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Tips & Tricks Thursday – Accessorizing 101

Sometimes, the trickiest part of design is getting the details right.  But those pesky details can help a space evolve from just a room into something truly special…

Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for tackling said “pesky details”.

I’ve broken them down into three categories of, like, a jillion different possibilities…

1.  CLASSIC and SYMMETRICAL

This is one of my favorite ways to accessorize a piece of furniture like a buffet or long consul table.  It looks great in a formal living space (dining room / living room / etc.), but also adds sophistication to an entry or even a bedroom.  The key is to keep it simple.  You can’t go wrong with two lamps and a simple vignette in the center (think stacked books, collected boxes, or a vase of freshly cut flowers…).  If your piece is against the wall, finish out the look by positioning some artwork or a mirror behind it.

Clean.  Elegant.  Timeless.

** Try placing a set of cross leg stools in front of your piece to complete the look.  So effortlessly chic!

Same piece – just styled two different ways!

Turquoise LA (p.s. I LOVE her work!)

Turquoise LA (p.s. I LOVE her work!)

David Jimenez

David Jimenez

Emily A. Clark (p.p.s. I love that she used a piano here!)

Emily A. Clark (p.p.s. I love that she used a piano here!)
Sandra Morgan Interiors

Sandra Morgan Interiors

AB Chao

AB Chao

2.  CLASSIC and ASYMMETRICAL

So this isn’t a stretch when I tell you that the way to accessorize with a more casual, but still classic look would be to opt for an asymmetrical approach.  This style is all about visual balance.  It can be incorporated on a consul, buffet, side table or bookshelf.  Think about using books, vases, dishes, statues, candlesticks, photos… you get the idea.  This approach isn’t necessarily a “collected” or layered look (that comes next!), but more of a simple, balanced feel.

** Some points to remember – Darker colors are more “visually” heavy, while lighter colors are, well, visually “lighter”.  For example – you could balance a large, glass lamp with a small dark vase.

Tiffany Richey Office via Pinterest

Tiffany Richey Office via Pinterest p.s. I want this wallpaper!

Skonahem

Skonahem

Douglas Friedman

Douglas Friedman

ML Interior Design

ML Interior Design

3.  COLLECTED OVER TIME  (a.k.a Eclectic / a.k.a Bohemian / a.k.a Awesome)

Okay, so I’m sure that you can tell that this style really strikes my fancy.  I love the kind of “anything goes” approach here.  But this, too, has some guidelines to help make your styling look chic and not cluttered (unless, of course, that’s the look you’re going for – in which case I would say, “more power to you”…).

Think about your objects in terms of groupings or clusters – with individual depth and dimension.  Again, you can use anything from books and pictures, to dishes and plants, to fabric and jewelry.  The key is layering.  Build up height through stacking and depth through layering (Who says you can’t layer one picture over another?).  Take some time and play around.  No designer creates their vignette by setting objects on the first try (…or maybe I’m just the weird one and I’m totally outing myself here…).  We fiddle, we swap out, we step back and tilt our head from side to side to see if we like it (…outing myself again…).  We change things around and begin the process all over again.

** Think about a color palette – books with similar colors on their spines (or flip them around to expose the page side), pictures with similar color tones, objects that pull out some colors you have sprinkled around your room.

** You can easily ground any grouping or collection with the repeated use of black, white, or grey.

** Speaking of collections – group similar items like candlesticks, picture frames, books, vases…

** Don’t forget to mix in some metals!  They’re your go-to neutral (…and I LOVE me some brass!)

** Think about texture – mix in shine with matte with natural fibers.  Mixing textures will give your grouping dimension and interest.

** Plants add a great organic balance to a lot of straight lines and hard edges.

Here are some of my favorite grouping examples:

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Carlyle Designs via Pinterest

Carlyle Designs via Pinterest

some symmetrical styling AND layering going on…

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Love the layering on the buffet AND the coffee table!  via Pinterest

Love the layering on the buffet AND the coffee table! via Pinterest

DecorPad via Pinterest

DecorPad via Pinterest

What are some of your favorite ways to accessorize?  I’d love to hear about them!

Tiina

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great post! I am so on board with the symmetrical/and of course the ecclectic collected look…(but, you already knew that b/c you’ve seen my home) I like to start my spaces with traditional elements and then let it morph over time. Love the images you chose! xo Kristin

    January 24, 2013
    • I know! I love how accessories evolve over time. It’s so much fun. I also love the post you put up yesterday. Time well spent! You know I love seeing what you’re up to in your house (Sorry, I totally didn’t mean to sound like a stalker!).

      T

      T

      January 24, 2013
  2. I love the eclectic mix you talk about although it’s probably the most difficult to do. I have a half moon table that I’m trying to style and having issues with scale. Hrmph!

    January 25, 2013
    • Jennifer, I have some spots that stump me, too! I’ll have to snap some pics and get some opinions. Is your table on your blog? I’ll have to check it out. Half moon shape sounds like all sorts of Mid-Century fabulousness!

      T

      January 25, 2013
      • It’s not on my blog yet. I’ve been waiting to do a reveal coupled with a post on how to style a vignette but, um, I’m having problems styling my vignette 😛 It’s a turquoise table so it’s a fun piece.

        January 25, 2013
      • Can’t wait to see what you do, then. I’m more than happy to bounce ideas around with you. I may pick your brain for my nightstands!

        T

        January 25, 2013
      • Absolutely! I always find it easier to evaluate some else’s space versus your own—dunno if you’re the same way : ]

        January 25, 2013
      • Yes!!! I’ll send some pics your way when I get back in town next week. Can’t wait to hear your ideas. 🙂

        January 25, 2013
  3. I love all the photos! I feel like I usually lean towards the symmetrical but I’m trying to get away from that a little more to change things up a bit

    January 25, 2013
  4. I so needed this! I have some bookshelves at the new house that I will likely rearrange about 20 times before being satisfied (particularly because I can’t fully style them until we’re actually moved in!). I really like those yellow stools up top and I totally feel like I’ve seen similar stuff at thrift stores. Such good ideas – thanks for sharing!

    January 28, 2013

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