Monday, February 6, 2012

Accessorize With Style

For most of us, magazines and BLOGS and the gorgeous spreads of perfectly styled homes are what inspire us and make us drool . . . and often make us feel inferior at the same time.  The spreads of perfectly imperfect spaces, rooms that feel finished, lived-in and loved, rooms that are accessorized with perfection.  Not a blank wall or tabletop to be seen.  How do designers do it? 

Well, first off, most of the rooms in professionally photographed spreads have also been professionally styled by very talented individuals.  That said, there are a few tips that homeowners can take way from analyzing these images to make their homes fabulous as well.

Don't be afraid to fail and try again.  Move things around, but items (more than you think you need) and then return you don't love), or call your local designer .... me :)  Buying accessories is one of the first and hardest part of accessorizing a home.  We know when you need a sofa or side table, but when faced with a decorative vase, dish, bookend, whatever, we ask ourselves "do I need it?" or "where would I put it?" If you do have the space and money for a great new find, abandon these thoughts and give yourself permission to have fun.  Your home will have personality, a sense of humor, and most of all, a sense of being finished over time. 

Book cases and built in shelves often have their own language.  Symmetry can definitely work here, but it's not required.  Have fun with collections of objects, a bold color statement, or memories of travel. 

Mantels.  Avoid the temptation to center one large picture or one large mirror smack dab in the center.  Layer mirrors or pictures and you can manipulate a stack of books to just the right height to balance out an adjacent object.

Coffee tables.  Accessorizing does not come naturally.  Coffee tables are tough because they're functional; you don't want to fill the whole table top so you can't put down a cup of coffee.  But you want it to look elegant and composed without it seeming like you fussed too much with it.  I liken this to dressing up for a party.  I want to look fabulous, I just don't want to look like I tried to look fabulous. 

For the basics, think in odd numbers.  Three objects always look better than 2 or 4.  Our minds want to make patterns and too often we fall prey to organized things in a line of symmetrically.  That's the death of interesting table scape.  Here, it's all about scale (high lamp and low box).

Entryways and foyers can suffer from being forgotten and ignored - especially when we use side and back doors more often than our front entrances.

Make your foyer into a little gallery of curiosities.  While many of us may not use our front doors as much these days, we still walk though them to get to other areas of our homes, so make this space an experience rather than an afterthought.

Bedrooms - While I like my accessories to have a sense of humor and/or tell a story, I like my bedroom accessories to create a sense of calm.  This room makes me want to crawl into bed with a good book.  It's serene and sparse, without being boring.  I love the bamboo detail of the side table and the bead board on the walls.  The fresh flowers are almost a most for me in the bedroom. 

Entry ways and foyers don't have to be boring.  I love the simplicity of this table with it's bowl of fresh flowers and various reading material that is neatly stacked according to size. 

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