When it comes to classy interiors, it’s no secret that they’re absolutely the sum of their parts. Hardware, wall mouldings and cabinetry are just a few elements which really set them apart from their less considered counterparts and there’s something so special about a signature home scent, personalised bedding and fresh flowers. All of these small but important details offer an interior a je ne sai quoi appeal which just so happens to be the best kind.
1. STAIR RODS
A staircase is a standout feature of a home so it makes sense to really capitalise on it – especially if it’s found in a front entryway. Elegant stair runners add class like no other but what really finishes them off well is a pairing with glossy stair rods like in this project by Alexander James Interiors (above). “By using stair rods, it provides additional detailing to a stair runner and creates a really contemporary and impressive look”, says Stephanie Cole, one of the firm’s interior designers, “One of the best things about stair rods is that you can customise them to match any interior. Cubed, round, stone – whatever works with the scheme. These embellishments help to get a good balance of traditional and contemporary.”
"By using stair rods, it provides additional detailing to a stair runner and creates a really contemporary and impressive look."
2. UNIQUE HARDWARE
Cabinet doors and drawer fronts can really be transformed with carefully chosen hardware à la this custom-made cabinet by Katharine Pooley. “Ironmongery punctuates every room in a house and these small details require careful consideration to raise a space from ordinary to interesting,” Katharine explains, “There are now so many fantastic and original hardware designers out there – it is easy to find special pieces to elevate a space.” Textures like hammered and imprinted finishes make a notable statement whilst blending in with the overall design but hardware can also be a great way to tie together even the smallest details of your room. Incorporating other materials is a good way to do this – for example, leather-wrapped handles are perfect for exuding a masculine or country appeal and glass or embellished designs offer something a little more glamorous.
3. FRESH FLOWERS
Any interior designer will tell you that fresh blooms are a must for a classy interior. “Beautiful flowers completely transform a space, making a big impact on the room. By using fresh flowers (we like using creams and vintage whites with big blooms such as peonies and hydrangeas) and styling them simply in delicate vases you can add elegance to any interior, giving it the perfect finishing touch”, says Rae Underhill, Design Director of Spinocchia Freund. Whether it’s a perfect little posy (like the blooms in the studio’s recent Paris apartment development at London’s The Heron) or an oversized display in a foyer, flowers can add life to a room or a forgotten space.
4. WALL MOULDINGS
If you’re not planning on wall coverings, opt instead for wall mouldings particularly if your home is a period property (or a modern take on one). It may be time-consuming and cost more but the results are so worth it according to Linda Holmes, LuxDeco’s Interiors Director.
“Wall mouldings add character to a room and it’s always lovely to see the original designs still in tact,” she says, “Luckily, newer properties can recreate the look easily with applied decorative mouldings which give the same effect.” Not only do wall mouldings give your walls some interest, they also frames your furniture just perfectly.
"Wall mouldings add character to a room and it’s always lovely to see the original designs still in tact."
5. PERSONALISED BEDDING
Hotels might be known for their luxurious bedding but what they can’t offer is personalised monogramming. This is a special touch used by the very refined to put their stamp on their space. Truly classic interiors will opt for a font which matches the style of the interior (and person) as well as remaining subtly understated. Remember – napkins, towels and robes can also be monogrammed with the same classy effect.
6. AMAZING CABINETRY
Since it can be both the sign of a truly bespoke interior or a very impersonal, cookie-cutter one, cabinetry is often a design deal breaker. For on-point cabinetry – like in this Tobi Fairley penthouse kitchen – consult with professionals and only use the very best materials which will endure the years and endure them well. Kitchens, dressing rooms, bathrooms and utility rooms are the main stages for cabinetry so particular care should be taken in these rooms. “You can never go wrong by investing in the best quality cabinetry that you can afford,” Tobi suggests, “It not only looks better – with its fine detail and good materials – but it also adds long-term value to your home.”
"Consult with professionals and only use the very best materials which will endure the years and endure them well."
7. AROMATIC SCENTS
Whether it’s a candle or fragrance sticks, a signature scent is something we’d recommend finding for your home. “A beautiful scent is the first thing that hits you when you walk into a home and it gives your home distinction,” Linda says, “I have candles burning and fragrance sticks all the time in my house. Diptyque and Baobab’s candles give off a lovely, enduring aroma.” Having a signature is not to say that you can’t try a selection of favourites though – just as long as they’re good quality since luxury candles or fragrance sticks are the only way to really retain the scent.
8. ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING
The undeniable mark of a carefully considered interior is a lighting scheme which has been custom-designed for a space. Once the stamp of an ultra-modern interior and reserved for energetic light installations, high-tech architectural lighting is an amazing way to make the most of a room. In this Sophie Paterson bedroom, soft uplighting from the built-in headboard makes the room feel more spacious and creates an inviting and serene boudoir. For more on the importance of lighting see our Ultimate Lighting Guide.
9. INTRICATE CORNICING
Good bones in a building are always welcomed by the astute interior designer. In this Laura Hammett project, a cornice of beautiful flourishes combines with an egg and dart trim (the epitome of classic design) to give grandeur to the space. It doesn’t have to be overly grand (especially if your home isn’t of this particular style) but even the simplest yet well-designed cornicing will stand as a testament of your careful design.