A touch of glamour can brighten a room inexpensively


By Jamie Stengledallas

From colorful glass pieces giving off sparkle to lamps and mirrors that play with the light, adding glamour to a room is easy and something people are seeking, said interior designer Jan Showers.

“I just think everybody really loves being glamorous,” said Showers, whose book Glamorous Rooms (Abrams) was released last fall.

It features the Dallas designer’s elegant style, from a living room done in yellow-gold with robin’s-egg-blue chairs and a large mirror in a gold frame to a dining room done in white with a Murano chandelier reflected in a mirror.

A recent issue of House Beautiful magazine identifies “the glams” as one of today’s four big design forces.

“Glamour is all about looking good, feeling good and loving seeing that reflection of yourself,” said the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Stephen Drucker.

With the economic downturn, clients want a touch of glamour more than ever, designers say.

Showers said she sees glamour as a room or person with great style — Audrey Hepburn, for example.

“Glamour always makes people feel good,” said Charles Pavarini III, a Manhattan designer.

Sharon McCormick, a designer in Durham, Conn., said more clients are opting to redecorate rather than “move up” to a bigger home. “The recession kind of made people appreciate their homes and being home more,” she said.

Adding some glamour can be done on any budget, Showers said, and can be as simple as buying new throw pillows, getting beautiful books to display, finding elegant glass pieces to place on tables and hanging mirrors.

“Create a shimmer and shine in your room. It really does change things up and that’s glamorous,” said Showers, who composes a regular blog on her website that offers tips on everything from decorating to books to art exhibits to travel.

Making rooms inviting with comfortable furniture is part of creating a glamorous space, she added. She suggests arranging living room furniture so there are two seating areas — even if one is just a corner with a lamp, chair and table. “There’s nothing more glamorous than having people in a room. Do things to invite people in,” she said.

Lighting can have a big impact on a room and is often overlooked. Good lighting can make you and your guests look good, said Showers, who prefers the more flattering light from lamps to overhead lighting.

Pavarini said putting lamps on dimmers can add sexiness to a room. He also likes displaying candlesticks of different heights and finishes.

“It always looks much more glamorous in a room when your lighting is dimmed and there are different levels,” Pavarini said. “It focuses your eye.”

McCormick advises throwing an unexpected item into a decorating scheme to tell guests something about you and act as a conversation starter — a favorite book, for instance, or souvenirs from a trip.

If you can’t afford an interior designer, Showers said, figure out your own style by getting a stack of decorating magazines and tearing out what you find appealing — then look for the elements that keep reappearing.

She also recommends buying well-made furniture that isn’t trendy, and choosing quality over quantity.

“The test is, will I like this piece of furniture 10 years from now?” she said.

On the Net: www.janshowers.com; www.pavarinidesign.com; www.sharonmccormickdesign.com; www.housebeautiful.com