Thursday, March 18, 2010


Accessorizing any room is like adding jewelry to an outfit. When you think of it that way, it becomes easier to think about. Well placed accessories punctuate a room just the way a great necklace can punctuate a dress. If you wear a great necklace, you know not to over do it with earrings, bracelets, pins and handbags.
Here the designer illustrates symmetry. Mirrors add a reflective quality for a texture, bring light into the room and have a function. The table provides a strong horizontal line and the stacked pictures create a vertical line. Each of these elements serve to anchor and divide space creatively behind the sofa. The symmetry of the mirrors works well with the symmetry of the pillows.

It is important to connect all elements in a room. Below are whimsical antlers on the wall. What makes these two vignettes work is that anything hung or placed on a table top is in close proximity to its neighbor... the table, chest, vases, lamp, art all work to connect the dots.

One of the most challenging aspects of accessorizing is convincing people to to lower their paintings. Some one out there decided all paintings should be hung at eye level , no matter what. The rule of thumb is this.... a painting should hang no more than 4-5 inches from the furniture.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes you can rest pictures on a table as long as you vary the height, take a look at this console table.

Books are a great way to add height, color and interest to a surface. You can pick them up at flea markets. Always be sure to remove book covers. Sometimes there is a surprise of a wonderful cloth bound binding with a colored font. Notice here the mixture of wood, metal and glass. Do not be afraid to layer, place short items in front and taller items in the rear.

When you have a tall chest, what do you do with the top? Anything that is up there is lost and looks tiny because it's up so high! Consider using an over sized vase as shown here.

This adds drama and really connects the ceiling to the rest of the room.

When considering table top accessories for a dining room or kitchen, there are fun ways to add color and interest. Instead of flowers, why not fill jars with seasonal fruits or vegetables?
Here is a lovely idea for fall. The gourdes match the place mats. Repeating a design down the length of a table adds a lot of drama. If you have 2 hanging lights above your table, use 3 jars. If you have 3 hanging lights over your table, use 2. If you have one large fixture, use several jars.

Think of all the different things you can add as the seasons change. You can layer things like cherry tomatoes along with broccoli florets and actually fill the jars with water! Everyone loves that.

If you have a round table, accessorizing is a bit different. It is a wise idea to build up in the center. Most large dining tables have unused space in the center, arms can't reach. It's a perfect opportunity to create a stage of shapes and colors. Below, this table mixes oranges and pinks.

Mirrors, candles, vintage glassware dried cock's combs in fuchsia , all are welcome changes to a floral centerpiece, don't you think? Varying the heights keeps the eye moving.
When decorating around food, it is a good idea to stick to food colors. There are generally no blue restaurant interiors and no blue food and blueberries don't count!

So far we've looked at some ideas for walls, dining tables both round and rectangular, how about the coffee table? It's a coffee table before 5 pm and a cocktail table after 5pm!
Think of your coffee table as a picture plane and divide it much the way you would divide an accent wall with horizontal and vertical lines.

Here we have an acrylic table. They are great. While they function, they don't add volume and are light and airy for this setting. This would be great with a picture rug below it. The table top items here have height and a variety of shape and texture. Trays act like small picture frame and help to zero in on smaller items. Without the tray, the small candle would be lost. You can get some great trays at Pier One.
These are just some ideas to get you inspired. It is also a good idea to rotate accessories. Don't feel the need to always have the same thing.
I'll bet you anything there is a remote in the box!

If you want to see any older posts, please go to my blog,
As always, would love to hear your comments or any questions!

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