Have you ever said ”My room just doesn’t look pulled together. It’s not a reflection of who I am or my family.” Often times people want their home to look like a magazine….who am I kidding? So do I! But let’s face it it’s just not realistic for everyday life. However, I’m a true believer that your home should be an extension of your life story, make you feel good and welcome your friends and family. Often times when these three elements come together most people get energized from their space. That’s really what the goal should be when we think about our space. It should provide a sense of comfort and give us energy to grow.
Recently I read an article about a famous interior designer, Axel Vervoordt. He is often thought of in the design community as one of the world’s most influential tastemakers. Influential tastemakers? Wow! Well, regardless, there was a quote of his that gave me reason to pause. His advice on collecting things in your home, he said “to keep the best of the old and search for interactions with the new.” I thought that was such good advice not only as it relates to decorating and accessorizing your home, but good advice as we think about how we live our life. Cool, eh?
Enough philosophizing….. Back to accessorizing! For many of us accessorizing can often be the most taunting most intimidating process to decorating our spaces. Why? Well, for me it’s the most subjective element in a space. Also, there are no rules, but there are some guidelines that I use.
1. Go With What You Love. If your accessories have relevance to you then they will evoke good feelings and memories every time you see them. That’s half the battle. Examples could be to use items with your favorite colors and highlight hobbies (i.e. like collecting vintage cameras if you like taking pictures). Avid reader? Use stacked books (yes! books count! Some say take the cover off, but I’m not stickler about that. Go with books you’re currently reading or use books with topics that reflect some of your passions.)
2. Start With Things You Already Own. Seems pretty obvious, right? However, often times it’s overlooked. So look around at what you have first. Again, go with what you love and look for items that have relevance to YOU! For example, focus on items picked up during your travels or items that were handed down from within your family.
Recently, I helped accessorize a client’s kitchen. Here’s an example of using items she had around her home. 80% of the items here were items she already had. Some of the items were given as gifts from family members!
3. Don’t Accessorize Just For The Sake Of Accessorizing. It’s the old saying….less is more. I’m not a big fan that just because you have an empty space you should fill it. For some, empty space in a home is like that uncomfortable silence during a conversation….My advice, enjoy the quiet, clean space and be patient. Over accessorizing loses the meaning and impact of why we want to accessorize in the first place which is to make your house a home and bring meaning and more relevance to the space.
4. Edit, Edit, Edit. This is the most useful tools of accessorizing. If you have too many accessories they can get lost in the big picture, sometimes can look like clutter and often times nothing seems special anymore. Collect a bunch of things (that you love and are relevant) from all around your home and start with them. Begin arranging them in the space that you want to focus on and then once all in place start removing items. Yep! Keep things simple and most meaningful. If you’re not working with a designer enlist a friend to help you.
This is a great bedside table for a guest room….Functional accessories with a punch of color!
Keep it simple and clean. Peaceful right?
5. Go For Unique. Don’t be shy to be bold or go for the unexpected. If you love it… go for it! Start with what you own and then hit antique stores, flea markets or thrift shops. Of course, adding items here and there from typical home stores just because it really works in the space or you just really like it is completely okay too. Remember my inspiration piece for my daughter’s room? It was just that…a vase I picked up at a store because I really loved the colors.
Great example of asymmetrical design paired with a unique mirror and unexpected antlers. Not your cup of tea? It’s okay. It is for them and it works!
6. Group According To Similarity, Size and Number. Are you are collector? If so, group like items together vs. having them all scattered throughout a space. It has a much bigger impact. Examples, could be framed photos, books, vases, candles, etc…. Also, vary size and height and use odd numbers to keep things from looking static.
Collection of white dishes? Perfect way to accessorize while keeping it functional. Also, the urns with moss has great height and appeals to sense of touch.
7. Consider Symmetry. A sense of balance is important part of design. Use symmetry if your home is more formal rooms (i.e. placing matching items on the ends of your mantle) or go asymmetrical (varying size, height and using odd numbers) if your home is more informal.
Good examples of symmetry and use of collections (glass work) as the impact statement.
8. Appeal to all the senses. Interior design is very visual no doubt. But think about your other senses when accessorizing Fresh flowers are not only a visual, but can also smell so good! A bowl of fresh fruit adds visual experience, but also has texture and tastes great.
Still overwhelmed? Don’t know where to begin? That’s okay. Start with the ONE item that you love or that has relevance to you and be patient. Your home is evolving with you. Tell me what accessory item do you LOVE in your home?
Until next time…
Keep’in it real….Real People, Real liv’in…that’s my home. Here’s some ‘collections’ in our home. Feel better?
My husband collects everything including books. Here’s his bedside table.
Sometimes, I think my five year old son’s room has the best elements of accessories because he goes with things he loves (Star Wars) or has relevance to him (old trains and old camera given to him by his grandfather, collections of rocks from our neighborhood and shells from our vacations etc..) He could sometimes take a course in editing, but we just go with flow with his decorating sense.