Kathleen's Tips

The 60/40 Rule

How do you decorate a historical house with ornate architectural features?

Keep it clean. Mix it up. Keep the palette interesting- don’t be afraid to mix patterns, finishes, and textures. It’s all about ratio.  When selecting furniture, try to keep to a 60 percent skirts, 40 percent legs rule. Skirts soften a room.  If you have a house heavy with architectural details, try not to weigh it down with objects.  Use your eye and edit.  In doubt?  Revisit my recent interior design posts on editing, pattern and scale, and repetition and rhythm.

Skirted tabled add softness to a room.

Skirted Tables

I am a big fan of skirted tables.  It’s an opportunity to use a beautiful fabric in a space.  You literally can skirt anything and it will look polished. Beyond getting crafty with paint (which is hard to execute elegantly), there’s not a lot you can do to customize a typical wooden table. But skirted tables? The options are endless. My skirted table go-to right now is using a solid fabric in a pretty color with a tape trim. It adds just the right amount of detail and takes on a more clean-lined appearance.

Layers of fabric are one of the design touches that bring a polished, professional look to a room. A red skirted table in the Hamptons beach house of investor Christopher Burch.

Skirted Table Tips

  • If you’re having a skirted table custom made, always line and interline them. This will give them a wonderful body that will always look rich and refined.
  • For consoles, choose a tailored inverted box pleat on the corners which gives the table definition and a sophisticated elegance.
  • Have a piece of glass cut for the top of the table to complete the look- and protect the fabric.

For consoles, choose a tailored inverted box pleat on the corners which gives the table definition and a sophisticated elegance.

Los Angeles-based designer Mark D. Sikes often uses custom skirted tables in his projects.

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