Simply riveting: Nailheads add old-world charm

  • By Kim Cook Associated Press
  • Tuesday, November 12, 2013 5:03pm
  • Life

If you lived in a comfortable home in 17th century France or 19th century England, your chairs might well have been embellished with nailhead trim.

It was a clever, decorative way for craftsmen to secure materials to upholstered furniture.

Another old fastener, the rivet, also was commonplace in manufacturing and shipbuilding centuries ago.

Now, both nailheads and rivets are having a moment in contemporary decor. On some pieces, they reinforce traditional elegance. On others, they offer an urban, edgier aesthetic.

“We’re seeing nailhead trim — this 400-year-old detail — in lots of new applications, creating bold looks,” said Seattle interior designer Timothy De Clue.

Lisa Ferguson, an interior designer in Toronto, trimmed a pair of armless coral chairs with a decorative, antique-brass nailhead design along the skirt. She says both brass and warm satin detailing evoke classic glamour.

“It almost always gives the perception of a more luxurious piece, while adding texture,” Ferguson says.

But be mindful of inexpensive trims if you want a luxe look, she adds.

“Pay special attention to the scale and spacing of the nail heads in relation to the piece of furniture, and always go for metal individual heads over rows of plastic if it is in your budget,” she said.

Ballard Designs has a selection of tufted and untufted headboards that you can customize in different fabrics and then finish with brass or silver nail heads.

Homegoods has some little slipper chairs in fun colors like peony pink, lime green and rich purple, embellished with silvery trim. The trim also edges a svelte bench — covered in a green, white and black classic pattern — perched on sleek black legs. All the pieces have a Palm Beach house vibe.

Designer Jonathan Adler is also a fan of the nail. His Channing screen, named after Bette Davis’ character in the movie “All About Eve,” is a white lacquered room divider studded with polished nickel nail heads. He also plays with the motif in an irreverent tabletop confection: a clear acrylic obelisk filled with construction nails.

Nailhead trim works well with textured materials; Jayson Home’s Bretton shelf unit is covered in burlap and trimmed in brass nails.

Arhaus has a series of interesting chairs that combine recycled leather seats with backs upholstered in woven fabric; the materials meet at a nailhead border.

The Portsmouth chair and settee incorporate the deconstructed trend in furniture with a more refined, finished look. Exposed framing along the backs and woven, grain-sack-textured upholstery are accented with nail trim.

The Alpine Estates ottoman is part of a collection of pieces that put a contemporary spin on western style with cowhide, nailhead and wood trim. Or evoke the early days of ship travel with the Colburn steamer trunk, crafted of chestnut leather and set with antique brass nail heads.

Jayson Home also plays off the vintage industrial vibe with rivet detailing on distressed-iron and steel side tables, reminiscent of turn-of-the-century or shipboard tables.

The retailer’s Warp and Weft accent tables, made of riveted, recycled woven aluminum, reference World War II aircraft. There is a series of Ludlam pendant lighting fixtures here, too, crafted of caged iron slats and hammered rivets.

Resources

www.lisafergusoninteriordesign.com

www.ballarddesigns.com

www.homegoods.com

www.jaysonhome.com

www.arhaus.com

More in Life

‘Found’: Author and climber a 20-year veteran of mountain rescue

In her second book, Bree Loewen shares her experiences of volunteering with Seattle Mountain Rescue.

Secret garden: Privacy trees that won’t outgrow a small space

These plants offer some height to block out unwanted sights without taking over your yard.

Stock your winter bookshelf with these animal and nature reads

Four new books cover outdoors topics from butterflies to wolves.

The Shed Players recently released their new album “Our Shingle Most Favorites.”
Listen here: Josh Clauson, The Shed Players release new CDs

This feature is all about Snohomish County’s homegrown talent: locals who make music and record it.

Newfangled cooker isn’t for those with tried and true methods

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley recently succumbed to peer pressure and purchased an Instant Pot.

Now is the time to assess your student’s back-to-school plan

Take a good look at how your kids are managing their new routine, class, teacher(s) and homework.

Author’s talk of birds and clouds kicks off Marysville series

1. Birds and clouds Marysville’s Outdoor Adventure Speakers Series is kicking into… Continue reading

How to shop in the street markets of France

It’s the best way to connect with the nation’s farmers and artisans.

Oprah Winfrey joins ‘60 Minutes’ for 50th anniversary year

The media giant debuts on tonight’s show, reporting on a story about America’s political divisions.

Most Read