A Fine Line

Sometimes all it takes is a little tweak here and there to make an interior come to life.  Tweaks personalize your space, enhance the mood, and provide balance among the furnishings and decor mix.  I’ve always loved the way a simple line detail could elevate the look of an interior.   Contrast borders, tailored stitching,  piping and welting are classic line details.   Such minimal, yet elegant detail provides maximum style whenever applied in a flattering fashion.  Fine lines usually feature in tailored, classic, and modern aesthetics although any interior can benefit.   If your style leans to Bohemian or Romantic you’d go for more foofaraw and that’s amazing too.  For now, we concentrate on the quiet strength found in linear details.

Red trim on the drapery and sofa skirt base in this bedroom play off the 10′ tall, leather-wrapped bedposts.  Yes, I said 10′ tall, leather-wrapped bedposts!  I say bravo and bow to designer Thomas Britt!

Thomas Britt interior. Veranda

Windows treatments in solid colors look fabulous when a decorative tape is applied.   For the valance below a fringed decorative tape provided color and texture in this tone on tone interior.


Nancy Braithwaite is one of my favorite interior designers, she’s original and fearless.  In her farmhouse, a bed dressed in fabric panels accentuated with contrast lines adds definition and balance to the wild walls.  So in love with this room, I do wonder where those stairs go to.

Nancy Braithwaite interior

The contrast edging on the shade below balances the handsome brass work of the Elkins sconce.

Crisp and tailored shade adds to the beauty of the Elkins sconce designed by Thomas O’Brien for Visual Comfort.

Grosgrain, cording, and microcording provide color and visual interest on pillows, draperies, and upholstery.   Welting in a darker color tends to show wear better, especially on seat cushions.

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Brimar cording

A pop of red.


Classic ticking stripe with contrast flat welting.  Design Directions showroom.

Another way to bring in a subtle line detail is through the application of nail head trim as shown on the headboard below.  The bedding detail mimics the line of the headboard in fabric.

Peacock Alley bedding
Lines of nail head trim provide architectural detail to an upholstered wall.

Furnishings pop when contrast piping is applied or you have a bonkers wall covering like Puzzles from Cole & Son.


Slipcovers are great for changing up the look of your space.  Make sure your fabric is a sturdy canvas or something similar, otherwise your welting may look wavy and misshapen.

Slipcovers fashioned with contrast piping breathe new life into a formal interior.  Killer mural and color palette.  Michael Connors design

Designer Steven Gambrel has a thing for tufting.  (I recommend his book “Steven Gambrel, Time & Place”)    The banquette below with contrast piping is a smart, modern look.  Curvilinear pillows add playful movement.

Adore the paint color on the lacquered walls, so relaxing.  Steven Gambrel

You’ll have to tilt your head a bit for the next photo.  A giant floral arrangement prevented me from taking a decent shot.  The herringbone fabric really plays well with the welting detail.

C. Maddox showroom, Dallas Market Center
The lively piped sofa wakes up this traditional, antique filled interior.  Oakley Farm.  From “The Finest Rooms In America” Jayne.

A favorite look, very Parisian salon, is this Hickory Chair armless sofa with boxed appliqué on the back cushions and base.  Great sofa for a client who entertains.  No arms means more room for guests to sit.


Two metal lines inset into the chair back of this lacquered beauty make a statement.

Lacquered dining chair with metal design.  Design Directions Dallas showroom.

A table skirt is a perfect place for line embellishment.  If you own an older table that’s not worth refinishing, make it into a vanity.  Add a skirt and have a piece of glass cut to fit.  Bonus storage underneath.

Vanity dressed in a tailored skirt with awesome dressmaker stitching.

Clothing trimmed with contrasting line detail is highly desired by moi.  The sweater from Nic & Zoe below, on sale, but not in my size, is a great example of tailored detail in clothing.  What sets this sweater apart is the unexpected and fun, fuzzy white trim.


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The black piping at the sleeve of the Natori caftan enhances the delicate, watercolor floral and also plays off the line of the sandals.

Love this photo of contrast stitching in a pair of men’s loafers and how about that mosaic tile floor.  Oh la la!

The mosaic tile colors and pattern are so gorgeous. Annette Tatum

And my dream gown (one of them anyway).  Sequin lines!

Gorgeous dress, minimal detail, lotta look.  Hanna Simone wearing Tommy Hilfiger.

A line up of architectural details.

Dark outlines emphasize the scalloped arches of India’s Amber Fort.  Can you feel the energy of this space?
Vertical reveals on sycamore wrapped columns draw your eye upward and mimic the floor star.  Architecture by Charles T. Young.

Designer Eliel Saarinen fitted spaces from floor to ceiling leaving no area of a room unconsidered.   Lines and a luxurious order dominate his dining room below.

Eliel Saarinen House

Random lines and pretty things

The white line is actually a light fixture built into the wall.  So cool!  Pure Edge Lighting
One of fashion designer Geoffrey Beene’s iconic dresses as illustrated by Sirichai.  “beauty and the beene” Jacobs
The ultimate lined cake.  Notice the brown and white tuiles in the forefront adding  whimsy and movement to the table.
“Blue Lines X”, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1916  watercolor

And now for my espresso break…

Aboro demitasse cups. Bernardaud

Thanks for reading!