Monday, February 9, 2009

Elements of Surprise

Using a detail to create a note of surprise works best if it looks like a spontaneous gesture. Objects that are not usually considered conventional accessories can make pleasingly offbeat details.
This unexpected note is a breath of fresh air that prevents an otherwise quite traditional interior from looking static or just too safe. Sheer contrast is a key element in creating an effective design surprise.

A room with a clever twist resides on the high ground of decorating. An object is provocative when it shows up in a room where it is least expected. Using an offbeat detail may require advance planning, but the preparation should never show. Any hint of contrivance would look strained, and then, of course, the surprise would be gone. So where is the Element of Surprise in your castle?


19 comments:

  1. Vicky you are proving to be quite the clever writer. I adore the use of that wonderful basket under the sink. It not only provides an awesome decorative point but also conceals all of the rough plumbing. I was honored to have a mentor in this business and she always said every room should have a touch of whimsy. I agree so much and you so beautifully stated "the prepration should never show". Every room that catches my breath always has a feeling of growing and having it's own life. Not an easy thing to accomplish without much time... but oh so worth it. I've added you to my list, I haven't figured everything out but I can see how this is all so much fun for everyone.

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  2. Hi sweetie,WELCOME.I know I am not alone when I say,"I am so glad you're here...Ann

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  3. Hey Vicki D!! Yay!! You've joined us in blogville!! I can tell ya there is no element of surprise in my house *gulps*...wait...there is my hubbys man cave *winks*...lots of dead stuff lol! Vanna

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  4. Love that last picture of the bathroom! LOOK AT YOU! You should have started this blog a long time ago - you're GREAT!

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  5. Hi Vicky...I just found your blog! Welcome to Blogland! Love the post...Debbie

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  6. Lovinf all of these. A friend of mine has the bird. Kathy

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  7. Very interesting post. I need to think on this awhile.

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  8. I don't know Vicky, I'm a pretty good cat walker! LOL!

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  9. Hi Vicky! What a neat idea putting a basket under the sink...Christine

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  10. Hi Vicky,Your blog is wonderful I really enjoyed this post and I am one of those that has to have a little whimsey,I think it is what can make a room charming.It is nice to be able to come by and see you once in awhile.Welcome to blogland so glad you posted,Hugs Kathysue

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  11. Hi again, Vicky! Please come for a visit and collect your award...Christine

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  12. Hey Vicky, I liked the element of surprise, I have come into possession of a hornets nest and have been racking my brain as to where I could put this wonderful work of natures art. Any ideas? Sasha

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  13. I have been hanging Artwork in my Bathrooms for yearS, and never thought of it as an 'element of surprise'. I guess it was though, as I often had people comment on it...and that was probably why.
    Great post Vicky! -Brenda-

    P.S: I see Sasha's hornets' nest hung in an office or placed on a bookshelf.

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  14. Hi Vicky...glad you are enjoying blogging...I am biting my tongue to say...told you so...ooops, did I just say that? :-) Hee, Hee...it is addictive, isn't it? Better than RMS, by far! I love rooms that surprise with a little whimsey.
    Susan

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  15. YEEEAAAAA!! Congrats on your blog! I don't know why you kept it a secret girl...it's wonderful! I have a feeling I'm going to learn a LOT from you! Now I'm going to walk around and see where my element of surprise is...hmmmmmmmm :-)) Love ya twin! L~

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  16. Vicky, welcome to Blogland. Your blog is beautiful. laurie

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  17. I know what you man about "too contrived". A friend of mine put it another way: "Careful or you'll make it look like you're trying too hard".

    I agree that an element of surprise is what give a room personality - it should be something that raises eyebrows a bit but a the same time make the viewer think, "That is SO (name of person)!"

    For me, it's usually something from the countries we've lived in - for instance, we have a carved wooden rocking horse from England - in the dining room!

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I love interior design but don't often blog about it - photography and grandchildren usually trump for topics. I'm a "lurker" to design sights however. :)

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  18. The first image (with the goose) is from one one of my favorite homes ever!!! I loved everything about that house.

    Amazing post too- I agree that every space needs that element of surprise.

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