Cover image of colorful room referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from Christopher Spitzmiller
Image is shared on Instagram @christopherspitzmiller
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The Do's and Don'ts of Accessorizing

Accessories are the finishing touch that reinforce the overall feeling of your space. The luxury of accessorizing is that it can happen over the course of your life. Accessories may rotate seasonally for a fresh look or remain intact for years. My advice for accessorizing is to seek each object with the same discrimination you used in choosing your furniture.

Assorted accessories image referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from Laurie Smith

Image is owned by Laurie Smith @lauriesmithofficial

Try to select pieces that have personal meaning for you or objects that have captured your heart. Remember, as style icon Coco Chanel said, “An interior is the natural projection of the soul”.

Beautiful living room image referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from Thom Filicia

Image is shared on Instagram @thomfilicia

DO choose accessories that reflect who you are and help tell your story.

Remember, accessories are wonderful conversation starters…For example, I love to collect antique cloisonné, especially from my travels. Each piece tells a beautiful color story in addition to a travel adventure. Purchasing a matching set of accessories from a decorative home store will most likely look contrived and not feel authentic.

Image of colorful centerpieces referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from Suzanne Kasler

Image is shared on Instagram @suzannekasler

DO pay attention to the layout of your bookshelves.

Perhaps you have a book collection that expresses your passion for fiction or art. Consider the artful placement of bookshelves and constantly push yourself to assess the graphic impact they can deliver. While it is timeless to have classic library shelves full of your favorite reads, bookshelves are a wonderful place to introduce color, art, decorative pieces and photos. Playing with height in each vignette can be achieved by placing some books vertically, while others stacked horizontally may serve as achieved by placing some books vertically, while others stacked horizontally may serve as foundations for interesting objects.

DO realize that coffee tables, consoles, mantels and end tables are natural surfaces to create impact in a space. 

Try to have varying heights amongst your accessories. For instance, on a coffee table you may have a tall vase residing beside a decorative box and a stack of art books or magazines. This adds interest as well as visual layers and keeps the surface from appearing flat or stagnant. Always remember that flowers are a beautiful way to freshen a surface and interchange or add color to a decorative scheme. Layering is an ongoing process, so it’s best to let your displays evolve naturally and understand the importance of editing. I once had a design instructor teach us to accessorize a space as our heart pleases and then edit 10%. Often taking away an object, as opposed to adding one, will perfect your display.

Image of colorful throw pillows referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from JAMES home décor

Fifth Image is shared on Instagram @jamesshowroom

Image of colorful lamps referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from Laurie Smith

Sixth Image is owned by Laurie Smith @lauriesmithofficial

DON’T discount the importance of textiles, lighting, and floor coverings like rugs or interesting tile as accessories. 

All are a way to introduce color, interesting pattern or shape to a space. Remember with textiles that geometrics and organic shapes reside nicely together. Pairs of lamps or other interesting objects help achieve symmetry and balance in arrangements on shelves, tabletops, or a mantel. That is why, whether sifting through a flea market or a decorative accessories store, I love to look for pairs.

Living room artwork referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from Katie Ridder Inc

Image is shared on Instagram @katieridderinc

DON’T ever let your room decor dictate the color palette of your art.

If your art matches your room, the result is always stagnant. Art is as individualistic as you are and deserves to be independent of its surroundings. To me, artwork is the most exciting part of the accessorizing process because it is the means by which drama and personality enter the space. The beauty of art is how personal it is to the owner. The only true rule around hanging art is that the midpoint is between 57 and 60 inches from the floor. This is true for art over a sofa as well and keeps a space feeling anchored. Of course, this rule does not pertain to a gallery wall where multiple pieces are grouped in interesting ways.

Vase arrangement image referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog by William Stites

Image credit: William Stites

DON’T forget when grouping objects on tabletop, follow the general design rule of working with odd numbers, often just three.

This makes it easy to create balance with one object centered and two others as anchors. Experiment with color and scale, but avoid having one object overpower the others. Decorative frames always group nicely in sets of three. One on its own seems lost, but the addition of two others with a similar finish creates a dialogue among them. As designers, we understand the rule of triangulation, the repetition of a color or form three times in a space. For example, green may be established as an accent color through triangulation in a space when it appears in the room on throw pillows, a side chair and again on a lamp. The details of a room are important; they ought to reflect the soul of the person who lives in the space. Always DO realize that when you display and accessorize with items that you love your home will feel authentic and inviting. Certainly, a home that brings joy is the ultimate motivation for interior design.

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