The Art of Accessorizing and How it Will Transform Your Home



There are a lot of decorating issues I see in my role as a designer. The issues with accessorizing tops the list as the most common. The two glaring problems I see when it comes to accessorizing a home are those who either over-accessorize and then those who under-accessorize. 

Over-accessorizing leads to clutter and a feeling of nothing standing out. This is common when someone has a love of shopping. They keep bringing in “just one more” accessory in the hopes that it’ll be the icing on the cake. Ultimately, they feel as though they’re drowning in  stuff but can’t find a solution or a way out.

Under-accessorizing happens to those who become overwhelmed and can’t go a step further. They’ll often become blind to what’s missing in their space. They may have a great foundation in their structural environment. They may even have nailed the furnishing but then they’re out of steam and just stop.


Accessorizing Can Transform Your Home


When it’s done well, accessorizing can bring life to your room. Your space will feel complete and your accessories will enhance the best parts of your home. Accessories also bring the final layer that completes the decorating of any space. It’s the layer that creates a warm, welcoming feeling and without it your space may feel dull and lifeless.

Learning how to accessorize will arm you with the knowledge you need to go and shop. You’ll have confidence in your selections and you can skip that endless cycle of buy and return that you may currently be stuck in. Here are my best tips for accessorizing that will bring big results.


Scale Matters



This is, by far, the biggest issue I see. Scale refers to how items relate to each other. In this case it’s the size of the accessory in relation to the size of the room. Most of us pay no attention to this when we’re shopping but it can make a massive difference when you understand scale. It will look polished and complete and has the power to transform a room.

When the scale of your accessories is off they can’t do their job. Almost never do we mix up the scale in favour of accessorizing with too-large accessories. It’s almost always pieces that are way too small for the space. 

And often the reason for this is the place you’re shopping. I love Homesense but if I need to accessorize a space that’s large and requires equally large scale accessories I’ll skip it. They carry some nice pieces but they’re usually small. 

Instead, shop specialty or boutique stores. They tend to carry a smaller assortment of items but they’ll be unique pieces. This is where you’ll find the large pieces you may need to balance the scale of your space. They are way more expensive than the smaller items you’ll find at a big box store but you require only a few. 

Getting scale right is dependent on the size of the space you’re working with. Look at the overall size of the room, the ceiling height and the size of the architectural details (fireplace, windows, etc.) Large spaces require large accessories. You can’t line your fireplace mantel with accessories that are 6-inches tall. They’ll always look wrong. Instead, go for just a few oversized pieces that can complement the scale of the room.


Layer the Height


One of the problems that can result in a space feeling ho-hum is issues with height. A space that’s beautifully accessorized always varies the height of the accessories. The way to accomplish this is by using books, trays or stands. 

This also makes an accessory feel more important when you give it a podium. Lie books on their side and add a statement decor item on top. Suddenly the piece looks more important but you can also transform the entire area just through the varying heights.

When accessorizing a bookcase or other shelving, always place the tallest item at the back of the shelf and layer shorter pieces in front. You’re creating a unique vignette with items that feel important when paired together, particularly when the height is varied.

Consider using this for pillow accessorizing as well. It’s particularly important when you have a sofa or chairs with low backs. You don’t want the back of your sofa and all your pillows stopping at the same height. Be sure your largest pillow sits under the top of the sofa back. Whether you vary the height of the rest of your pillows is entirely optional. Need some inspiration for pillow combinations? Read this post.


Go For Quality Over Quantity


I would rather invest in a single accessory that is a statement instead of filling my cart at a big box store. The pieces that will really transform your home are going to be visually unique, and with perfect scale to complement your room. Accessories should be something that evokes conversation.

You may not have the budget to start accessorizing your entire space immediately. Instead, create a list of items you need to purchase and work on it over time. It’s also fun to select one or two pieces when you travel. Not only will they be unique but they start to tell a story about who you are. And this is the best kind of home!


Consider Colour & Texture


Before you start your accessory shopping, think about colour. What is the palette of your current space? Do you need to use accessories to inject colour or do you need to work with the colour already present?

If your walls are painted a distinct colour and your upholstered furniture is patterned with colour, go for neutral accessories. Think about adding texture rather than colour. Anything from nature works to calm a space while adding something extra special. Greenery, neutral carved or textured wood and elements of nature like stone work magic to create texture when you don’t need to rely on colour. 

If you have a very neutral space use this opportunity to inject a bit of colour. You don’t have to go crazy but include a few pieces that have some colour to add interest. Even if you don’t like colour, it’s important to add small amounts because without some element of colour the space may fall flat. 

When you’re using colour you should stick to 2 or 3 colours and repeat them throughout the space. If you already have colour present in artwork, rugs and furniture you should follow suit and use what’s there. It will look chaotic if you have a lot of colour and then introduce a new group of 2 or 3 new colours. Keep it simple and repeat for impact.

If you’re thinking of redecorating but not sure where to begin, contact me. I can help you transform your space.


If you know your design style but you struggle with which paint to use, take a look at my Made-For-You paint palettes. They take the guesswork out and give you the confidence to get started.


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