Don’t be afraid to let a big bed take over a small room. If the piece is open and airy, the space won’t feel claustrophobic. (Rule of thumb: The top should be at least six inches from the ceiling.) Dark vintage wallpaper adds impact, but white walls would highlight the lines of the bed to crisp, gorgeous effect.
Too big for a shelf or a side table? The floor can be a smart spot for a large-scale piece—especially one meant for play. Framed by curtains, this globe looks as if it’s onstage. It brings a kick to a corner and even solves a problem by hiding the radiator.
Play up the drama of a striking seat by making it the first thing you see when you enter a room. Give it an equally grand companion (see the neighboring urn) to help it make sense among simpler pieces. In the same color palette as your existing furniture, it will look right at home.
Less formal than a bust and funnier than a horse head, a bit of anatomy—or any eye-catching sculpture—will elicit questions and smiles. Place it in a conspicuous spot, like on a side table or by the entryway as a doorstop. A tad shy? Tuck a smaller version on a shelf among books.
David wood foot sculpture, $1,200 (19 inches high by 18 inches wide), arteriorshome.com for stores.
5 of 8Martyn Thompson
A Sculptural Table Lamp
You don’t need to use a task lamp for its intended purpose. If you have a stunner, put it on a side table in a corner. The modernist arcing lamp above looks extra sleek against a gold backdrop. Switched on, it casts a moody glow.
Scorpion Single Head table lamp, $1,240 (241/2 inches high by 201/2 inches wide), ochre.net for stores.
6 of 8Martyn Thompson
A Graphic Rug
A bold pattern on the floor gives a focal point to a room with a mix of furniture styles—it’s a unifier. To ease into the look, start with a neutral sisal, top it with a subtle stripe, then put the showiest rug on top. Worried about pattern overload? A solid (rather than glass) coffee table can mitigate the effect.
PS Stuga rug, $299 (nine by nine feet), ikea.com for stores.
7 of 8Martyn Thompson
An Open Table
Use the space inside for an unexpected display. Above, an orb-shaped lamp within the “cage” of a drum table accentuates delicate filigree work and adds surprise and warmth to a room. A bit exotic and a bit downtown, it’s also a decent substitute for a fireplace.
A contemporary light can jibe with classic pieces if the finishes all match. Here, dark metal on the fixture works with dark chairs, a dark sconce, and a dark frame. The mirror gives you twice as much beauty (and light). Glass elements on the table echo the bulbs overhead.
Arctic Pear chandelier, $3,690 (8 inches high, 18 inches in diameter), ochre.net for stores.