Choosing the Right Accessories to Decorate a Room
Tips for accessorizing your home the right way.
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By Rosemary Sadez Friedmann
Scripps Howard News Service
Because accessories reflect a personal touch, they are of paramount importance in the decoration and completion of a home.
To bring this point home, look closely at the homes that are most appealing; most often they are the ones that create a feeling of comfort, one of being at home. Now take that same house and mentally strip away all the accessories and see how empty it feels no matter how eloquently it is furnished.
For such an important job, how do we go about making the right choices? To begin, strive for some form of visual unity. If a room is formal, for instance, it would be wise to steer clear of rustic collectibles. Beautiful, delicate porcelains would be equally out of place in a casual room.
But there is always that pleasant element of surprise, which is always good. A room that is way too perfect, like one out of a design school book, will be a boring place to live. But the element of surprise does need to be compatible with the rest of the decor. For example, a few antiques in an otherwise contemporary setting are a welcome visual change.
All accessories, be they personal treasures or objects chosen specifically for the room, should be compatible with the decorating scheme. The items should relate in some way to the color plan and the overall mood of the room.
Where do we go to find all the special touches that make a room great? Books and art are good starters. Books are always a welcome decor. They display the interests of the owner as well as make the room feel homey. Fine art stands alone and will always enhance a room.
Family photos are always welcome and certainly add a personal touch. Framing is important, as the art of the frame should compliment the space it shares as well as the picture it displays.
Next, look to scale and balance. An oversized picture on a small wall will be uncomfortably out of place, as would be the opposite, a tiny picture on a huge wall. If only small pieces of art or pictures are available and a large wall is in need of art, arrange the small pieces decoratively on the wall as a unit to fill the space in an aesthetically pleasing manner. But the items still must have some sort of relation to each other in order for this idea to work. For example, a collection of old black and white pictures, or a group of clocks or a collection of small mirrors would work as units.
A good rule of thumb is to have a color and theme coordination running throughout all the accessories. Then it's just a matter of placing the items in the right place.
—For a newsletter on "Reflecting Your Personality Through Accessories," send $3.00 plus a long, self-addressed stamped envelope to L&M Publications, PMB 229, PO Box 413005, Naples, FL 34103-3005. Be sure to mention the title.
(Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, a Naples, Fla., interior designer, is the author of a newly released Mystery of Color, available at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and online.)
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