We are in the process of adding all of our published articles onto the Education page of the site. We will be updating the blog with some great tips from each article as we add them to our website.
First Up: “How to Choose with Confidence” A great article Annette wrote several years ago about the importance of (the right) accessories in a room.
Accessories can give the design of a room the finishing touches it requires to make it come alive by giving it personality and pizzazz. In choosing accessories you need to keep two interior design elements in mind, mood and harmony. Function is a third design element but most accessories don’t fulfill any function.
If you remove all the accessories from a room, the room would lack interest, warmth, character, and charm. Before choosing, you need to realize that accessories have a strong relationship to the mood of a room. Ask yourself: what is the mood I want to achieve? For example in a rustic room you may choose an antique basket or a hanging oil-type lamp. In a traditional room you may choose a marble clock or brass candlesticks for a display on a mantel. So, you can begin to see how accessories help to establish the mood of a room. If you were to switch the accessories between a rustic and a traditional room the accessories would not be in harmony with the rest of the décor. So when shopping, remember that all accessories are not equal. Consider the mood of the item and match it to the mood of the room.
The second design element to think about when choosing accessories is harmony. Ask yourself does the item harmonize with the color scheme and scale of the room? Is the size of the accessory the correct size for the table or mantel it’s on? Look at the color scheme of the room; if you are using all muted tones, then the accessories should be similar in tone. If you are using vibrant colors then the accessories can also be vibrant. Are they harmonized in both hue and intensity with the rest of the room? Brass, pewter, copper or silver can be used in any room and are considered neutral, but generally you use only one metal finish. In thinking about scale, accessories need to be in proportion with the size of the room and with the items placed around them; to use a large object on a small coffee table would not be in harmony.
So there are two points to remember:
1. Choose items that are appropriate for the mood of your design or the mood you want to create.
2. Accessories need to be in harmony in color and scale with other objects around them and also with the size or dimension of the room itself.
Quantity is another element we can think about when choosing accessories for a room. The style of the room will help you decide on the amount of accessories to use. In a traditional setting you usually find more accessories than in a contemporary or modern one. To harmonize with the clean lines of a contemporary or modern setting it usually requires fewer accessories. If the space features more complex designs it will call for more accessories like in a traditional or country setting for example.
When placing accessories decide, do you want a formal or informal arrangement? Casual settings lean toward asymmetrical groupings and formal settings lean toward symmetrical groupings. When placing accessories on a mantel or table, alternate the height of items to give the grouping more interest and try to create a focal point. Spread color around your room using accessories in your accent color to give your room a well-balanced feel.
So let’s review:
Balance in Elevation- Vary the heights of the objects used in a grouping.
Scale- Are the objects in scale with other objects around them, with what they are sitting on and with the scale of the room itself?
Balance of Color- Spread accent color around the room using accessories; take into consideration the hue and intensity of the room’s color scheme.
Style- Formal vs. Informal, are they in harmony with the mood of the room?
Focal Point- Does the arrangement have one or need one?
Accessories are the jewelry and sparkle of any room and they help make your room come alive. Keeping a few design elements in mind can help you choose your accessories with confidence.