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Details and the art of making things look like they’ve always been there

Updated: Sep 11, 2018

Pretty much everything I know about detailing I have learnt from my quietly talented husband. He has an eye for detail where I only see the bigger picture, and an ability to make things look like they’ve been there forever. He has an eye for what makes a thing look ‘right’, whether that be in furniture or construction or landscaping. I first noticed this in his work as a garden designer and maker, he could select stone and build a wall then add plants and make something that looked instantly like it had been there eons and aged into it’s setting.

For years now I’ve been paying attention to what he does and why and how. He has taught me how to decipher the details in interiors and in particular in timber work. I used to look at a piece of furniture and know that I liked it but couldn’t tell you exactly why, just that it had ‘character’. Under his tutelage I’ve learnt to decipher what it is that gives character to the pieces I enjoy.

There’s plenty of detail that matters, it all adds up – proportion, scale, material, finish, quality construction methods and makers marks but timber mouldings and in particular beading have become my obsession.

I’d never really noticed it, certainly never paid it any attention but now I see it everywhere.We were lucky enough to come by a good quantity of reclaimed beadboard just at the moment we were designing our barn interiors; now, apart from the stone and brick that made up the original building, it has become one of the defining characteristics of our home.

Beadboard walls – one of the house’s defining (new) features. This one is reclaimed beadboard.
This particular beadboard is new rather than reclaimed as we ran out of the older stuff before we did the kitchen. However having the bead on it instantly gives character and charm

I see beading everywhere now that I’ve fallen for it’s simple charms. I’m also a big fan of mouldings but the understated charm of a bead gets me every time.


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