Diamonds may be some girls' best friends, but for me, nothing beats the beauty and luxury of sparkling silver when it comes to adding style and sophistication to home decor. Polished to a high luster, silver accents make me weak in the knees. So I use them throughout my home when I entertain, in my everyday decorating and to help organize my office and kitchen. Here are a few tips for striking silver in your own decor:
Invest in a few key pieces: Gallery trays top my list of must-have silver serving pieces because they are as functional as they are beautiful. Place one on your coffee table to collect your remote and magazines. Hang a grouping on the wall as art. Use them to corral drink fixings on your bar. In your kitchen, fill one with cooking essentials like flavored oils. Include one on a shelf in your guest bathroom to display toiletries, like an apothecary jar filled with cotton balls and embroidered hand towels.
Another essential is an assortment of silver pitchers, teapots and creamers. Fill a pitcher with summer flowers and place it on your kitchen windowsill. Or cluster several flower-filled creamers on a cake plate at the center of your table. I have an old silver spooner, which was once part of an elegant silver tea set, on my desk holding pens and reading glasses.
Since I have a weakness for anything on a pedestal, I'm a big fan of silver compotes, candy dishes and cake plates. Silver compotes make perfect punch bowls for your favorite summer drinks or to display seasonal fruits for a simple centerpiece.
And of course, no formal table would be complete without grand silver candelabras. Top them with tapers, seasonal fruit or leave them empty. It doesn't matter because these grand dames of the table look sensational whether you dress them up or down.
Pick a pattern: I don't want to say I married Dan for his mom's silver, but my appreciation for him deepened when his mother decided to give me a piece of her amazing grape-pattern silver for every gift-giving occasion once Dan and I were married. Mimi's generosity and great taste in silver gave birth to one of my most cherished collections.
If you'd like to build a collection of silver pieces to show off in your home, start by picking a pattern you love, such as vintage monogrammed silver pieces. You'll have fun scouting for new pieces whenever you go antiquing.
Or you can collect a wonderful assortment of mismatched pieces, as I've done. I'm not so fussy about the pedigree of the piece. It doesn't have to be sterling silver or a certain pattern. In fact, some of my favorite pieces are old silver plate with most of the silver layer worn off. I'm more concerned that the pieces have interesting shapes and patterns than with their monetary value.
All that glitters: You don't need to limit yourself to silver to add sparkle in your home decor. Open your heart to anything with a bit of cool luster, like mercury glass. This perennial favorite is back in vogue, but now with a fun twist: Brand-new pieces sport an aged patina so they look like treasures you've inherited from your grandmother.
An interesting trio of mercury-glass apothecary jars would make a fetching display on your living-room side table or a sleek dining-room centerpiece. To add charm and sparkle to your mantel, create a phalanx of mixed mercury-glass pieces, like some apothecary jars, candlesticks and compotes. Want to make the look even cooler for summer? Mix in some green topiary.