In wrapping up my columns from my visit to the Pacific Coast Design Center, I had to show you these three photos. They’re all very different vignettes from one showroom, but they perfectly illustrate an easy tip in decorating.

Question: What two things do these rooms have in common?

One, each has a bold light fixture that is a focal point. And two, each has art on the wall that ties the whole room together.


In fact, the lights are striking enough to be art in themselves. As for the wall, if you’re not a fine art collector, you can use the colors and style of a good-size piece of art as decorating tools to bring the space together. It can be your jumping-off point or the finishing touch.

Notice how the green color wash in the above photo ties in with the warm lime green chair. You could start with the chair and bring in a color wash to complement, or vice versa. It’s the same with the dramatic colors of the abstract in the photo at right, which tie in with the dark-red plant.

Finally, you may be wondering how organic slices of wood in the top-right photo bring in color. They don’t. Instead, laid out in a grid that forms a piece of art, their curving wood grain ties in with the organic line patterns of the pillows and brings flowing movement into an otherwise geometric space.


So in your next space, why not try both techniques?

Find a light fixture that pops and a piece of art that not only holds its own, but brings your whole space together.

Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style.