to layer a space with comfortable cushions, rugs and throws to name a few – but that’s childsplay. Wouldn’t it be great to know what the designers know that we don’t? Here five divulge their biggest design underdogs.


“I find that upgrading your lampshades can make a huge difference in a room. It goes without saying that most off-the-rack lamp shades [which] lamps tend to arrive with are a bit dull. You can virtually never go wrong with an ivory slub linen drum or box shade. The slub linen gives the shade more texture that I find gives a more sophisticated, old-world vibe without being stuffy or fussy. It just feels richer and more luxe. I also love to use fitted diffusers for the top of lamps, to keep guests from being blinded by bright bulbs from low table lamps. My favourite shades are custom from JustShades. They make a double diffused shade for me that is unreal! Funny enough, the shades sometimes cost more than the lamps! But it’s worth it!” – B.A. Torrey

Drinks Cabinets

“Drinks cabinets are such an unexpected delight. Elicyon reinvented the traditional drinks cabinet for a private client’s specialist whiskey collection. The artisan doors feature exquisite eglomise burgundy panels with gold leaf detailing, forming three dramatic backlit display niches. I love how the tailored interior deftly houses all the accoutrements for preparing the perfect drink, including an expandable sliding tray, suede lined drawers and a deep timber mixing surface. Lots of hidden layers and surprises!” – Charu Gandhi, Elicyon


“I think landings are under-utilised in terms of storage, art display or seating areas. They should be treated as an additional room. In these images of the first floor landing, we have introduced upholstered window seats with side tables, added artwork [and] storage units along with a sofa and tall console tables which feature vases for flowers. We have, in essence, created an additional room in what was essentially a thoroughfare.” – Fiona Barratt Campbell


“The irrefutable appeal of cushions! Their peerless versatility to dress up, dress down, enhance, neutralise, introduce texture and add comfort to any space. Importantly, I think they allow for a creative play and harmony with the textures and patterns that surround them in a space.” – Sammy Wickins, Director of Helen Green Design


“The crystal chandelier has become, in the last decade, rather underused, it has always been its grandeur, the statement piece to wow your guests, a focal point to draw the eye upwards and into the space and the use of classical proportions to emphasise the proportions of the space. They can of course work within embellished traditional interiors to reflect and enhance the decoration and within a minimal space to contrast with the austere interior.” – Alice Hales Senior designer, 1508 London
- ZenQ Home Decor and Design Blog -

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