THE ART OF ACCESSORIES.
I won’t lie. I dread accessorizing. I could literally spend an hour placing furniture in a house and clearly see the scale and proportion before a sofa even moves...but then I spend about 6 hours accessorizing. I want to say that every designer is great at everything, but that would be a lie and I just told you I wouldn’t stoop to that (I reserve the right to change my mind).
Just like in any profession, we all have strengths and if you’re any good you realize your weaknesses (and try to outsource them) no, no...I meant to say you work really hard to improve on them. I have a fellow designer friend who is amazing at accessorizing. She flits around a room moving things, stepping back and voila it’s done. And what’s really spectacular (or annoying) is that it takes her about ½ the time and looks 2x as good. Ugh.
So if you are struggling on what items to use to accessorize with, this post is for you. If you want help placing them, call my friend. Just kidding...that’s a future post.
TIP 1: PILLOWS & THROWS
I am cold, like always. Even in the dead of summer, I have a throw on my lap during my nightly TV time. A throw draped on a sofa or chair isn’t only practical, it adds color, texture, and dimension. And don't get me started on pillows...you might need a nap!
Tip 2: STACK THE BOOKS
I had a client recently ask me if the hundreds of dollars of coffee table books that I recommended in her design were necessary. Ummm...yes. And while you don’t have to spend hundreds (thrift store), books add a flat surface that you just can’t get with any other accessory.
Tip 3: FOUND OBJECTS
I LOVE to travel. From the Kenyan jungle to the hills of Tuscany, I am constantly picking up things that speak to me. Usually, they say “I am expensive, buy me”. But seriously, one of the joys of traveling for me is finding items that tell a story. Store bought is nice...curating from your travels is better.
Tip 4: STORE BOUGHT
I buy from stores. I have been known to pillage through a Homegoods with the best of them. I usually leave with every tray they have. Just remember, that an antique store is a store and that a well-curated home shouldn’t look like a display from Ethan Allen (no offense).
Tip 5: IT’S ALIVE
I have found over the years that the best life in any room comes from outside. I have no need to buy flowers any longer unless it is for someone else or a special occasion. There is something wonderful about going into the yard and cutting a palm leaf, bougainvillea stem or plain old sticks. They are architecturally elegant and interesting, plus they won’t break the bank.
Tip 6: THEMES
So here is the thing. I believe in themes, but not the way you might think and I am a little scared of the interpretations out there. I do not subscribe to a seashell collection or a floral explosion, but I do think that having a little consistency from room to room helps to tie things together. In accessories, I personally do it in candles. I firmly stand that all candles should be white and they should all be in glass jars. There, I said it. All of them. In every room. So if you have something you love, go for it (as long as it isn’t a teddy bear theme...you know who you are).