How to Add Drama to Any Room



It’s funny how you can feel perfectly content with your surroundings and then you attend one dinner party at a friend’s chic new pad and you come home realizing, “Gosh! This place looks tired.” These thoughts are often followed by dismay because you feel that you lack the time, money, or both to create the drama your home is in need of. The good news is, you don’t actually need a lot of either to amp things up. With a few simple changes, you can take just about any room from dull to dazzling. Here’s what we suggest…

Start With Accessories

It may seem like an obvious suggestion but accessories really are the simplest and best place to start. They allow you to make a change without spending too much time or money. This could be in the form of throw pillows in a really unexpected colour or an eye-catching pattern. Alternatively, a new area rug can make a startling difference and feel like an art piece. Window treatments with bold colours or patterns, can really make an impact too or, if it’s light fixtures you’re after, look for sculptural table and floor lamps or hanging light fixtures that feel like art installations. Alternatively, for a more cost-effective change, try adding new lamp shades!

A London penthouse. Photo courtesy of Elle Decor.

When in doubt, less is more!

When clients are looking to give their space a refresh, more often than not, their initial impulse is to think about what they can add to the room. Sometimes though, it isn’t a question of adding but rather taking away to make the most of the room. We suggest taking a look at the room in question and asking yourself what your favourite piece or the focal point is. Is it the sofa? Is it the headboard of your bed? Whatever it is, once you have identified it, every decision after that should be made with that hero piece in mind. This might mean removing some items that clash or compete. It’s a matter of editing strategically so that every piece in the room either complements or enhances a single focal point so that when you walk into the room, you feel that immediate impact and “wow” factor. In this London penthouse, featured above, we would argue that the green, velvet sofa is the main feature. Every other piece in the room either functions as a subtle echo of the sofa or complements it in some way. Though fairly minimal in the number of pieces used, the room is utterly stunning and feels complete. 

Design by Graham Joyner of Metal + Petal.

Add an Element of Surprise

A great way to amp up drama and personality in a room is to add a surprising element. This can take many different forms and is often a matter of personal preferences and tastes. Art work, be it a hanging piece on the wall or a sculpture, is a great way to go. As we’ve discussed in the past, art doesn’t have to have a rhyme or a reason, which is what makes it so fun. If the piece in question is a framed photo of  a leopard just because, great! Why not?! Adding prints and patterns unexpectedly can also be a great alternative. For example, wallpapering the back of your built-ins can be a subtle way of adding a vibrant print. Painting your trim a contrasting colour is another way to add a detail that not everyone will notice right aways but appreciate when they see it. Opting for whimsical handles and knobs on doors and cabinetry will also bring another level of polish and completion to a space. Whichever direction you take, have patience! These things take time to develop in a way that feels authentic.

If you and your space still feel stuck and in the past though, we’re here to help and guide you! Our refresh package is often the perfect solution to revive any room with a few simple tweaks from our team of experts.