Accessories can make or break a space. Too many and things feel cluttered, too few and the space seems unfinished. Finding a balance between is the sweet spot, and sometimes difficult. One of the things we are asked to do over and over again by our clients is to accessorize the space properly once the furniture is in.
A few successful HomeGoods runs can get you off to a good start (we often start there too!), but be sure to mix it up and include lots of pretty books, things with patina and objects sourced from various places. Here are some of my tips on accessorizing your space and a roundup of great items that don’t break the bank:
- I always look for a mix of objects and items that vary in finish, scale, type and color. Don’t buy 83 brass objects, it will look like you did it all at once and you want your home to look layered and collected over time.
- If you do have a collection of something, display it together- say a ton of blue and white ceramic pieces. I like to group these on top of a buffet or on a shelf. If the items are all spread out it can look a bit funny.
- Make sure to vary heights on tables, mantels and consoles.
- When styling with bowls and other open vessels, I like to fill it with crumpled paper and then cover with preserved sheet moss. I also love using sheet moss pieces in planters and topiary pots to finish them off.
- I like to use one or two styles of picture frames in a space to keep things from looking mish-mash. For example, a brass frame and a faux tortoise frame. Or a black wood frame and a silver textured frame.
- If you have a wood burning fireplace that doesn’t work, buy some simple andirons and stack birch logs in it to fill it and not make it such a dead zone.
- Don’t be afraid to lean art or mirrors instead of hanging– the layered look is charming.
What spaces do you find the most challenging to style? Coffee tables? Bookshelves? Mantels? Share and I’ll do my best to address in future posts!
You always have such great style suggestions. I love your ideas, your are so inspiring. Thank you very much!
Thanks for your support and Happy Blogging.
Freelance mobile App designer in USA
But I love them all! Can’t I put them all in one room? Oh, the decisions…
Erin- Want you to know that I had ordered your new Fall Navy Chainlink Velvet pillows from Wayfair 0n September 11 and they sent generic Navy velvet pillows instead. They don’t compare! I never received any indication that the pillows were no longer available and waited weeks for their delivery. When I called Wayfair, they told me your pillows had been discontinued and that I could not get the correct pillows that I had ordered. Very strange considering I ordered them immediately after receiving the Wayfair email that they were in stock.
I even ordered them the day before you posted on your blog that they were now available on Wayfair. Thought I beat the rush and ordered early (felt so lucky to snag them) so not sure how they are discontinued. Sorry to hijack the comments but figured it might be helpful for you to know whats happening with your products. Huge fan so I won’t hold it against you. Wayfair might not be so lucky.
I am so sorry for this. We had a major issue with the velvet pillows this rollout– not enough were made and Wayfair messed quite a few orders up. I am not happy about this and actively looking into it. I am so sorry for your crappy experience.
“If you do have a collection of something, display it together- say a ton of blue and white ceramic pieces. I like to group these on top of a buffet or on a shelf. If the items are all spread out it can look a bit funny.”
I need a visual… a photo of this done correctly.
I have beautiful antique china (delicate teacups/demitasse cups and saucers etc ) and I’ve displayed them like my grandmother used to (in 1939 when she got them…) using those little black stands for holding the plate upright with the teacup in front of it. Erm.. like a museum. Help!
Cool collection. Thanks for sharing.
All of the above!! franki
I love making tablescapes with things from nature (seashells, coral, minerals, antlers, pine cones, etc.) on my mantels and tables. I pair them with stacks of books, sculptures, plants (or vases of flowers or branches), urns, lamps, small paintings, candles or blue and white bowls, cachepots, vases or lamps). There are dozens, if not hundreds, of inspirational photos online.
I have a dark antique mantel that is very tall. I have 8′ ceilings, so it is only 2 ft from the ceiling.
I have imari plate mounted on the front of the mantel, but have never put anything on the top of it – no idea what to put there. Help!
Where do I find good Faux plants?
NDI (ndi.com). They have the nicest faux floral, trees, etc. (I believe it’s where Studio McGee sources all of theirs). They’re pricey but very high quality. They have 25% off sales on everything a few times per year, usually around the major holidays.
When I try to click on 19, I get the source for the enamel trays. Can you give the info for 19 please? Thanks!
I made the mistake of collecting a shipload of blue and white. Do have it “scattered” and thought looked ”off”. Now know should make one big display. Have @2300 sf remodeled brick ranch. I need help with all 3 mantel, bookshelves and coffee table (please :)).
Finding real and faux plants for indoors, particularly to place on the floor, is a real challenge for me.
Styling a foyer console table is difficult. One lamp and decorative objects? Or two matching lamps and minimal decor in between? Art above and if so what is the proper hanging height above console? What is interesting for lower shelf of console without being too busy?
Styling a glass oval table in my living room and Jen’s struggle accessorizing a side table without a lamp while still having room to set down a drink.
Mantle with a TV above it – leave it empty or put a matching pair of something on either side??
I have 2 sad, bare fireplace mantels that desperately need styling!
An easy, quick idea is to put a pair of glass hurricane vases (with pillar candles in them) on your mantel – one on each end.
I also put a pair of preserved boxwood topiaries on my mantel – again one on each end.
Not the most exciting thing, but I think either/or look very classic and pretty!
I struggle with the console table below my mounted TV!
Book shelves without books. We read on our kindles, so I don’t want to buy books for decoration. However, we have built in bookshelves, and I struggle with what to put in so they don’t look cluttered. Would love to see a post about styling large built ins.
I have two blue and white porcelain candlesticks. I have nice candles for them, but one of the candlesticks will not hold a candle straight. I’ve tried both of the candles in it and neither work. I think the candlesticks look OK without candles in them. Should I leave them out without candles or put them away?
You can light the candle, let some wax drip into the holder and then put the candle into the holder.
I don’t know if it will work for you, but there is something called “wax candle adapters” – they are little balls of sticky stuff that helps hold a candle in place if it won’t stay straight!
An end table that doesn’t have a lamp! Hard to accomplish height and decorate without feeling cluttered.
Nightstands! I struggle to make them look pretty, but not cluttered (especially with sconces instead of lamps)