31 1/4 Things To Make an Interior Interesting

We have all seen the lists;

‘the best new …’,

‘this years 10 must have …’,

’30 great pieces …’,

‘the top 100 …’

What about something including the quality;

‘interesting’ ? 

When it comes to choice in decoration it can all seem a bit overwhelming. There are things that make a home or interior attractive and things that make life in a home interesting.

Consider the following ….

1. Ceramic Art

"Pachamama", a sculptural ceramic from artist Goeorgina Lohan depicts a multi-colored head with urchin decorative elements.

“Pachamama” – Porcelain – 24″ x 12″ x12″

Georgina Lohan, Artist

“We have for some reason agreed that if it is painting or sculpture or a few other things, then it is serious high art but if it happens to be the wrong medium , then that’s just craft…” – Tom Rachman speaking about ceramic artists from his novel “Italian Teacher”.

To Georgina Lohan pottery is to her what a scale is to a musician, something that hones the skill required to realize her creative vision. She practices always. While her bowls and vases have unparalleled artistry in form her sculptural pieces are a tour de force. A collage of  ideas, a happy dream fantasy, pulled together with style and life. Lohan is an example of a ceramic artist breaking down the wall between art and craft.


Georgina Lohan Studio, 1161 Parker St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2E2  Tel: 778 239 1621


2. Oversized  Abstract  Original Art

picture of a black and gold abstract painting hangin over and chesterdraws

Abstract Art available through Da Vinci’s Home

Christin Fernandes, Co-Owner, Da Vinci’s Home, Vancouver

” Impactful, bold pieces of original abstract art add drama in any room setting. Abstracts explore the relationship between form and color rather than recognizable images. So, whether it is paired with an antique sideboard or hung in a contemporary setting, these pieces create a striking focal point and elevate any room to the next level. We are always sourcing new art in our travels – from lithographs to oil paintings – framed in-house, to our exact specifications, enabling us to offer our clients a collection of curated pieces for extraordinary interiors.


Davincis Home: 1461 Bellevue Ave, West Vancouver, BC V7T 1C3      Tel: 604 921 3344 


5. Custom Furniture

picture of custom made furniture designed and produced by Ruby Beets, the interior furnishing shop in Sag Harbor NY

Bespoke chest of draws available through Ruby Beets

Sharone Einhorn   Co-Owner of Ruby Beets, Sag Harbor NY

” We have been in business for more than 25 years combining contemporary art, antiques and vintage finds, and our own lines of furniture and upholstery. Now, more and more of our business involves the custom-izable pieces we make , from nightstands and cabinets to armchairs and rugs. Many of our pieces reflect our interest in classic, vintage design and draw from the past. We may find a great vintage chaise at an estate sale and use it for inspiration to create a contemporary chaise with a nod to the past. We are able to work closely with our clients, many from the design world, to create functional beautiful furniture. Our shop is our showroom with a constantly changing interior and a very personal point of view. “

Ruby Beets: 25 Washington Street, Sag Harbor, NY, 11963     Tel: 631 899 3275


6. Cashmere Pillows

picture of "ACK" pillows

Cashmere pillows available through 28 Centre Pointe

Bea Gillum,   28 Centre Pointe, Nantucket Massachusetts

The pleasure of cashmere is well appreciated. These pillows tell a tale. The IATA airport code is a three letter set that identifies numerous airports world-wide. With 17,576 permutations 28 Centre Pointe in Nantucket Massachusetts airport is ‘ACK’. These cashmere pillows have local appeal but have also become a popular tack-away for visitors. Available in a collection of colours.



28 Centre Street Nantucket MA, 02554 Tel:508-228-4900


11. Cloud Busting

picture of abstract painting with a resemblance to a cloud cover planet eart

Original art available through 17 Patterns

Nosca Northfield, Founder and Artist at 17 Patterns

The mood and energy created within the home are determined by the type of art exhibited. Art is an essential focal point within the living space that serves to stimulate, relax, and inspire the mind. By taking a patterns and then containing it within geometric shape, you can create a hypnotic pull; where the open space serves to draw the viewer to the chosen focal point. The stimulus created by a series of works tilted ‘Cloudbusting’ particularity resonates with me, as they create a captivating focal point.

