A new year is the perfect time to take a look at your home and think about making some changes. There’s no need to start from scratch though. There’s a lot you can do with home decor accessories to give your furniture a new lease of life without spending a fortune.
Take a leaf out of the books of professional interior designers and refresh your interiors with trimmings – along the edges of upholstered furniture, or the borders of cushions and curtains. It’s a way to enhance the style and colours you have already, while keeping budget in mind.
Jewellery for the home
“Interior designers consider trimmings to be like jewellery,” says Victoria Cheung of Altfield Interiors. “They add a level of detailed finish and layering to design schemes to create additional interest. It’s something that we can all do, with a little thought and creativity.” Trimmings are a colourful way to zhoosh your interiors – and something we can all get creative with.
Victoria should know, as she has access to some of the most beautiful cords, fringes, edges and embroideries thanks to Samuel & Sons, an American family-owned company founded over 75 years ago, and one of the world’s most renowned makers of passementerie (trimmings).
Back in 16th-century France, the art and craft of passementerie required a seven-year apprenticeship. Signalling social distinction, its trends ebbed and flowed through the classical Renaissance, to the bolder Empire and positively flamboyant Victorian eras.
Working with colours and patterns
Today, while contemporary interior styles have often gone for clean lines, trimmings are well and truly back in vogue. When starting out, Victoria recommends neutral and subtle colours easy to blend into your existing interiors, focusing on cords and brush fringes for cushions, and contemporary borders for curtains and blinds.
“Contemporary-style trimmings collections composed of geometrics and clean lines are in frequent demand to suit modern urban living in Hong Kong,” she says. When you get a little more adventurous, she advises moving up a gear. “I see high-performance trimmings to be increasingly popular, and products that combine fantastic design with easy maintenance.”
Choosing the right fabric
It’s certainly worth considering maintenance, whether your trimmings will live indoors or out. “Indoor/outdoor products offer good durability, and are stain-, mildew- and UV-resistant, which also makes them suitable for homes with young children and pets,” she says.
A few of Victoria’s favourite trimmings include the fusion of old and new in the Italian Renaissance-inspired Corinthia Collection, and the stunning Japanese obi (sash) style borders of the Keiro Collection. She also loves the Shangri-La Collection of abstract cloud motifs by Samuel & Sons, if you’re looking for oriental styles, while the youthful and fun pom-pom fringes, like those in the Cirque Collection, are perfect for children’s rooms.
Victoria’s trimming tips
• A little goes a long way
• Pick your favourite fabric shades and choose trimmings accordingly
• Tone-on-tone adds depth and interest
• Use trimmings to enhance rather than change your style
• Have fun – there’s a plethora of styles, textures, designs and colours
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This article first appeared in the December/January 2018/19 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.