The Red Balloon.  Do you remember that story?  A children's book about a little boy in Paris and his red balloon. A story told with no words--just pictures. Every scene is in muted, neutral colors, except for one item: that brilliant red balloon.  If it were not for this one small detail, the entire concept of the story would have been different, less memorable and most likely forgotten.  Small details do make big differences, and in interior design--these are what separate the memorable spaces from the forgettable ones.  Who better to talk about one small, but very significant detail in the design world, than the ever-talented Cynthia Collins of Collins Interiors. BACKGROUND: In 1992, Cynthia Collins began Collins Interiors (, a small firm (based in Dallas, Texas) specializing in full-scale residential interior design. Since then, Cynthia has been privileged to work with some of the most talented architects in the field and has worked on projects across the country. Cynthia is known for her refined, clean & timeless designs. Each detail is meticulously planned with her client in mind and chosen for its functionality, meaning & beauty. She travels to the UK and France frequently for her clients and most recently her design shop. In 2010, Collins and four of her friends opened the doors to their storefront Blue Print ( A design store specializing in custom furnishings, antiques, original artwork, accessories & lighting. TRIMS! To quote one of my favorites, Charles Eames, 'The details are not the details. They make the design.' That's precisely my point when it comes to trims. They are key in making drapery and furniture look custom. {drapery}: Running a simple tape down the leading edge of a drapery panel is sure to set your panels apart from the catalogs. A simple 1 inch contrast solid tape will make a difference. It's worth the extra trouble and investment. More times than not, I will always opt for a top and leading edge 1/4 inch flange. When I do roman shades, I always choose an interesting edge & valance shape depending on the room (sweetheart, double arches, single soft arch). Whether it be a contrast color or monochromatic, it's an opportunity to bring in a grounding color to visually frame the drapery panel. I use this trick every time -- for nearly 25 years. It never gets old. {furniture}: When upholstering furniture in solid fabrics, I often choose a contrasting flange or cording (the “piping” that runs the edges and seams of furniture) to show it some extra love. When a piece has unique lines, I like to show them off. Running a contrast color or the same color in a different texture along those edges can really make a big impact. Any sofa or club chair (even when purchased from a large retailer) can be made to look more special. Find a great tape and have your workroom run it along the bottom edge of its skirt. Keep scale on your radar when choosing a tape for a sofa & club chair-sized piece. Scale is important. I lean towards 1 1/2 or 2 inch tapes. It can really add an unexpected pop of color. Plus, it's a detail that won't go unnoticed. {pillows & bolsters & duvet covers} --- Oh boy! This is just a black hole for me! I could spend more time in this category than the rest. These are the important ones. Pillows are fantastic with a 1/4 inch flange. I also use a box detail (when you run tape in a 'box' shape on the front side of a pillow about 4 inches from its seams) to create added interest and texture. I prefer to finish all of my pillows (decorative or bedding) with beautiful antique button enclosures -- it's the extra step that will make them feel more substantial and sophisticated.  

Trims can be quite overwhelming {there are a zillion out there}, but they are worth the added time and financial investment. They are what will separate your home from your neighbors. You will reap the rewards! {a few tidbits about me} I'm loving peachy tangerine tones right now. They keep popping up in all of my fabric schemes. I have a major affinity for Asian influences. My grandmother used to collect Asian inspired pieces and she was super ahead of her time. I took an interest in her collection at an early age and I can't seem to shake it! My favorite room in my house is my bedroom early on Saturday mornings. I spread out all my magazines, design books and tear-sheets across my bed. I underline, highlight, flag and circle things that catch my eye. It's my way of creatively re-charging every week.

 Thank you, Cynthia, for educating us about TRIMS!  For more information about Cynthia and Collins Interiors, read below. 


Cynthia Collins / Collins Interiors

2707 Fairmount / Dallas, TX  75201


(all images courtesy of Collins Interiors)

Dallas Interior Design Blog