Take Away Accessorizing Tips

A few weeks ago I finished my decorating class on home accessorizing. Thankfully, despite my sleep deprived, just-had-a-baby state I was still able to glean a load of valuable information. If you aren’t studying to become an interior decorator the idea of spending eight weeks learning about accessories might bore you to death but hopefully these take home tips will help you to beautify your own home.

For clarification, by accessories I mean mirrors, pillows, blankets, rugs, lamps, vases, artwork (or pretty much anything you would hang on a wall), sculptures, candles, and small piece of furniture like a pouffes. This is not an exhaustive list but will give you an idea of what types of items I am referring to throughout the following tips.

1.) Accessories are an opportunity to add an accent colour to your space. This is an easy and inexpensive way of changing up your decor without committing long term to a colour scheme. The rule of thumb is that your accent colour should show up at least three times in a room (eg. a throw blanket, a lamp, and a rug).

Having at least three hits of the accent colour helps to create visual flow.

Having at least three hits of an accent colour, in this case, yellow,  helps to create flow in a space.

2.) When accessorizing a room remember that different metals count as different colours. Gold or brass is yellow. Silver, chrome, and nickel are grey. Copper is orange. Iron is black. If you have a lot of metal in your room, take the colour of the metal into consideration when you are choosing other accessories.

3.) About mirrors: Contrary to what you may have heard, mirrors do NOT enlarge a space unless they reflect the floor (eg. a large, tall mirror leaning against a wall will visually enlarge your space whereas a mirror hanging above your fireplace will not). And remember, mirrors should reflect something beautiful. Your blank wall or stippled ceiling is not beautiful. Your prized painting or light filled garden is beautiful.

Do:

This oversized mirror visually enlarges this room.

This over-sized mirror visually enlarges this room.

Don’t:

Not such an exciting reflection. Mirrors above the fireplace, unless they are beautiful enough to act as a piece of art, are a no-no. I am currently committing this atrocity along with millions of others. It's true, my ceiling isn't so exciting...

Not such an exciting reflection. Mirrors above the fireplace, unless they are beautiful enough to act as a piece of art or are opposite a window, are a no-no. I am currently committing this atrocity along with millions of others. It’s true, the reflection of my ceiling isn’t so exciting…I’m taking a change under consideration.

4.) Gallery walls continue to be a popular way to display artwork but there is one important rule of thumb to follow: on one side of your gallery wall, whether it be top or bottom, left or right, the artwork needs to form a straight line. It sounds a bit strange but after looking at lots of photos of gallery walls I see that it really does look better if you follow this tip.

Do:

It is fine to mix frames, add mirrors, antlers, letters etc. but keep that straight line. The straight line formed on the right side of this picture with the two prints helps to anchor this arrangment.

It is fine to mix frames, add mirrors, antlers, letters etc. but keep that straight line. The straight line formed on the right side of this gallery wall with the two pieces helps to anchor the arrangement.

Don’t:

The lack of a straight line causes this arrangement to look chaotic.

The lack of a straight line causes this arrangement to look chaotic.

5.) You’ve likely heard it before but I can’t mention accessories without mentioning this class faux paux: your rug should not be floating in the center of your room. It should be large enough that the front legs of your couch and chairs are on the rug.

Do:

goodrug

Don’t:

wrongrug

6.) Less is more. If you happen to have a large number of decorative items either purge those you don’t love or rotate objects, keeping some in storage then changing them up when desired.

7.) In conjunction with the above advice, avoid clutter and give objects room to breath. This rule applies both with hanging groups of pictures (not too close!) and arranging objects on a flat surface. In terms of pictures: place smaller pictures 2-3 inches apart; place medium sized pictures 3-5 inches apart; place large pictures 7-10 inches apart.

Do:

Coraling objects on a tray or in a basket like this helps to avoid a cluttered look.

Grouping objects on a tray or in a basket like this helps to avoid a cluttered look.

Don’t:

Too much! Where does the coffee go on this coffee table!

Too much! Where does the coffee go on this coffee table!

8.) Group odd numbers of objects or pictures together, it is more pleasing to the eye. Example: for a gallery wall, hang five pictures; for candles, group three together.

9.) If you are going to break the rule of odd numbers as mentioned above, do it properly. If you only have two great pictures to hang, hang them close enough together that they visually read as one piece (I know, I also just said not to crowd objects. There’s always an exception…). This is also why hanging four pictures in a grid, like below, can work, because it visually reads as one large picture.  The pictures also need to have the same theme in order for them to visually read as one. Am I confusing you yet?

square-grid-symmetrical-art-bhg

10.) Size matters! Make sure when hanging a picture, mirror, or other groupings of wall decor that they do not extend past the edges of whatever table, couch, desk, etc that they are hung above.

Do:

goodpic

Don’t:

toolargepic

Since taking this course I have been looking around my house with different eyes, spotting all the faux paux that I have made. It doesn’t look bad, but I now know how to make it look better. Will this advice help you to improve your home decor?

Thanks again to my instructor, Bea O’Driscoll, who passed on the knowledge and information represented in this post.

 

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