Decorative accessories provide the finishing touches in a room. Even the best basics, like the little black dress, will fall flat without the garnishment of beautiful pearls, a little gold, and the perfect shoes. Sure, the little black dress is lovely, but it has the potential to be so much better.
Putting the finishing touches on your little black dress are no different from accessorizing your home. Adding a few carefully selected pieces will transform the ordinary humdrum into something extraordinary. Remember my post on lifestyles? Accessories are THE single best way to underline, with an exclamation point, who you are.
Accessories need not be of the same cloth, either. In fact, just like all my other posts have stated, it is all in the mix. It is much more appealing to combine new and old, fine art with flea market finds, and hand-me-downs with the newly purchased finds. Every season, or every so often, change your perspective, rearrange and move things around. Too often clients will assign an item to a location and see it as fixed, unable to move it from the sublime ether of existence. My recommendation? Take two or three rooms and tear everything out of it. Put every item in the center of a room and start rearranging. This is a terrific way to get a fresh look, and it moves everything around, creating an exciting new look. You’ll be surprised at all the incredible arrangements you come up with that blend beautifully. Who knew?!
As my captive audience I’m sure you are wondering, ‘Ok now I have all my stuff in the center of the room, now what?’ Such talented pupils you are! Ask yourself a few questions before you get started: 1) Is there a pattern with my accessories? For example, do I have a group of trinkets such as Snow globes, medicine bottles, or candy wrappers that can be classified as a collection? If so, these are items that can be grouped together on a bookshelf or side table to showcase your collectible. 2) Is there anything I do not need? Do I LOVE all of these items? Our goal is to create a lifestyle not a collage of life cycles. Get rid of the ones that no longer speak to you, and donate them. Remember students, one mans junk, is another mans treasure!
Raji RM and Associates
The most fundamental rule of any successful accessory ensemble is the number of items you use cannot overwhelm the space you are decorating. See photo below. Now this room is a store. They are trying to display a beautiful collection of home decor items to peak your interest and give you lots of eye candy ( and hopefully entice you to BUY something). However, this would never work in a home. Too many items, too little space, create invalid scale and proportion. Awwww…where do I focus?, too much stuff!
Once you have decided the surface to enhance create interest with odd numbers, group items together, and create high’s and lows. You do not want every single item to be the same height. Odd numbers push the eye to move around the surface, and this creates visual interest. No matter what accessory you are working with, an informal approach is always better. Start by placing your tallest object in the back and work your way down. Essentially creating a triangle in shape. See the green vases below? Each item is a different shape and height, and we have five total items with the art three vases, and a platter.
Make sure you do not cram everything together. Your accessories demand breathing room. After you have fussed with your accessories and changed them around, you will end up with the perfect accessory combination. Make sure the balance is right, and that the surface feels right. Does it look balanced? Does it feel off? Does the arrangement intrigue the eye? If the space feels heavy a good rule of thumb to live by, if cleaning day rolls around and the surface requires a lot of labor to shift and move things around, you have probably put too many things on it.
Look at the mantle below. This is a perfect example of perfect accessorization. There are five items (odd number) each item is a different height and shape and each piece has breathing room. Beautiful to look at, and easy to clean. Bravo!
David M. Plant Interiors