Laundry rooms, mud rooms, and pantries are the very practical spaces that are often lower on the decorating priority list. But it does not have to be this way. Sallie Lord, of Chantilly-based GreyHunt Interiors, explains how to make a jewel box room — a small space with big impact — that can elevate your interior design on a more manageable scale than a complete renovation.
What’s a Jewel Box Room?
“To me, a jewel box room refers to a single room that packs a powerful design punch,” says Lord. “It’s a captivating space that engulfs you in a mood by bringing a lot of different elements together in a single space: wall treatments, floor tile, light fixtures, textures, all of those things combined with a specific style in a specific space.”
When it comes to the jewel box, size matters and the intention of the space is key.
“Any small space will suit, from a walk-in closet to a ‘cloffice,’ a laundry room, or a regular old office,” she says. “But having a little vignette area — or a small space that sets a scene or tells a story — in your home makes a design moment that’s a bit separate from the design of the rest of your house. You could even have this vignette area on an outdoor porch.”
How Do You Make a Jewel Box Room?
Lord says that her biggest design objective is to create a specific feeling in a certain space. For a jewel box room, that feeling might be a bit different than the rest of the house and particular to that room only.
In other words, the room has a definite mood.
“My objective is to make a space that calls to the homeowner and those who see it, that makes them want to live in this particular room of their house,” says Lord.
When it comes to budgeting for this snazzy little spot, the sky can be the limit but it definitely doesn’t need to be.
“I feel that it’s more about the space being bespoke as opposed to the items in the space being bespoke,” says Lord. “The room could have your grandmother’s painting hanging on the wall mixed in with a fabulous light fixture. But should all items be in the luxury price range? No. But it’s always nice to have some splurge items mixed in with vintage or antique pieces.”
A last word of advice from Lord is about the mix: knowing where to look for freebies and when to spend on something more toward the higher end.
“Some of my favorite pieces are finds from family mixed in with gorgeous new pieces,” she says. “I find the items that are most important to my clients include art, fashion, lighting, and textures, which are the items I tend to focus and splurge on.”
Feature image by Stacy Zarin Goldberg
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