Make a Splash

Make a Splash

Feel like your space is missing a certain something? Try livening up a room with a beautifully bold statement piece. Give your living room or den a wow factor with a colorful lighting fixture, a luxurious rug or a contemporary sculpture that will be the center of attention.

Lighting Fixtures

A bright light encased in an unconventional fixture is a warm, inviting way to draw the eye into a room. Chandeliers are an elegantly easy addition and can be dressed up or down depending on the surrounding decor. A fun twist on the traditional chandelier is the inclusion of reclaimed materials.

Michael McHale, founder of Michael McHale Designs in Long Island City, New York, uses industrial materials such as gas and water pipes in lighting fixtures. “It makes a powerful statement about what’s beautiful,” McHale says. “It’s a study in contrast: rough and smooth, masculine and feminine.”

He laments that homeowners make what he says are unnecessarily conservative choices in their lighting fixtures because of their permanence. People fear changing out the lighting or calling an electrician. But it won’t be a statement piece without taking a few risks. Experiment with color, shape and materials, and don’t be afraid to mix design elements.


As with any bold new addition that will command attention in a room, it’s often wise to first imagine the statement piece as the focal point of the room, and then design or build around it. This is especially true of large rugs for both aesthetic and practical reasons. Be sure to take measurements of the space to avoid unseemly edges creeping up the wall, or a rug that awkwardly leaves floor space bare, advises Saeed Aslam, manager at Alyshaan Fine Rugs in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Once you have the size down, decide on a design. Aslam loves simple rugs that blend in just enough with the rest of the decor while maintaining a unique appearance. He favors transitional designs with modern patterns that seamlessly adapt to the furniture and art in a room.

“I love the transitional rugs because they represent all eras, with beautiful designs from the past that have been rearranged to represent our present,” he says. “They use very traditional motifs, just rearranged in a very simple manner without a lot of the complication.”

Take note of the rug’s quality, which will make the difference between just another rug and an impressive statement piece. Pay attention to the texture and opt for thick, plush material.


A large, freestanding sculpture is an unexpected conversation-starter in any home. The trick is choosing the material, texture and design that speak to you. Give some thought beforehand about the emotion you hope to get out of the piece. Any piece of art is an extremely personal choice, so go by your taste, not trends.

A sculpture should be given a place of importance in a room. Ernest Rich, metal artist at Sculptural Accents in Berkeley, California, says that homeowners often neglect to give their art prominence in a room.

“They’ll put it in a corner and never really enjoy it,” he says. But a three-dimensional piece should stand out. Rich recommends placing a sculpture in the middle of the room. “You can easily get around and enjoy all sides of it,” he says.

For a piece that pops without overpowering, a sculpture constructed with a significant amount of negative space will allow the natural sunlight to shine through, giving the sculpture an ever-changing effect. The shadows stretching across the walls and floors throughout the day will interact with the sculpture. “In negative space sculptures especially, there’s another dynamic people enjoy once they get it,” Rich says.


Copyright © CTW Features