There’s no greater feeling than a home refresh, right? But what if you can’t or won’t spend the big bucks for a total overhaul? That’s where professional help comes in handy, so we asked Jennifer Vaughn Miller for some little changes that can create a huge impact. And here’s a hint: rugs.
There’s nothing more luxurious than climbing into a crisp bed at the end of a long day. I collect linens both new and old. Favorites are French Antiques I’ve found at the Paris Flea Market (99 Allée des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen; +33 6 95 38 88 49), Brimfield, Round Top (475 Texas Hwy 237 South, Carmine, TX; +1 512 237 4747) and Hudson. However, there are a plethora of beautiful bedding shops that sell online as well: Olatz (508 W 26th Street #7C, New York; +1 212 255 8627), Ilinka Collection and Hill House Home (395 Bleecker Street, New York; +1 917 261 7677) to name a few of my favorites. Adding custom monograms in original fonts adds another layer of interest. I love when interiors slowly reveal themselves to you the longer you look.
I’m obsessed with tablescapes, so unique china is yet another addiction in our home. I’m constantly hunting at Flea Markets, Historic Societies and Charity shops. I tend to prefer an eclectic table with mismatched finds. Vendors such as Richard Ginori, Bergdorf Goodman’s antique tableware section and Scully and Scully (504 Park Avenue, New York; +1 212 755 2590) offer this feel without the hunt. Dining with china makes one feel as though they’re a part of history and can be a topic of conversation when stuck next to an unfortunate guest!
A quick and relatively low cost change can be color. Lime paints from Domingue Architectural Finishes (3560 W 12th Street, Houston; +1 713 961 5270), plasters from Portola, high-gloss sheens from Fine Paints of Europe and rich saturated hues from Farrow and Ball are all tools to enrich a seemingly lacking room.
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Call me old fashioned but I mix silver into any setting. A hint of Granny never hurts as a layer in a room. Hotel Silver is great for dinner parties and figural silver adds quirky flare. Bergdorf Goodman offers the motherlode, as do the London Silver Vaults, but smaller shops less daunting to scour are Gryphon Estate Silver, Alice Kwartler (445 Park Avenue # 1, New York; +1 212 752 3590) (NYC) and Hudson Grace (3350 Sacramento Street, San Francisco; +1 415 440 7400).
Vases, glassware, platters, domes — all easy purchases to add style and highlight food. Shops such as John Derian (NYC), ABC Home (888 Broadway, New York; +1 212 473 3000) (NYC), March (3075 Sacramento Street, San Francisco; +1 415 931 7433) and Kuhl-Linscomb (2424 W Alabama Street, Houston; +1 713 526 6000) (Houston) are all wonderful “local” stores to indulge. They are particularly beautiful at holiday time and solid sources for gifts.
I choose flowers like I choose favorite jeans to wear: What is the weather, what is my mood, where am I going? They affect my spirits and of course, elevate a room. Whether it’s lilacs and hydrangeas (two of the few things I don’t manage to kill) from my garden or purchased bouquets, I love styling with flowers. Elan Flowers (26 Grand Street, New York; +1 212 240 9033) in NYC makes spectacular, subtle arrangements. Emily Thompson Flowers (53 Howard Street, New York; +1 212 882 1384) within the carefully curated home shop. RW Guild (53 Howard Street, New York; +1 212 852 9099) is another great source for more unique, earthy arrangements. Of course, the NYC flower market is always an enjoyable early morning adventure.
Not exactly an accessory but a catalyst for cohesion, rugs can make or break the overall tone of a room. Vintage kilims, when appropriate, can layer nicely. Antique rugs from vendors such as Galerie Shabab (104 W 29th Street 6th Floor, New York; +1 212 725 5444), Woven (NYC/LA), Nazmiyal Collection (31 East 32nd Street Floor #2, New York; +1 212 545 8029) and Turkish Carpets (5809 Chimney Rock Road Suite A, Houston; +1 414 232 0454) have extensive collections worth shopping. An absolute jewel in NYC is Xenomania Antiques (206 E 6th Street, New York; +1 212 249 3990), who sells Turkish angora Filikli rugs (not to mention stunning textiles and found treasures as well).
Jennifer Vaughn Miller specializes in high-end residential design, based in NYC. She has worked for icons in the industry and went on to start her own firm in 2009. Her carefully curated interiors combined with her schooling in Architecture provide a unique niche for clients, cultivating her underground following.