In every HMD Room Recipe we include multiple options for several types of accessories. These options are always hand picked to work with your style and of course the design concept we’ve created for your room.
This post is all about helping you take the accessories you love and arrange them in a way that is perfect for your coffee table, wall, mantel and more.
Let Your Concept Be Your Guide
Allow your overall room concept to inform your every decision. Here’s an example, if your going for a streamlined, sophisticated and un-cluttered room we might suggest a single simple piece of artwork scaled appropriately to the mantel below with two symmetrically placed urns on each end.
For a wonderful client with a seaside family cottage we recently suggested a collection of accessories layered on top of one another. Much like the seaside coast we displayed a variety of visual elements in the form of interesting objects that draw the eye. They are distinct from one another but grouped together into a single ecosystem.
Add Your Own Personality
I am a huge advocate of the notion that accessories are the proper tools to show off your personality. Its not typically a smart investment to go crazy with the envelope of the room (the permanent features future buyers will have to pay to change) but it is really easy to consider your accessories as the “personality layer” of your room where you can cut loose, go crazy, get trendy and if desired cost effectively switch out whenever you feel the inner tug to do so.
This is why we urge you to use your HMD design package as suggestions and directional inspiration that gives scale and color and inspiration to guide you toward finding those unique elements that sing out to you!
Choose an Anchor Piece You Truly Love
Personalizing your home through accessories includes inserting meaning. You shouldn’t strive to have every single accessory relate to a personal story or family history, but it’s such a wonderful thing when an anchor piece is something that you really love or something that creates emotion when you look at it. It could be a photograph of a loved one or from a favorite place thousands of miles away you’ve experience in your travels. It can be a fabric that reminds you of your childhood re-purposed on an accent pillow. Even a simple object like a weather-vane or bookend can have meaning that becomes an important part of meaningful accessorizing.
Basing Scale On Dominant Architecture
The overall accessory composition should be scaled from the most dominant architectural influence in the room, and secondarily the larger furniture pieces (fireplace mantel or window and sofa, bufet or accent chair.)
The simplest rule to help define this scale is to follow the rule of 1/3’s. For instance if your sofa is 9’ long – the composition behind it could be either 1/3 or 2/3 wide – so either 3’ or 6’ wide in this case.
If you’d like to arrange several different objects, the same rule of 1/3’s can be applied. For example, you could print a single photograph so the matting and frame around it finishes at 3’ or 6’ wide. Or you could group a few photographs into an arrangement that is either 3′ or 6′ wide whether it’s a symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangement, these dimensional confines help it work!
A composition of objects starts with your favorite, inspirational object and scales down from there in size and color. For example, to feature the above gorgeous hand carved raw-wood candlesticks, everything we choose to go anywhere near it would not compete or attract attention away from them… no bright pops of color, or dark wood here!
Exceptions Are The Rule
Are there exceptions to these ideas? Yes of course!
An important exception is trying to camouflage anything unsightly that is directly related to the accessorized area (a vent or a radiator or even a soffit.) Another could be the use of an asymmetrical furniture arrangement where the whole grouping of furniture needs to be considered and not just the sofa. Another example, really really tall ceilings.
Want Some Designer Help with Accessory Composition?
We would be thrilled to create a drawing that helps you arrange your accessories in a way that best fits your unique space! For a fixed fee of $99 we’ll take your measurements, room photo’s, a favorite accessory or photograph (or 5) and create a scaled sketch of the area that includes our recommended (hand-picked for your room) accessories according to your style, colors and budget (we specify from West Elm, Neiman Marcus, exclusive trade sources and similar) to illustrate placement and scale.
We’ll also include product details and / or links to the accessories we suggest so that you can procure as best you see fit!
Click here to order an accessory package, just select “Drawings” from the online interior design menu!
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