You can have the perfectly designed home, but it won't be yours until you add the decorative accessories. Accessories are a reflection of your unique personality - they show people what you care most about in life. Here are a few of my favorite ways to accessorize the home:
~ Any flat surface can be a display showcase for photos. But be careful! Family photos are a favorite display item, but they are often overused. Try taming back the pictures to three or five frames. Group the frames together on a side table. Cut pieces of wallpaper, scrapbook paper or fabric to cover a plain-Jane white mat. Pull the grouping together by coordinating the mat materials and using frames in like tones. Be diligent and rotate the pictures so that you always have a fresh photo collection.
~ Largely overlooked decorative elements like shelves and bookcases offer an invitation to show off your personality! Pretty wall-mountable shelves are inexpensive and easy to find. Install shelves above a console table or down a hallway and display your family photos. Use a baker's rack on the patio to hold pottery and container flowers. On built-in bookcases, use baskets or covered boxes to hide clutter. Display large books as stand-up art. Fill glass hurricanes or canisters with office supplies to display in the home office, study or library. The trick to decorating shelves is to include a mix of both functional (lamps, books) and decorative (pictures, art) personal items.
~ If you have unique vintage china, or wedding china that is never used, consider hanging a few plates on a wall. There are so many options for this kind of display - above a sideboard in your dining room, above your guest bed, or paired with a foyer table. Pick one large piece, such as a platter, for the focal point. Use smaller plates in a symmetrical pattern around the platter. The plates do not have to match but should be similar in tone and scale. Most flea markets and antique stores have oodles of china; pick several different patterns and create a unique display that will wow!
~ Mirrors and glass are easy accessories to mix into any room. They add sparkle and shine, they pull light into the room, they can be dressed up or down and they increase the visual space of a room. The items you choose for your room show off your personality type - be it cut-glass crystal and ornate gold mirrors, or simple glass planters and distressed wood mirrors. But don't feel that hanging a mirror is your only option - lean one against a bookshelf or a mantle, use one as a tray atop an upholstered ottoman or use a small one as a display base for perfume bottles in the bathroom. Go for an unexpected twist!
~ Decorate for the seasons. For fall and winter, bring out nubby blankets, down pillows, spiced candles. Throw down a plush wool rug. Hang some bamboo shades on the windows. Drape a lush duvet over the end of your bed. Focus on warm colors and textured fabrics to cozy up your rooms.
~ In the spring, think cooler sisal or embroidered rugs, light cotton pillows, seashell displays and botanical art. Buy delicate linen shades for your lamps and add crisp sheers to the windows. Use what nature provides - display fresh flowers in the family room or bowls of fruit in the kitchen. The focus should be on cooler colors and sleek fabrics that create light and airy rooms
Accessories can either make a room shine or create chaos and clutter. To make sure your room shines, never treat your accessories as an afterthought. Invest some time and energy when selecting accessories and I promise you will find the perfect complement to your design. The proper accessories will create an ambiance that is unique, personalized and meaningful to you!
~ Cecilia Staniec, Owner, a darling room (www.adarlingroom.com)
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