Furnishing a room: Little things make a big difference
Coat hooks, taps and light switches are more exciting than you might think, says Kate Watson-Smyth
Wednesday 29 October 2008
Once you've painted the walls and arranged the furniture, you might think that the room is done, but it's the finishing touches that add the wow factor to interiors and make the difference between a house that has only been decorated and one that is ready to be lived in. Taps, handles and hooks are usually at hand or eye level, which means that they are the first thing a visitor, or prospective buyer, notices so it's worth spending some time, and money, getting it right.
There are so many taps out there, you'll need to do some research to get the right look for your bathroom or kitchen. Quirky options include a tap by B&Q (0845 850 0175; www.diy.com ), which glows pink or blue depending on the water temperature. Franke (0161-436 6280; www.franke.co.uk ) has a tap that can be fixed next to the cooker on an extendable fitting so you don't have to lug heavy pans to and from the sink.
Go to www.livinghouse.co.uk (01722 415000) for a huge range of switches in everything from leather, crystal, wood and chrome to bronze and Bakelite, with matching sockets for a more co-ordinated look. Yes, the white plastic ones are cheaper, but these will help make a room look extra special. Crystal switches look great on top of wallpaper, chrome can be used to match the kitchen taps and leather ones would work well in a study.
Door knobs are yet another detail that can make the difference between cheap and nasty and well thought out interior design. Door chic (01924 230265; www.doorchic.co.uk ) has dozens of styles, including leather levers and antique brass knobs. And if you don't like any of those, design your own from an array of finishes, such as pewter and iron.
There's no excuse for having a horrid white plastic handle on a piece of string, because there is a huge range of ready-made decorative light pulls out there. Bathroom Trends (01372 727050; www.bathroomtrends.co.uk ) has a selection of chains with crystal, wood and brass handles. You can even make your own light pull using a curtain tassle, which will do the job just as well and add a luxurious feel to the smallest of rooms.
Combine hooks with storage for a smart and simple solution to keeping your home tidy. The cubby organiser from www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk (0870 224 2660) will hold keys, phones and sunglasses, as well as coats and umbrellas. The site also has a large collection of statement hooks.
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