The original painting was exposed to all of nature’s elements and weathered naturally in the English countryside to enhance movement and texture within the watercolours. The rain and wind were instrumental in the development of the works, blurring the lines between nature, digital design- and organic artist-produced compositions. It is a representation of how Nature and Human nature coexist, a collaboration of two forces, documenting a beautiful journal of transformation.

17 Patterns: 57 St Helens Gardens, London England W10 6LN  Tel: 44 (0)20 8962 0154


Banner says, Interior Design Starts With a White Wall


14. Collections

Collections have an intrinsic value – they are interesting. I was inspired to this possibility through a blog I read – Amber Interior Design. The problem with collections is that they can easily feel contrived if this is not a real interest. Picture walls are a frequent example of this. Coffee table books can be equally disingenuous – do you really love ManRay? Oddities have an inherent issue – ethical and sustainable sourcing. That said, both can be easily over come. Be genuine and know your dealer.


collection of hand-painted seabird eggs

Seabirds egg collection available through Tony Ladd

Tony Ladd, Artist

Bird eggs are illegal to own in many countries. As shown here fine replica eggs displays are an equally pleasing substitute. Tony Ladd takes on Faberge with these naturalistic treasures. Hand-painted to the highest detail.

Tony Ladd, United Kingdom  Tel: 44 (0) 1243 267247


15. Oddities

The Skull Store, Toronto

To quote SkullStore; “SkullStore is Canada’s top store for ethically and sustainably sourced natural history products, including – skulls, fossils, taxidermy, minerals and oddities! We are the official gift shop of the Prehistoria Natural History Centre in Toronto!.” No doubt to some the kind of objects one finds at SkullStore might seem ghoulish or morbid, and to some always unethical. To others they are fascinating historical or scientific artifacts. Undeniably interesting.

The Skull Store: 1193 Weston Rd Toronto, Ontario, Canada  Tel: 416-709-6777


16. Resin Bowl

photo of green transluscent bowl

Resin Bowls available through Provide Home, Vancouver

Marth Sturdy, Artist

Martha Sturdy is no newcomer to the product design world. Her translucent resin bowl here adds a relaxed dash of colour to the counter or table top. The colour range covers bold to earthy to neutral . Transluscent means the bowl holds the light. Few things are as interesting in design as those that play with light.  These are materially and by design modern. Their naturalistic design creates a more ambiguous effect.

Martha Sturdy Gallery, 12 W 5th Ave, Vancouver BC, V5Y 1H5


19. Decorative Convex Mirrors

photo by stylist and taste-maker Suszi Saunders (UK)

Matthew Buck, Designer, Owner, Reflecting Design

“Mirrors are top of the interior design ‘accessories’ list. The choice is huge with many repetitive iterations on the market. Looking beyond the practicalities no mirror really captivates like a decorative convex mirror. Convex mirror reflections have a gentle presence. They create atmosphere. Panoramas are naturally interesting. This is why convex mirrors work so well indoors – they are easy to enjoy. The Lola Mirror here beautifully centers the room.”

Reflecting Design, 1420 Venables Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5L 2G5  Tel: 778 858 8248


20. Faux Flowers

Inside Abigail Ahern’s London shop.

Abigail Ahern, Atelier Abigail Ahern, London England

Cut flowers are an undeniably pleasant touch inside. A touch of colour, a smattering of organic life in an otherwise inorganic setting. But flowers die, fade and the pleasure ends. Something is lost. The alternative are artificial flowers and plants. Flowering branches; apple blossom, cherry blossom, Savannah Plum and more, all offer an ever-lasting presence. The quality of the reproduction nowadays is unbelievably convincing. These are not the plastic flowers of your childhood. They are something altogether more authentic. Abigail Ahern offers master-classes on flower arranging.

Atelier Abigail Ahern, 12-14 Essex Road. London, N1 8LN  Tel: 020 7354 8181


22.  Functionality and Design

Lineas 117 Console Table, Design by Tarcisco Colzani.

