You may have lived in a home for years, but somehow it still feels incomplete. It’s furnished and lived-in, but it could just be lacking those finishing touches that transform a house into a home. Enter the world of accessories.
The accessories you choose for your home present an opportunity to set a tone and define a style, whether it’s classic, contemporary or something in between. Accessories can amp up the colour and texture of a room, infuse your unique personality and offer a sneak-peek into your inner workings. As a designer I know that the right accessories, thoughtfully chosen and placed, can give a room depth and make a lasting impression for all the right reasons. On the other hand, poorly leveraged accessories can contribute to visual clutter and confusion.
So, how do you accessorize to bring out the best in your home? Here are my four essential accessories you need in your home and life, and some tips on how to integrate them successfully into your interiors.
Personal Objects: One might argue that all accessories have a personal side to them, and they’d be right. But in this case, I’m talking about those truly “you,” one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect your interests, your inspiration, your history. Everything is on the table, so to speak. For example, if you’re into photography, your accessories in a room may consist of a collection of framed photos, your vintage camera and a selection of photo albums.
Design Tip: Group related items together into a carefully curated display. Whatever you choose, give your selections a polished look by having them professionally framed, mounted or finished.
Art: What do blank walls say about you? To be perfectly honest, not a whole lot, and they certainly don’t do your home any favours, either. Art can express your interests and aesthetic preferences, but it is also a stunning way to fill empty space and set a mood. Paintings and prints transform walls into a source of inspiration; photos and objet d’art make focal points of mantels and bookcases. Remember, beauty has a place in every home.
TIP: Not every surface or inch of wall space has to be filled. In fact, it shouldn’t be. White space is an important element of your decor, bringing balance and resting place for the eyes to the items in the foreground.
Lighting: Yes, lighting is a functional element in every home, but depending on the particulars of the piece, it can also fall into the accessories and art category. Consider the style of fixture in terms of function (sconce, table or floor lamp, chandelier, pendants, etc.) and aesthetics (colour, material and shape). Lighting should be integrated in layers, combining ambient (overhead) lighting, task lighting and accent lighting.
TIP: If your room accommodates multiple functions, ensure each “zone” has a dedicated light source.
Plants: Greens can make a huge impact in a room, from an aesthetic and in my opinion, a mental perspective. Houseplants and flowers are instantly uplifting, not to mention their health and environmental benefits. Just be mindful of the natural light levels throughout the room in relation to the needs of a particular plant. Layer your plants in with your art and other accessories. For example, a shelf can house some books, a photo or a small canvas artwork, and some plants in thoughtfully chosen pottery that is an accessory all on its own!
A home is a work in constant progress. As your lifestyle and tastes evolve, so too should the environment around you. The beautiful thing about accessories is you can add, remove or change them entirely, until your home hits the right note.