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Surprising decor details

Sometimes ordinary items can create surprising decor details, transforming a space into the talking point of every guest to your home.

Surfboard Coffee Table



Purchased from a vendor who makes tables out of vintage surfboards and skis, the coffee table in the family room of this Cape Cod beach house gives the room a relaxed, lived-in feel. "Every room should have something that makes you smile," says designer Annie Selke.

High-Gloss Interior Door



The family who lives in this New York house entertains frequently, so designer Pat Healing wanted the dining room to be extra glamorous. "I think of dining rooms as candlelit evening spaces," she says. The door to the butler's pantry is painted an elegant and bold custom high-gloss plum.


Rattan Hanging Chair



The sunroom of fashion designer Liz Lange’s Westchester home is both chic and cheeky, thanks to a playful, swinging seat selected by designer Jonathan Adler.

Canoe as Ceiling Decor



Inspired by a restaurant in Vermont, the pantry of an Idaho barn-style house by architects Sandra Vlock and Glenn Arbonies harbors a wood canoe in winter. It also coordinates perfectly with the home's classic American style.

Upside Down Mirror



When a window left little room for an above-the-sink mirror in the guest bath of a Malibu home, designer Lawrence Rizkowsky looked up instead — mounting a shaving-style one from the ceiling.

Easel TV Stand



In order to bring lightness and ease to this 1970s Palm Beach condo, designer Vicente Wolf repurposed a Magasin Sennelier French oak easel on wheels into a move-able TV stand. By floating it in the room, rather than pushing it up against the wall, Wolf created the illusion of a larger space.

Chandelier Bulletin Board



Design consultant Ellen O’Neill’s apartment in Manhattan is a tiny studio, so she needs extra space anywhere she can find it. Turning to the ceiling, her "bulletin board" is Ingo Maurer’s Zettel’z 5 chandelier. O’Neill uses it to hold notes, lists, directions, sketches, and even a hat.

Rope Railing



Designer and television personality Thom Filicia created a modern and classic interior for a Designer Visions showhouse. For the staircase, he chose heavy rope in place of a traditional railing and angled the runner to reveal a hint of bare floor.

Stripe Wooden Floor



To add visual interest to his Alabama living room, architect Bill Ingram painted a pattern of thick and narrow stripes over the stained wood floor. "It jazzes everything up," he says.



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