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Top 5 Picks For Versatile Decorating Accents: Get the Most Bang For Your Buck

Home Stager with Tuscan Home Decor and Design

Get the most bang for your buck with decor accents that can pull double duty. Your decorative details don't have to simply be ornamental-there are a number of versatile décor items that can help you put the finishing touches on your space as well as fulfill numerous other purposes. Here are my top five picks for multifunctional décor accents:  

1. Colorful pitchers: Pitchers are one of my all-time favorite décor accents. Not only do they look fabulous,Yellow pitcher vase they can be used in so many ways. Place them on a shelf to add color to a dull space; use them as a vase to display flowers; serve drinks at a party or family gathering. For multi-purpose use and great style, nothing can beat a set of colorful pitchers!  

2. Decorative candleholders: Candlesticks and candleholders are a great way to add elegance to any space, from the middle of your dining room table to end tables to mantels, shelves, and dressers. But so often we forget that candleholders can actually serve a purpose, too-candles are a great way to add soft lighting to any room. Create a romantic mood at the dinner table, add a festive glow at your next party, or just ward off the dark chill of a winter night... For a little extra light and a vast range of decorative accents, candleholders are a perfect choice.  

3. Trays: Another favorite decorating item is the humble tray. Often overlooked as potentially boring, trays are available in a broad selection of appealing looks from metal scrollwork to woven bamboo to carved wood. I frequently use trays throughout my decorating, hanging a large beaten metal tray above the mantel, placing another on an end table, employing yet another as a plant stand... Trays can also be used in any number of practical ways, from serving drinks to acting as an impromptu lap table to serving as a door-side catchall for small items like phones and keys. It seems there is no end to the ways you can use a tray in your décor or in your everyday life.  

Ottoman4. Ottomans: When you look at an ottoman you may see a lowly footstool, but I see one of the most versatile pieces of furniture in the house! Sure, ottomans do make fabulous footstools, but they can also do so much more. Use an ottoman as a coffee table in a pinch or put it into service as an extra seat at a crowded party. Many ottomans even include a hidden storage compartment, making them that much more versatile. When you want a piece of small furniture that can carry its own weight, I strongly suggest an ottoman. After all, what other furnishing can serve as many different purposes!  

 5. Planters: Of course, planters are great for house plants, but did you realize they can also be more? Use a clean planter to store extra throw pillows and afghans in the living room. Repurpose a planter as a drink cooler for a party. Make use of a small planter to store magazines or even mail. You'll be surprised at how well you can employ decorative planters in both your décor and in your busy life-just think outside the box a little, and a simple planter becomes surprisingly useful.

Remember, when you are selecting accents, think outside the box!

Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Phone Direct 240-506-2434 | 301-681-0550 office - Silver Spring, MD
Leisure World Specialist / Full Service REALTOR

Mary, thanks for these creative tips on using common items in a different way.  I like the tips on the ottoman use and trays in particular.  I use trays to place on a bed in the master bedroom when doing alittle staging.  Depending on the intended mood, I place tea cups or wine glasses on the tray.

Nov 02, 2009 05:36 AM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

I like your ideas.  I used an old sugar cannister to make a lamp.  You could do the same with the pitchers or candlesticks.

Nov 02, 2009 05:50 AM
Mary Freeland
Tuscan Home Decor and Design - Front Royal, VA

Great idea Team Honeycutt! The pitchers and large vases would work well to create one of a kind pieces.

I am glad you enjoyed the post.  Thanks.

Nov 02, 2009 06:52 AM
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

I've also used smaller pots & planters for kids art areas when Staging. Fill them with bright colored markers or rulers adds height and color. ;)  I hadn't thought about the many uses of a pitcher though ~  Great tips!

BTW - where did you find that gold pitcher?  I love the detail on the handle

Nov 03, 2009 09:50 AM
Mary Freeland
Tuscan Home Decor and Design - Front Royal, VA

I love the versatility of pitchers.  I found it at www.tuscanhomedecoranddesign.com.  You can find some other very nice earthenware pieces there also. You should take a look.

Nov 03, 2009 10:32 AM
Deena Cottingham
GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography - Calgary, AB
Home Stager & Photographer

Great ideas, Mary. I agree with you on the ottomans (ottomen?? =D). Especially in staging . . . you can do so many things with them and they are not an expensive piece of inventory. One of my favorite recent purchases has been some old classic books. I went to a used bookstore and got a great deal on old hardcovers like Sherlock Holmes, etc. I use these in all kinds of places when staging, or even if you want to keep a shelving unit more decorative in your own home. I always check out what the actual hardcover looks like under the dustjackets first.

Nov 05, 2009 02:51 AM
Mary Freeland
Tuscan Home Decor and Design - Front Royal, VA

I use heavy solid wrapping paper to cover books that look a little used. It is a great way to pull out a color in the room.  Recently I saw a piece that mentioned stacking coffee table books for an interesting end table. I never thought about that. It would have to be out of the "traffic pattern" though so it wouldn't get disturbed.

Nov 05, 2009 09:16 AM