How To Add A Touch of Exotic Elegance To Your Home

While I was flipping through the pages of the September issue of House Beautiful, something caught my eye.

A close up….

That is a mother of pearl inlaid coffee table……with a modern twist. A single piece of furniture that can add a touch of exotic elegance to any living space.

What is mother of pearl, you ask? Well, it is that shiny material that lines the inside of seashells; mainly oysters and abalone {See Photo below by Tom Meijer}.  If you would like a thorough (but simple) explanation of how and why this material  forms,  please click on the link above.

Because of its shine and strength, mother of pearl was used to decorate furniture, accessories and of course jewelry. It is an ancient craft that began in the far east but was perfected during Ottoman reign. As Muslims, the Ottomans inlaid mother of pearl into intricate geometric designs as ornamentation in mosques, castles, furniture and accessories.

I am familiar with mother of pearl inlay in walnut wood furniture and accessories because they are  popular in my neck of the woods (the middle east).  These are examples of Syrian Mother of pearl inlaid furniture.

{1. Shiraly, 2 &4 from El Palacio Damasceno, 3. Damascene Home Treasures }

Even though, I am used to seeing mother of pearl inlaid furniture in brown or black, I get excited when I see them modernized with exciting colors. Take a look…

{1.Bone Inlay Interior Furniture, 2. Nada Debs, 3 &4. Graham & Green }

How refreshing is that!!

Mother of pearl inlay furniture is not cheap! It can run up to $4000 which is definitely not in my price range. But for $35 I can use a stencil to update any piece of furniture and give it a mother of pearl inlay appearance. That is what Kim Myles had in mind when she created her Indian Inlay Stencil Kit.

So, guess what my next home project is going to be??

What can I say? I love stencils.

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