Hailing from Miami, Alex Alonso,  Interior Designer and Design Director of the mr. Alex TATE studios, is at the forefront of the resurgence of Modern Victorian design in Miami. To help you learn how to incorporate modern Victorian design into a small space.

Showcase your passion in your home

Whatever your passion, showcase your collection strategically. Pick a space that best displays the items – a bookcase, a bar cart, a side table, a gallery walls. Walls are the best left for art collections and mirrors; ideally anything that has a later profile. Side tables can be a great place to display smaller items that are unified by a theme, for example a vintage matchbook collection or cast iron figurines a collection of Hermès trays. A bar cart is an unexpected way of showcasing more decorative pieces like a collection of crystal decanters or vases. It doesn’t need to be a big area, it just needs to be defined so that the items feel cohesively edited together.
Modern Victoria Design

Scale your art to fit the space

Don’t be afraid to mix and match the art on your salon wall. One key way I create a lot of visual interest is by being playful the scale of the art. Pick larger, oversized art for smaller walls and go for smaller multiples larger walls. Smaller walls with larger art or mirrors can make the space look larger. A salon wall can be as chaotic or as tailored as you like it to be. The key is to own the direction you are going for. If you want to showcase all photography, do all photography and unify with a matching frame color. The sizes can all be different, just as long as you are mindful of the story you are trying to tell with the wall.
Modern Victoria Design

Illuminate your space properly

Use lighting strategically in your space. Create different spaces within the same room by using different lighting fixtures. Use table lamps and swing arm sconces to create more intimate areas. I’m a fan of the Restoration Hardware and Arteriors collections. The variety of styles and finishes are a big advantage of their collections. Use a statement pendant or chandelier to set the tone of the room and give it scale and impact. I love vintage pieces from Serge Mouille or DCW Editions Paris. They make a statement without being overpowering or trendy. Don’t be afraid to layer your lighting – recessed for utility, pendants for drama and table lamps and wall sconces for more reading and work.
Modern Victoria Design

Enhance your space with colour

Pick a color that will be a statement colour in the room. Unify the space visually by repeating your statement color across various elements throughout the room – walls, lampshades, pillows, rugs, art, coffee table books. Deep yellows and golds are a great colour that can be versatile in design if used strategically. Golden yellows can be more modern in spaces or more vintage in others. It all really depends on what pieces you use it on. Black is a great neutralizer in my book. It has a way of becoming the backdrop of the canvas when used for larger areas or it can be the dramatic focus point when used in certain key, larger pieces. Don’t forget the finish of the paint! If you want high contrast and drama, paint the feature wall full gloss or splurge and go for a lacquer treatment.
Modern Victoria Design

Start your design ideas small, and then expand

If you’re not ready to put it all out there in your main living space, try going bold in a smaller, private space first – a bath, guest room, etc. Perfect your style with each room. The more you practice, the more you fine-tune your style. I always recommend clients try to perfect their style in a guest bath or half bath. It’s a space you don’t have to see everyday. This is key because you’ll react to it on separate occasions rather than once a day, i.e. a bedroom which you likely only see when you wake up or go to bed. Go crazy, take big risks and have fun. If it’s work in progress and you’re not loving it, you can always close the door and deal with it at a later date. Additionally, bold choices make big impacts when used in small spaces. It’s easier to take it all in when your eyes have the opportunity to see the totality of the design all at once.
Modern Victoria Design

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