Kurt Zimmerer, Graye, Los Angeles

The benefit of a free hanging console table is not widely recognized. Free hanging suggests functionality over all. Established in 1948 by Luigi Allievi, the Italian company Porada excels in producing stylish wooden furniture and accessories. The Lineas 117 is an example for well designed and functionality as one.



GRAYE, 316 South Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles 90048  Tel: 310 385 7872


23. Wooden Puzzles


Chess, Puzzles and Mind Games

One task for any interior designer is to capture or represent their client’s interests. This needs to be authentic or unpretentious. Coffee table books lend themselves too often to the later – are you really interested in Manray or is this just a superificial decoration? We all like games or puzzles. Wooden pieces can be pleasing to the eye, a mind exercise and good for conversation.

Chess Forum, 219 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012


25. Desert Plants

Mariscal Cactus & Succulents

A cactus is the living variant of a faux flower. Organic yet lifeless. Growth is imperceptible. Black-thumbs everywhere smile. They ask for little. The perfect plant companion. Prickly they want nothing, least of all to be touched.

Cacti are singularly cool. Like all natural objects they are inimitable – well, maybe not. Large or small a cactus is great design element. Make sure you plant them in an equally appealing pot. Plants are great but in design only when the entire package is assemble perfectly.

Mariscal Cactus & Succulents, 66085 Dillon Rd Desert Palm Springs, CA 92240  Tel:  760 518 1077


27. Atmospheric Lighting

It often feels to me that when it comes to competitors few accessories have as much product as mirrors. Even when the 10 biggest are all imitators of one another. But when I look at the world of lighting I know I am wrong. So much to choose from. Zenza ‘Atmospheric Lighting’ convey style with all the charm of hand crafted pieces.


Zenza Home: 4450 Witmer, Industrial Estates , Niagara Falls NY, 14305 USA  Tel: 844 333 589


28. Wood

Designed by Blake Tobin, Made in Canada by Westbros. Furniture. Inspired by mid century icon, George Nelson. The Serra Collection.

Julian Riley, co-owner, Maria Tomás Indoor & Outdoor Living , Calgary

Solid Black American Walnut is one of those woods that is truly magical!  The movement of the grain, the warmth from the mid tone brown without the “red” undertone, draws many to this species. It can be truly “modern” or otherwise pair well with many traditional pieces.

Maria Tomás, 6051 Centre Street SW, Calgary, Alberta T2H0C2, Tel: 403-454-6051


29. Illuminated Outlines

Illuminated Outlines, avilable through Manor Interior Design.

Mona Lee, Owner, Manor Interior Design, Toronto

Geometric, diffused borders create an architectural chandelier that is both contemporary and luxurious. This light easily transforms any space by adding layered elegance with definition. Both ethereal and cerebral, illuminated outlines are defining new boundaries in bold and sophisticated interior design.


Manor Interior Design, 3377 Yonge St, Toronto, Ontario M4N 2M6   Tel: 416-544-1700


31. Gallery Wall

Ty Larkins, Interior Designer, Owner, Ty Larkins Interiors

Creating a “Salon style” or “Gallery wall” of artwork comprised of a diverse grouping of unrelated pieces is a great way to really personalize a space that doesn’t appear as though it was purchased out of a retail catalog.  The key is finding a common denominator represented in all of the artworks in order to form a visual relationship.  Examples include frame style and color, background color of the matting, or image type (such as the original black & white photography collection shown below).  


Ty Larkins Interiors, 1948 Government Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70806  Tel: 225 372 2821


17 & 1/4 …. Books


It is just the opinion of the Editor now, but books are always interesting. They convey interests, and they look great. A mosaic of colours and ideas.

Let us know your thoughts about what in decoration makes an interior interesting. Comment below.

We know there are only 17 1/4 Things. 🙂



The Author: Matthew Buck is the creative energy behind Reflecting Design and Odlum Entrance.

Posted in Interior Design, Mirrors, People Tagged with: , , ,