Designer Hints with Stephanie Luk

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1. What is the best accessory to complete a room?  

A meaningful object, whether it’s from your travels, or your past,

or even a piece of art that has a story behind it, makes for a great accessory.

2. How do you decide on the color scheme for the room?

I also feel like this is very personal. I start by asking my client what they want to feel like in that particular room. I ask if it is an intimate space for themselves, or if it is a more public entertaining space. Then, I go from there. There are certain colors that have a psychological affect on people. But, it’s also important to keep in mind that people react to specific colors differently. It’s all about finding the right fit for each individual to help them set the mood for that space.

3. The secret to styling a mantel?  

Again, I think it’s whether the client wants it to be a focal point of the room, or whether they want it to blend into the architecture of the space.

I think for most people, it should be an inviting gathering space for the room. For me, the secret would be to have a collection of personal objects around your mantel. That being said, it’s good to keep it simple. If you want to have framed photos on your mantle, have them all developed in black and white, in different sized frames, but featuring the same finish (silver, brass, wood etc). It could be a group of vases you’ve collected from flea markets, or from travels. You can style the vases with fresh flowers when you have guests over. I think the secret is to keep it simple, and pick one type of decorative piece you want to highlight, and then group them together in an interesting way.

4. Designer pet peeve?

My designer pet peeve is two-fold: Number one, small throw cushions that are not comfortable and purely decorative, and number two, when there are too many of these cushions on a sofa or a bed. There’s no point in having a decorative piece that takes away from the function of a key furniture piece, like a sofa or a bed, where one wants to feel comfortable.

5. Without fail design hint that you have learned over your career?

I have a few:

1) Fresh cut flowers and plants always liven up a room, and make it more inviting.

2) Whether it is a large wooden fruit bowl, a set of linen sheets, a cashmere throw, a sheepskin or kilim rug, classic accessories like these never go out of style. For me, they are timeless, and it’s always good to have these kind of pieces mixed into your other furniture that may come and go.

3) Always surround yourself with objects that you love, whether it’s a functional or decorative piece. Be yourself and be original! Don’t go out and get a piece that you think is trendy or that you’re seeing in your friends’ homes. If you like the idea for your home, go for it but try and make it your own.

Stephanie Luk is a designer at AvroKO, for more information visit www.avroko.com.

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