Thanks again to Kara and Claire for filling in. Today Im mixing it up a bit with someone whose style is a bit different than my own. Say hi to Alycia. Alycia Wicker is a professional interior designer who specializes in giving her clients the “model home” look. You can read more of her tips on her blog, Casa Moxie. Or contact her for some professional help at her businesses AJW Design Co and e-Decorating.com.
Hi there! I'm Alycia and you are? Oh, yes, you are the loyal readers of Adventures in Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone. Nice to meet ya! Since Mrs. Limestone is away, perhaps she is busy with Colonel Mustard in the Library right now shining a candlestick, I thought I would guest blog on accessories.
I know adding accessories in your house can give you a major heart attack, ack, ack, ack, ack, ack trying to figure it all out. First, let's calm down and pause your Billy Joel jam on your iPod. I will try to break this down as much as I can.
There are three areas to accessorize.
#1 = Walls
#2 = Tables (this includes sideboards, nightstands, pre
#3 = Mantel
The first key to using accessories in your space is to look around your room and figure out what feels empty. The first place you will probably look to is the walls. Determine what walls will need artwork or wall décor.
You can either use artwork, decorative painting, groupings of smaller pictures or wall art. You want to treat each wall area as a separate space and make sure the items you place on the walls are in proportion to the wall. What I mean by that is, don't put some dinky picture on a large wall. People will either think they have stepped into some weird art gallery or that their vision is impaired and a trip to the eye doctor is in order.
A large picture can give you instant drama in your space. You want it to coordinate with the color scheme in your room. It should be proportional and interesting.
Artwork need not be expensive, either. If you can not afford one large piece of artwork, get smaller pieces of framed artwork and place them together in the same space you would place a larger piece. Create cohesion by making all the smaller pieces have something in common such as the same frame. Or you can do the opposite by using the same image repeatedly in each frame, but use different and unique frames. The true key is to make sure that the art is in scale with the furnishings and in the same color way.
Now you will want to look to the tables and cabinets in the room to accessorize. You don’t want to clutter the surfaces with useless objects. You need to make sure you use some lamps, books, bowls with those decorative balls, flowers, picture frames, etc. Treat each flat horizontal space as its own area. Use items that are the right proportion to the table and have used the space perfectly, while making sure you see enough of the table. Clutter is one of the most dangerous killers of good interior design.
Collections of small items is another great way to keep accessorizing easy. Now, I have to caution you. Don't go putting out every item you have in your collection out on display. People will think you are one of those people and call the producers of "Hoarders" stat.
Think of your 600 ceramic groundhogs as extra stock for rotating your accessory display. Keep the groups in odd numbers, preferably. If you only have two ceramic groundhogs, then make the third item something else that goes with your theme. If you only have those two groundhogs, I guess you would have to go and find a ceramic Man that holds the groundhog? Ugh, forget the groundhog thing, but you get my drift.
If you have a fireplace, you will not want to neglect that area. A fireplace is typically the focal point of the room and therefore the center of your decorating with accessories. You can place artwork over the fireplace, but if you have pictures on every other in the room, leave the artwork out over the fireplace.
Too much artwork can be monotonous. There are two kinds of balance you want to utilize in accessorizing your fireplace- symmetrical and asymmetrical. For a formal setting you usually would use the symmetrical layout of accessories. To do this, use a mirror and flank it with two of the same item on either side. For a less formal room, look to use an asymmetrical layout. You could still use a mirror, but place it to the side of the center line of the fireplace and balance the other side with three similar items on the other side of the center line of the fireplace.
Niches with shelves can be a pain, too. If you have a niche/bookshelf area with glass shelves, here's my advice. Don't load the shelves with heavy objects. I don't just mean in terms of weight, but in terms of visual weight. There is something to be said for the delicate look that is given by the glass shelves. Use items that can reflect light or have light pass through them. Then, place your largest items on the bottom shelves and move your way up using smaller items.
An easier way, sometimes, to accessorize rooms is to pick a theme. Theme rooms can be done tastefully. They don't have to be the crazy pink flamingo themed room. The key to theme rooms is to think what feeling are to trying to evoke in the space. If you want a room to be sophisticated, pick accessories that are adult in style, not childish. If it looks like you could have purchased it the toy store, skip it.
For a splash of color and texture, you can also use a throw on a couch or chair. Find exciting pillows for the seating and don’t be afraid to mix and match, just keep the color matching with your scheme.
Plants are an accessory that a lot of people forget to add in. They bring life to your space. If your thumb is a murderer, you can go the faux plant route. They do look a lot better these days. Just remember to dust them. Your home is not straight out of the Addam's Family and cobwebs kinda scream "Yes, they are fake."
Mirrors are one of those tricky items, if used well, they will have a great impact on your space, used incorrectly...#fail. Mirrors need a view. To get a great benefit out of your mirror, it needs to reflect something nice that you want to look at. While you are at it, think of the frame you will use on your mirror, too. You are essentially framing the image you are reflecting. If you place the mirror directly across from a window to reflect the view outside, what type of frame would complement your view? Then, think about how it will go with your furnishings. Lastly, confer with the Psychic Friends Network to make sure you aren't making a mistake. Just kidding, always remember that everything in decorating can be redone.
The goal to accessorizing your room is to keep in mind the shape and size of the space they are filling. Think about the color scheme, material, and texture so it blends and makes a cohesive and comfortable look throughout. Distribute your accessories throughout your space with colors going all throughout your space, not bunched up together in a corner.
I really hope that this has helped you to go forward with your accessory journey. You will make it to the finish line. Sometimes it just takes rearranging the items a few times until you find that perfect combination. Good luck!