12 April 2011

The Importance of Accessorizing

I am so happy to have Rebecca Ward, interior designer and founder of Design R blog, here today. And I'm very excited that she's tackling what for most is a big design challenge -- taking a room from furniture to cozy, warm and inviting room. Love what I'm learning from her.

Accessorizing is tricky business.  There is so much more to it than setting out all of your knick-knacks for the world to see and hanging your favorite Van Gogh poster.  Accessories, when done right, will complement the space, highlight features of the room, tie the colors together and reveal a hint into the tastes of the owner.  When done wrong, or not at all, the space can feel uninviting, cold or cluttered and uneasy.  Here are a few tips to doing it the right way so you can get on with your life and enjoy the room!

The first step is to get some art on the walls!  Framed or canvas wrap is preferred (no posters pinned up with multi-colored thumbtacks) Pick appropriate colors and themes for the room.  In rooms that you spend a lot of time in, it’s best to have complex and deeper paintings, like landscapes, that you will not tire of easily.  Don’t be afraid to mix art styles as long as they complement each other in colors. Personal photos of family and friends are perfect for bookshelves, console tables, coffee tables and nightstands.   If you have several frames on the same table, vary the size of photos and frames, mixing the direction of the frames from horizontal to vertical.

A few new pillows and a throw can go a long way to freshen up a sofa.  I usually get rid of the extra throw pillows that come with a sofa (too matchy-matchy) and re-purpose them elsewhere in the house.  If you can, splurge on down inserts for the pillows, do it!  There‘s nothing better than sinking into some large soft pillows after a long day.  Here is also a great way to introduce color.  Neutral sofas can change their look with the seasons as pillows and throws are swapped out.

Bring a little green into every room. Green helps bring the room to life. At the least, pick up a few silk ivy plants to throw behind a framed photo, above the kitchen cabinets or on a bookshelf.  If the room is big enough, put a palm plant or tree in the corner.  If you have a green thumb, live plants can serve the additional purpose of filtering the air, creating a healthier environment to spend time in.

The best tip I can recommend is to create groupings.  Books are great fillers for groupings.  They can be turned upright or sideways and stacked to create varying heights.  A common configuration for a coffee table I do is to stack a few “coffee table books” with appropriate colors on the spine and cover, with a vase filled with branches or an orchid and a nice artsy object resting on top of the books or a bowl with interesting things inside.  Grouping items on a surface will help draw the eye to certain focal points in the room and simplify it in a way that is pleasing to the eye.  Be sure you have scaled your accessories appropriately to the furniture they are resting on and to the room.

These helpful hints should get your room looking finished and welcoming.  Sometimes it takes a little time to bring it together with the perfect items.  Visit antique stores and flea markets to add some “found objects” to the mix and a little character.  Happy accessorizing!

--Rebecca Ward is author of Design R blog and owner of her own interior design company in Northern California.

Thanks Rebecca. I am looking forward to putting together a new grouping for my coffee table with these great ideas. You can see my post on planning and organizing shelves at Rebecca's blog here. Thanks lovely readers for coming by. Have a fantastic Tuesday. 

All photos by Rebecca Ward of her own projects and posted with her permission.


Spiral Style said...

I agree that accessories are the hardest part of decorating. I actually blogged about this today at Spiral Style. Thanks for the tips

Rebecca Ward said...

Thanks for letting me guest post today!

MD Interior Design said...

Great tips Rebecca - Thankyou for sharing. Michelle

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