I cannot begin to tell you how important accessories are to the successful outcome of any interior space. They are all to often overlooked, completely forgotten or just simply ignored. They are like the jewelry to your little black dress…without them, you’re wearing just a dress. With them, you’re a jaw dropping, fashion diva making a grand entrance into any party!
Quite often when I think of the seemingly overwhelming task of accessorizing a space, I simply keep one phrase at the forefront of my mind….K.I.S.S.! Yep, you’ve read it correctly – Keep It Simple Stupid Sista!! I know, easier said than done, right? It can be a very complicated and intimidating task but with a little strategic planning and a few of my favorite tips, you can confidently tackle this ever important step and completely finish your next decorating project to it’s full potential!
1. Budget Basics: First and foremost it is so important to plan and budget for accessories from the very beginning of your project. A false assumption would be that because they’re small, they won’t cost a lot…..ummmmm, wrong! You can find accessories anywhere from Home Goods to High-end Designer Showrooms but I find that the look of cluttered chaos begins when a budget is not strategically planned from the start. Toward the end of their project, home owners are often forced into one of their local retail shops grabbing anything they can afford to fill the voids. Remember: “Poor Planning = Cluttered Chaos!”
2. Practical Planning: If you don’t have time or don’t know how to include accessories in the beginning stages of your design, I have a little trick that you can use when planning your accessory purchases….take scouting shots of your room or interior spaces. Take overall photos of your room and then take close up vignettes of what voids you’re trying to fill. Whether it be a Kitchen countertop, the top of a credenza or a coffee table, it’s often helpful to have the visual photos with you for a reference when you’re out and about shopping. Take a look at Shelter magazines for inspiration and make a list of some of the specific pieces you might be looking for.
3. Quality is King: I cannot tell you how many times I’ve walked into what seems to be a beautiful space only to find upon close observation a complete disappointment of finishing touches and quality of details. If you have the eye to cut through the poorly made products at some popular retail stores, that’s great….but you really have to know what you’re looking for in order to make it a true success. When searching through the chaos of the retail stores, pay attention to some key points – look for thicker glass, beveled mirror, weight of an object, scale and proportion, level of detail (but not busy), saturation of color, thickness of materials, and finishing details and touches….does it “look” expensive? or can you tell that it’s been poorly made?
4. Don’t Snub Scale: Ever heard the phrase “Bigger is Better” or “Everything is Bigger in Texas” (shout out to my Designer friend Elaine Williamson who is from Dallas), scale is everything BUT it has to make sense and relate to the proportion of everything else in the space. If I only had two choices and had to choose between something being too small or just a hair too big, I ‘d go with the larger almost every time. A few carefully chosen, properly scaled objects make a much better presentation than a bunch of small, under-scaled tchotchkes. Check out this oversized ceramic vessel that I spotted at Global Views during the recent High Point Market.
5. FAB Five Favorites: My top five considerations and must-have’s when planning an accessory install include the following:
- Fresh flowers (botanicals or edibles) – can also be a very high quality faux, read my lips….HIGH QUALITY:)
- Coffee table books as well as beautifully leather bound books or similar (I think I have a book fetish)
- Tall objects such as lamps, candle sticks or hurricanes
- Found objects like antiques, unique treasures or one-of-a-kinds
- Framed art and mirrors of all shapes, sizes and styles
If you have a good mix of these favorites in your arsenal, you’re sure to pull off something fabulous! Keep this list with you at all times when you’re out and about….it will help keep you on track!
And if you’re still having trouble pulling the perfect combination of accessories together, you’re going to love using my easy to follow “Simple Steps of Styling” Process™ that I’ve designed just for you! I’ll be posting it soon so be sure to check back soon! If you’ve tried tackling the finishing touches in your home and find that it’s too overwhelming and you’d rather pass this task on to a professional, contact me here and I’d me happy to lend a helping hand!