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Interior designers offer ways to add glamour to your home

Interior designer Jan Showers, who has a new book out called “Glamorous Rooms,” sits at her home in Dallas.  (Associated Press)
Interior designer Jan Showers, who has a new book out called “Glamorous Rooms,” sits at her home in Dallas. (Associated Press)

From colorful glass pieces giving off sparkle to lamps and mirrors that play with the light, adding glamour to a room is easy – and something people are seeking, says interior designer Jan Showers.

“I just think everybody really loves being glamorous,” says Showers, whose book “Glamorous Rooms” (Abrams) was released this fall.

It features the Dallas designer’s elegant style, from a living room done in yellow-gold with robin’s-egg-blue chairs and a large mirror in a gold frame, to a dining room in white with a Murano chandelier reflected in a mirror.

The latest issue of House Beautiful magazine identifies “the glams” as one of today’s four big design forces.

“Glamour is all about looking good, feeling good and loving seeing that reflection of yourself,” says Stephen Drucker, the magazine’s editor-in-chief.

With the economic downturn, clients want a touch of glamour more than ever, designers say.

Showers said she sees glamour as a room or person with great style – Audrey Hepburn, for example.

“Glamour always makes people feel good,” says Charles Pavarini III, a Manhattan designer.

Sharon McCormick, a designer in Durham, Conn., says more clients are opting to redecorate rather than “move up” to a bigger home.

“The recession kind of made people appreciate their homes and being home more,” she says.

One of Showers’ clients is Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, an author of books on entertaining who has worked with the designer over the past decade, from her first apartment to the home she now shares in Dallas with her husband and child.

She said she appreciates Showers’ process of finding inspiration in old movies and giving it a modern look.

“The rooms that she creates, you feel like a Hollywood movie star in them, but they’re functional too,” says Whitman, whose library is done in a deep navy blue lacquer, while her living room is bathed in yellow, white and pale gray.

“I think it’s really important for your home to be a place where you can relax, but feel your best,” she says.

Adding some glamour can be done on any budget, Showers says. It can be as simple as buying new throw pillows, getting beautiful books to display, finding elegant glass pieces to place on tables, and hanging mirrors.

“Create a shimmer and shine in your room. It really does change things up and that’s glamorous,” says Showers, who composes at least monthly a blog on her Web site that offers tips on everything from decorating to books to art exhibits to travel.

Making rooms inviting with comfortable furniture is part of creating a glamorous space, she adds.

Showers suggests arranging living room furniture so there are two seating areas – even if one is just a corner with a lamp, chair and table.

“There’s nothing more glamorous than having people in a room. Do things to invite people in,” she says.

Lighting can have a big impact on a room and is often overlooked. Good lighting can make you and your guests look good, says Showers, who prefers the more flattering light from lamps to overhead lighting.

Pavarini says putting lamps on dimmers can add sexiness to a room. He also likes displaying candlesticks of different heights and finishes.

“It always looks much more glamorous in a room when your lighting is dimmed and there are different levels,” he says. “It focuses your eye.”

McCormick advises throwing an unexpected item into a decorating scheme to tell guests something about you and act as a conversation starter – a favorite book, for instance, or souvenirs from a trip.

If you can’t afford an interior designer, Showers says, figure out your own style by getting a stack of decorating magazines and tearing out what you find appealing – then look for the elements that keep reappearing.

She also recommends buying well-made furniture that isn’t trendy, and choosing quality over quantity.

“The test is, will I like this piece of furniture 10 years from now?” she says.

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