You’re almost done – this is the fifth and final step of your redesign. In Step #5 you’ll add the final decorating elements, accessories and plants, to reveal the true personality of your redesign. Of course, before initiating Step #5, you need to complete Steps 1 – Deconstruct the Room, 2 – Review Architecture and Focal Point, 3 – Furniture Placement and 4 – Lighting and Art. Perform each step in consecutive order and when you’re done with this one your redesign will be complete!
Shop Your House
You can add to the selection of accessories and plants removed from the room during deconstruction by shopping your home. Stroll through each room in your home looking for things that reinforce the feel of the room you’re working on. Rummage through closets, check drawers and hunt in basements or attics for treasures and collectibles. Review available artwork for themes and recreate them with accessories. Since colors and materials are often repeated throughout a house consider grouping accessories by color or theme.
Areas to Accessorize
- Coffee table – Complete the coffee table first while you have the greatest selection of accessories. It is central to the room and will seen by any visitors – so show off your finest collection. Place a vertical or tall accessory or plant first and then create visual peaks and valleys with supporting accessories and plants.
- Fireplace mantel – Select accessories that continue the theme of any art hanging above the fireplace. Group items together - don’t separate matching items - but avoid clutter.
- Table tops (dining, sofa, console, occasional or end tables), desks, chests, piano tops - When grouping photos graduate heights and overlap the items slightly. On a side table without a lamp include a vertical element like a candelstick or vase of flowers. If there is a lamp, select an accessory or plant that repeats the shape of the base. Vary the height of objects, creating visual peaks and valleys in the display. A more detailed step by step lesson for this can be found in an earlier post -read about table tops here, or shelf vignettes here.
- Etagere, bookcase, hutch or shelves – Mix books with objects, standing some books upright and laying some flat while on other shelfs forego books entirely. Place heaviest looking books or objects near the bottom.
- High spots like the top of an entertainment center, overhead ledges or shelves are a great place to use oversize “make a statement” accessories. Items have to be large enough to be seen easily.
Areas for Plants & Florals
- Coffee table
- Dining room table and end tables
- Hutch, bookcase
- Benches (on top and underneath)
- Include trees and large plants in the room, don’t simply relegate them to a corner – integrate them into the room
- Arrange fruit like apples or lemons or vegetables such as colorful peppers as an option to flowers
- Use the triad principle – odd numbers for maximum effect
- Height is an important element on most surfaces (tables, chests, counters, etc.) but make sure to complement the room and not obscure the view of the focal point or people
- Elevate some pieces to add visual interest to a display
- Group like items together for impact
- Balance size and volume – don’t put tiny, delicate items on a chunky, heavy credenza
- Don’t create clutter by trying to use all your available accessories. Change them out, rotate them in displays instead.
Where to Start
Lots of surfaces, lots of accessories and lots of plants and flowers? Where to start? For inspiration look at the art you hung in your room in Step 4 and review the accessories and plants you’ve gathered – is there a coordinating theme or color? Start there – and with the coffee table. Then move to the mantel, bookcases and other flat surfaces. As you develop your vignettes or groupings, you may need to shift things around until you find the most pleasing arrangement. If you need a little more clarification of the basic principles above, wander through our archives – we have several great articles about accessorizing successfully.
Now you’ve got all 5 of the steps – so start with Redesign Step 1 and finish up here, with Redesign Step 5! If you get started and hit a snag, feel free to contact us so we can help. And be sure to share your before and after photos with us – we’d love to see your results.