Sometimes, a furniture piece or decorative item is unique because of its history, or its shape, or maybe its color.  But other times, it’s the details add character, charm and interest to a piece.  Today’s post focuses on the names and definitions of some of these home decor details that you know and love and that make all the difference.TIDBITS&TWINE - Learn key home decor details to transform from ordinary to extraordinary

Gorgeous Home Decor Details


Hemstitch is a form of open-work sewing used to embellish the hem of clothing or linens.  While this decorative form of hemming used to be done by hand and was quite labor intensive, it can now be done by machine and so is currently popular in many household linens.

A hemstitch adds a bit of interest and elegance, but still maintains a casual look.Hemstitch table runner - white from Willaims Sonoma Tidbits&Twine{from Williams Sonoma}


A french-wired lamp has a cord that comes directly out of the lamp socket, as opposed to coming out of the base.  This type of wiring is particularly beneficial in crystal lamps where you want to showcase the clarity of the crystal without having a cord running through the lamp base.  On the downside, it’s much more difficult to hide the cord when it’s coming from the upper half of the lamp.

Restoration Hardware’s Palladian Crystal Lamp is an example of a french-wiring for the purpose of showcasing the crystal base.

Restoration Hardware Palladian Crystal Lamp

I found a much less expensive version while wandering the aisles of HomeGoods one day and now use them as my bedside lamps.TIDBITS&TWINE French style master bedroom

Crémone Bolt (or Lock)

A Crémone Bolt is a type of decorative hardware that is used to lock swinging doors or windows.  It features a knob and lever handle and two rods that extend from it vertically.  The cabinet below isn’t particularly ornate or unique, but the Crémone Bolts on the front add authentic detail.

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Crazing is a network of small, surface cracks, often times in the glaze layer of a piece.  Many times, Ironstone gets crazing and discoloration with age, which lessens its value; however, some people prefer the looks of ceramics that have a lot of crazing because it creates a unique appearance and adds character.  Whether you like crazing is just a personal preference!

Here, an ironstone pitcher shows its age with a great deal of crazing and discoloration.

Ironstone Pitcher with Crazing

{via Frog Goes to Market}

Cabriole Leg

This style of leg is has a double curve, with the outward curve at the top and the inward curve at the bottom.  This design became popular in the 18th century when it was used in curvilinear furniture styles. In England, this design was characteristic of Queen Anne and Chippendale furniture. In France, the cabriole leg is associated with the Louis XV period of furniture design. To this day, remains a very classic and timeless feature.

Cabriole Leg

Upholstery Tacks vs. Upholstery Nails

Sometimes these two terms are used interchangeably, so you’ll need to look closely at an upholstered piece to see which is being used regardless of what the description says.  In general, though, upholstery tacks are the unfinished nails that are used to tack down the fabric.  These tacks are then are usually covered with a finishing trim, but stores like Restoration Hardware have made exposed tacks popular.

Upholstery TacksNail Tacks

Upholstery nails, on the other hand, are decorative nails meant to be exposed and are used in place of trim.  This type of trim is also referred to as nailhead trim.

Decorative NailsNail_Head_Trim_Chair_900192

French Mattress Cushion

Also sometimes called a French Box Cushion, these thick cushions feature a rolled edge and tall boxing reminiscent of a mattress. In addition to their rolled edges, they also often feature tufting details. French mattress cushions are beautiful on chairs, window seats, benches and even settees.

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Appliques and Onlays

An onlay, also sometimes referred to as an applique, is a decorative architectural that is used to embellish an object.  They have a carved look and are three-dimensional, but flat on the back so that they can be adhered to a surface.  Actually, they get their name because they are being laid onto another surface.  You can read more about them {HERE}.

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An escutcheon is a flat piece of metal that surrounds a knob or keyhole. While often for protection, these can also be purely decorative and can add so much beauty and interest to a door or even a drawer! So if you have an existing knob but want to give it more impact or dress it up a bit, consider purchasing an escutcheon.

Gustavian chest of drawers with an escutcheon around the keyhole - Tidbits&Twine
{via The Antique and Artisan Gallery}

Are there any other home decor details that you’ve ever wondered about? Let me know!

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  1. Excellent article. Thank you for all your research.

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