Jessica Lagrange Interiors LLC

5 Statement-Making Pieces of Furniture

Did you ever walk into a space that made you stop and stare thanks to one fabulous piece of furniture? It might be a long, swanky, lushly upholstered sofa; a glistening, gilt-encrusted chandelier; or a kicky commode topped with riotously veined stone. We call furniture of this stature statement pieces, and they come in every shape, size and style. They can be old or new; impossibly intricate or super-sleek; and impressively large or surprisingly small. But what they all have in common is enough style and presence to make a space sing.

Statement Piece #1: Commodes, such as this provincial version by Louis XVI, are naturals for the role of statement-maker. In this Chicago penthouse, glamorous pieces that include carved occasional chairs, an antiqued mirror and refined artworks let the regal yet rustic piece take center stage. Photo: JLI Lake Shore Penthouse

Making spaces sing is one of our primary objectives as luxury interior designers, and one way we accomplish this goal is with statement-making pieces, often from Chicago sources such as architect and furniture designer Darcy Bonner or rug dealer Oscar Isberian. In fact, we have no problem finding incredible furnishings that can fulfill this mission. Some of our favorite picks include Richard Shapiro’s majestic Club Sofa or expansive lighting fixtures with enough reach to embrace a space, such as lighting designer Lindsey Adelman’s lithe-limbed Agnes collection.

Statement Piece #2: Large-scale lighting can crown a space to make a dazzling statement. Two of our favorite options include Lindsey Adelman’s lithe-limbed Agnes collection and Jean De Merry’s Lumiere Chandelier. Photo: Lindsey Adelman and Jean De Merry

The beauty of statement pieces is that they can work in so many different contexts. For starters, they are an effective way to dramatically alter the entire mood of a room in one fell swoop. But they’re equally powerful in specific situations. For instance, in a minimal room, they can bring a plain space to life and keep it from being boring. And in a room with a wide range of elements, strategically chosen statement-making furniture can actually unify them all by taking center stage.

Statement Piece #3: Bathtubs with the right shape and scale can be as significant as a sculpture, and make a statement when they’re allowed to stand on their own. Photo: JLI Lake County Estate

But our poetic musings on statement-making furniture have yet to address the complexities of the process. Like all solutions in the business of luxury interior design, using statement pieces to change the nature of a space requires a great deal of acumen and skill—especially since these fabulous furnishings are often the bespoke or special order splurge that makes a space great. So it’s not something you want to get wrong.

Statement Piece #4: Embellished case goods, such as this antique Chinoiserie English chest in a Chicago mansion, are works of art in their own right and command attention. Photo: JLI State Parkway

Of course, this begs the obvious question: how to we do it? We believe luxury interior design is part science, since there are specific formulas that work, and part art. We can’t speak to the artistic side of our process when we use statement pieces, but we can share a few observations we’ve gleaned over the years with one caveat: there are always exceptions to the ‘formula.’

Picking the right cabinets or even pieces in a space takes acumen an interior designer gains through their education and experience in the field. They consider quality, scale, proportion, utility, comfort, longevity and more. (Image: Jessica Lagrange Interiors)

Our tried-and-true tips to use statement-making furniture are:

  • Contrast styles: Balance statement pieces with something that has an opposite vibe, such as rough and refined, polished and craggy or intricate and simple.
  • Tweak perfect symmetry: Perfection kills visual intrigue, so use smaller pieces in odd numbers or slightly off-kilter placements.
  • Scale to achieve balance: Support a statement piece with right-sized furnishings that won’t steal the thunder but can hold their own.
  • Make it a focal point: Where you put the piece will impact its wow factor; make sure it’s in a prominent spot.
  • Use restraint: If everything is special, then nothing is special.

For more inspiration, see below and check out our Pinterest.

Statement Piece #1: Commodes, such as this provincial version by Louis XVI, are naturals for the role of statement-maker. In this Chicago penthouse, glamorous pieces that include carved occasional chairs, an antiqued mirror and refined artworks let the regal yet rustic piece take center stage. Photo: JLI Lake Shore Penthouse

Statement Piece #1: Commodes, such as this provincial version by Louis XVI, are naturals for the role of statement-maker. In this Chicago penthouse, glamorous pieces that include carved occasional chairs, an antiqued mirror and refined artworks let the regal yet rustic piece take center stage. Photo: JLI Lake Shore Penthouse

Statement Piece #1: Commodes, such as this provincial version by Louis XVI, are naturals for the role of statement-maker. In this Chicago penthouse, glamorous pieces that include carved occasional chairs, an antiqued mirror and refined artworks let the regal yet rustic piece take center stage. Photo: JLI Lake Shore Penthouse

02 Nov 2015

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