Accessorizing is a bit of an art, but it is not as difficult as you might think. What many people believe is accessorizing is actually merchandising and do not not find it as welcoming in their home as they had hoped. Why? Because merchandising is what people see in the stores we shop in, and try to replicate. The difference is that the stores are trying to sell the items they have placed out as accessories. The seller is promoting their goods, trying to appeal to the largest number of people and to choose their product over the competition – and not decorating the space to welcome guests. (Staging a home for sale is actually a form of merchandising, but that is a blog post you can read HERE.)
I consider accessories the jewelry of the home. You can have gorgeous finishes and stunning furnishings – and yet the space still not feel finished. You want to have different “layers” of things for the eyes to fall on when a room is entered. It is also important to know what sort of a look you are going for- beginning with the end in mind will allow you to make the right selections and have your room look less like a flea market than a well designed space.
Area Rug. I like to start with the area rug or fabrics that may be inspiring. In the case below, the client loved the traditional style of the Oushak rug so we built the room up from there.
Pillows. Pillows are the easiest way to bring in color. The 24″ pillows in the back bring in pattern and set the tone for the colors of the complementary blue and orange smaller pillows. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, pillows are the easiest (and such an inexpensive way) to change up a room. You can change them seasonally and / or with holidays or as your style changes a bit, but not enough to redesign your entire space.
Favorites. It is okay to display your favorite items – just not all at once. In the instance below, our client loves his antlers and the driftwood candle, but it is in limited quantities. If you have “collections” keep in mind how you wear your jewelry – not all at once.
Multiples. Decorating in groups of 3 or 5 is easiest on the eye and adds a great interest. We used three silk orchids to create interest in the first dining room below, and three silk grass pods in the second dining room. The grouping of three works with art on the wall just as well.
Bring the outside in. Garden stools are a great way to add color to a room. They also double perfectly for additional seating or as a side table. Other “outside” items would be green plants and fresh flowers…always a good accessory!
Trays. This is a bonus. We love trays. They make great tools to create a vignette and corral items to display prettily.
The art of accessorizing takes practice. A great resource for inspiration is your favorite interior design, decor or shelter magazine. DO keep in mind that the spaces in the magazines are still styled to photograph best and not always designed for living in mind. But these images are still better to draw inspiration from compared to your favorite furniture store! My list above is definitely not all inclusive, but are some of the key “rules” for accessorizing. What are some of your favorite accessorizing tips? I would love to hear in the comments below!