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The Romantic Home

The Romantic Home

Celebrate past and present design with international style editor and best selling author Fifi O'Neill.

Lived-In Style

Fifi O'Neill believes in decorating your spaces with meaningful treasures that honor the past as well as the present, yet pedigree is never the main concern—love is. Graceful furnishings and exquisite finishing touches unite to create emotions, individuality and comfort, soothe the soul and foster contentment which she shares with us in her new book, The Romantic Home.

Who doesn’t long for a little more romance in their life? The type that makes your heart feel at ease when you walk into your home. It only takes a few elements to create a charmingly seductive and unexpected aesthetic, as original as it is restful, that makes any room beat to the gentle rhythm of home.

Romantic interiors come in many forms, but all share a common thread: the pursuit of beauty. With sentimental objects, fresh flowers, expressive art and whisper-soft colors, you can impart loveliness and personal flair to any room. It’s a gentle, tender and thoughtful style that embodies the love of home and is always unique to the individual.

COLORS. Despite their soft-spoken demeanor, subdued hues and pale pastels can pack a dramatic punch and make a discreet but consequential statement. Misty blues, blushing pinks, faded greens, barely-there lavenders and chalky grays rank high on the list of favorites. When paired with pristine, pearlescent whites, they epitomize romance and femininity. Their delicate presence conspires to create charming, relaxed and inviting spaces, may they be modest or grand.

FURNISHINGS & TEXTILES. Furnishings collected over time often bear a gentle patina and graceful lines that evoke the past with understated elegance. However, if they are curvy and soft, current pieces are a nice counterpoint to vintage ones as they keep the decor from being staid and add just the right amount of whimsy. They also make good companions for vintage fabrics that evoke a feeling of age.

FLORALS & FRAGRANCES. Demure, flamboyant or unruly, flowers and their fragrances make a lasting impression as well as adding charm and enhance a room’s aesthetic appeal. Whether they spill softly from an ironstone pitcher or a crystal vessel, floral displays have the ability to exude a particular sentiment that no other decorative elements can. Delicately scented or headily perfumed blooms that feel soft and old-fashioned have an undeniable romantic eloquence. Think of voluptuous peonies, fairy-like hollyhocks, aromatic lilacs, lissome flowering branches and, of course, redolent roses.

MIRRORS. Ornate and gilded or simply framed, vintage or new, mirrors are indeed magical. They dazzle and delight and elevate the aura of an interior. Their presence contributes much more than reflection, light and dimension. They are statement pieces that double as aesthetic accents. When showcasing a scene from a room they become works of art. If leaned against a wall, floor mirrors expertly toe the line between appearing perfectly carefree and expertly styled. Mirrors with a distressed or antiqued finish bounce light in a gentle manner and add a slightly mysterious edge.

LIGHTING. Nothing infuses a room with a soft and luxurious ambience like the glow from diffused light. Chandeliers and wall sconces with crystal pendants add sparkle, lamps with rosy shades invite intimacy, flickering candles suggest a sultry vibe and dainty strings of fairy lights play a key role in the making of a romantic space. Lights of all kinds are essential to set a mood that envelops rooms in a dreamy atmosphere.

FINISHING TOUCHES. Alluring and captivating, fetching decorative embellishments, may they be gleaming baubles, priceless keepsakes or relics bearing the inherent beauty conferred by time, these pieces hold more than stories, they imbue rooms with layers of sentiment that easily bridge the gap between old and new, serious and fanciful.

RESOURCES For more inspiration check out Fifi's Instagram and buy her book The Romantic Home here.

PHOTOS Mark Lohman
WORDS Fifi O'Neill