Accessorizing Your Home is Like Icing the Cake!
The pleasure of a cake is usually a three-fold sensory extravaganza, orchestrating the fresh baked aroma of sweetness, the sheer spectacle created by mounds, waves, and swirls of luscious icing and confections with the palatal play of the flavors as you consume it. No matter how fresh the cake or how perfectly blended and baked it may be, we really can’t experience it in all its glory without the topping
So it is with cakes, so it goes with your home! My sagiest (my new word for wisest) advice to anyone desiring to create a dynamic environment is to allow room in your budget for the finishing touches. The really good thing about the personal touches is that they can be achieved without a big investment.
Always go to your closets and cabinets first- they are usually hiding something unusual, memorable and, best of all, free since you already own it! And while you’re digging for treasures don’t forget to check with Aunt Matilda- she may have just the quirky item or retro piece to add to your arsenal. When purchasing art and artifact for your home, bear in mind the reality of your budget, both current and future. Since these purchases are strictly for show, the punch power is far more important than the quality. Unless you are, or intend to become, a collector of fine art, there generally is little need for spending big unless you just can’t achieve the same look without it.
Accessorizing seems to be the area that intimidates most homeowners but there are some guidelines that can be oh so helpful! Some of these points I have mentioned in the past but they definitely bear repeating and further explanation. Filling those bare walls is always the biggest challenge. Because mistakes tend to leave holes in your walls, you feel the pressure to get it right the first time…and that is so hard! The question of mixing art styles, frames and media is confusing enough and then you have to get the spacing just right. No wonder most of us retreat from the task. I always employ a level, a tape measure, a pencil, a tap on the wall to find the stud, and a trained eye but there are new toys out there that employ laser beams for the perfect measure and stud finders to ensure you are in the right spot. It often helps to layout an arrangement on the floor to plan you spacing. The basic rules are simple, mix anything that seems pleasing to your eye, keep the larger pieces lower, hang most art at SEATED eye level or, if doing a grouping, start low enough to connect the art to the furniture below it. Too much space leaves a negative void. Distribute your accent colors, various textures and finishes throughout the space to create cohesion and interest and don’t be afraid to do the unexpected. A low hung picture, a picture over a mirrored wall, a shelf over a doorway- these are all engaging when done correctly.
Tabletop landscaping should be beautiful AND functional. Place remotes, eye glasses, pens etc. in attractive boxes, reading material should be nicely displayed or stacked in baskets, lamps in proportion to the table and suitable to the task of lighting, and select accessories that contribute to the ambiance of the room but leave space for a cup of coffee or a drink on your tables.
Collectibles are most interesting when presented in a grouping, odd numbers of items create more excitement to the eye, and the pyramid shape is an alternative to simple symmetry when deciding placement. The world is in to ebooks (okay not me, I am still comforted by old school) but your home can be warmed by the presence of books worked in to shelves and tablescapes. China cabinets are usually begging for warmth and can be graced with accessories, so consider storing some of those place settings behind closed doors.
Another good principle to remember is that filling empty corners can actually better define your space, so employ pedestals, art easels, silk or live trees and plants, along with sculpture and accent lighting to enhance and engage that area. Lighting should always be provided on all levels, ceiling, mid, and floor level to create drama as well as functional illumination. And cozy up your upholstery with pillows and throws that say “come snuggle up here” while they add a splash of color at the same time.
So there you have it, some of the major ingredients of accessorizing and just enough knowledge to make you scary with power- that is just enough to ice your own cake!