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How To Accessorize

Before beginning a decorating project of any size there are a few things you should keep in mind. Firstly, never try to tackle more than one space at a time. Secondly, do your homework! Find images online of rooms that appeal to you and collect them in a folder. Thirdly, strip the room that you have been struggling with completely and start all over again. Lastly, remember to always take "before" pictures of the room you intend to decorate (you'll be glad you did!).

The 5 steps to success in decorating and accessorizing a room are:

1. Rugs

2. Furniture

3. Lighting

4. Art

5. Accessories


Once the room has been stripped, it's time to place the rugs if you have them. Always lay your rugs down first in your empty room, this will determine your seating or the focal point of the room as well as visually separate the functions of the room. Align the rugs with the existing architecture, never fight the natural direction of the room. Also ensure that the shape of the rug compliments the shape of the room!


Once the rugs have been placed, the next step is your furniture. Be sure not to crowd a room with too much furniture, if the room looks bare at this stage remember that good design is a layering process! It's also important to not arrange your furniture on the walls. If the room allows it, pull out your furniture and "float" it so that you can get conversation groups closer together.

If you have trouble laying out your furniture look to these three basic furniture groups:


There are two types of lighting - Functional and Aesthetic. Functional lighting is a must have, typically this light is for a specific task. This includes task lighting, overhead lighting, and lamp lighting. Aesthetic lighting is for added effect and decoration. This includes decorative lighting, directional lighting, and accent lighting.

When placing your lighting remember these four tips:

1. Always provide at least three light sources per room (minimum). We usually try and have three lamps plus decorative and some overhead lighting.

2. Lighting should be in a triangular shape to get a good spread of light throughout your conversation area.

3. Don't be afraid to mix up really contemporary lighting such as track, cable, monorail, etc with a traditional room. This can be very effective.

4. Lighting a room works best when you give yourself options and moods to choose from. Don't turn it all on at once, different functions require different lighting.


Art is a great tool and can be used for many purposes. Art fills out space and balances a room. It can also become the focal point or a room without one and/or it could be the only color in a neutral room. It can also establish your personal style, if you collect colorful contemporary art, try using it in a traditional setting to bring your own personality to the room!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing and placing art:

1. Always select frames and mats larger than you think you need.

2. Always hang art lower rather than higher.

3. Always put glass on photographs, never mat or glass canvas art.

4. Don't sit small sculptures, put them on a pedestal.

5. You can choose not to hang all of your art, we often lean art on tops of things.

6. Mix lots of different mediums in a room: textiles, canvas, prints, sculptures, etc.

7. Group like items, collections, or a series of art together - the power is in the grouping.

8. Use art to emphasize a theme, or pull together a weak color scheme.

9. Use art in bookshelves.

10. Spotlight your expensive art.


At this point and time you should feel like your room has good weight distribution, is adequately lit, and feels balanced and layered with art and floor coverings. But don't stop now - you must go on! The heart of a room is its personality. Accessorizing is totally a matter of taste, using more or less is dependent on the style of the room.

Accessories soften the hard lines of the room. Remember to:

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing and placing accessories:

1. Accessories look better groups in odd numbers.

2. Cocktail tables adhere to a formula - Something tall (like candlesticks, greenery, floral arrangement), something medium (like a box or sculpture), and something low (like books or a tray)

3. Get your objects up on different levels, books make great lifts.

4. Don't line things up, move objects in and out and up and down within a grouping to establish some movement.

5. Don't place a really large item next to a smaller item - crescendo a grouping, start small and scoop up.

6. Like items are more powerful when displayed together.

7. Don't be afraid of large scale items, go bigger than you are comfortable with.

8. Find a room design in a magazine that looks closest to your dream look and copy it - accessorizing can be overwhelming so copy a good look as closely as possible. You will gain confidence and get proficient with fewer mistakes.

9. Always take your original photographs of your room while shopping. This is a great way to remember art walls, bookcases, spaces above cabinets, etc... an instant visual of your room in your pocket.

10. If you are starting from scratch and buying new accessories for a room, buy more than you think you need and then get home and play! Just return what doesn't work.


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