Home Accessorizing Made Simple

Home Accessorizing is what gives an interior soul and help distinguishes a home from a furniture showroom. When accessories are done right, they tell the story of the owners’ lives — their passions, their travels … and maybe even their heartbreak. But accessorizing a house can be a scary thing. We’re often unsure what to include, what to leave out and how to arrange the things that remain. Fear not. Once you understand the principles, accessorizing can be a snap. Look around your house, attic, basement and yard for potential accessories. Sometimes it’s not the thing itself, but how you display it, that counts. Common objects like stones, shells or pinecones make great accessories — if you gather enough of them and display them in an attractive bowl. Arrange costume jewelry on a tray or fill a bowl with decorative matchbooks. The next time you travel, skip the T-shirt shop and head for the antiques store, craft gallery or flea market. You’ll come home with something attractive and a story to go with it.

The bottom line: If you have fun with your accessories, your family and friends will get pleasure from them, too. Check out more tips and find more inspiration below.

Avoid placing like items at opposite ends of a fireplace mantel. (Imagine how dull this mantel would have been if one candlestick sat on each end.) Instead, rely on clusters of objects to balance one another. Propped and overlapped photographs feel more casual and curated than art that’s hung, and in this instance help unite the vignettes on either end of the mantel.

Avoid distributing individual accessories around a room. Arrange them in groups, combining items that share a similar palette, character or texture. Unless you’re dealing with a collection of identical objects, vary the size of the pieces and lean toward using an odd number for each vignette so things don’t get too symmetrical or matchy-matchy. Arrange the items in a pyramid, from highest to lowest, with the tallest object in back. If an item is small, group it with other small items on a tray or in a bowl. If it’s too low, set it atop a decorative box or books.

Unless you live in a library, mix accessories with books. (Just keep the paperbacks in the bedroom or someplace inconspicuous.) If you don’t own books, buy some at a yard sale or library sale — they do wonders to warm up a room and are one of the cheapest accessories you can find.

Don’t forget the anchor. The tall candles on this coffee table anchor the arrangement and are surrounded by objects of descending size. Small items are grouped on a tray, so they have a collective presence. The bowl of apples works like fresh flowers — it makes this feel like a “living” arrangement and not something that was put here two years ago and never touched.

Pay attention to scale. Your arrangement shouldn’t be too big or too puny for the surface it’s on. And don’t feel like you have to fill every tabletop — the eye needs a chance to rest, too. Since all three items on this coffee table are approximately the same size, the coral was set atop a stack of books to stagger the heights. Notice how the book jackets pick up the color of the vase and the seat cushion.

Group objects that share a common character, whether it’s a unifying color, finish or texture. In this instance the figure, skull, box and bowl all share a similar color palette and sense of history — as does the tortoise shell on the coffee table.

Get the principles of displaying accessories down pat to give your home some soul by visiting Houzz. If you’re interested in a home remodel and to take advantage of some of these home accessorizing ideas, please contact Westhill Construction today!