There’s nothing more exciting than the last step of any design — adding the accessories! Notice I said the LAST step?! So many new clients will call me and say, “I went to _____ (fill in the blank with any chain home goods store) and bought a bunch of stuff, but it still doesn’t look right…I want that designer look!”
Here’s the insider trick to accessory shopping and styling: Know your design style! Walking around a store and picking out random, newly released pieces just because they’re pretty is a waste of time and money. Shopping without any specific intention will get you a bunch of stuff that doesn’t look right. Before you walk out of the house, look at the room you’re decorating. Ask yourself, what style is the room? What spaces need to be filled? What areas need to be balanced (ie: need a tall piece or wall filler)? What materials do you have and what do you need in order to achieve balance?
These are some items I bought for a client. We’re transforming his outdated 80s, feminine, matchy-matchy family room into a masculine, ranch style room. Since he has a large bookcase, I knew I had to fill many spaces with style appropriate pieces. I went online to search auction sites for vintage pieces, like the riding hat, antique boots and other riding gear.
When filling large display areas, make sure you mix the materials you’re using to avoid imbalances. Make sure you distribute accessories by their material (wood, metal, glass, ect.), size and theme. For example, arrange accessories so no two like pieces are next to each other (exception: 3-5 small pieces that look like a collection may be places together). Making the eye travel is the key to a well accessorized area. If your eye stops at an overly shiny spot or overly cramped area, you lose interest in the display.
Be mindful of sentimental items as well as the new pieces you find. Personality in your selections will add more to your home than store-bought culture.
This is my favorite way to hide TV remotes — the faux book box! Also, if you have a green thumb, keep plants real and maintained.
Once you’ve mastered accessorizing, start looking around for your next project. As you can see here, my client will be getting a whole new look in the kitchen, too. Now go accessorize like you mean it!
Photo credits: Kelli Ellis