Accessories are the accents that help personalize your home.
Think of accessories like the jewelry one wears when dressing up. Accessories are decorative pillows, throws, objet d'art, vases, candy dishes, decanters, trays, cachepots and art. Surround yourselves with objects that are either meaningful, and that are things you love or reflect your taste in design.
It's simple to discern whether an accessory adds or distracts from an interior design. If by removing the item, it leaves a void or feels like the room is lacking something, your accessory may be an essential component of your decor. Accessories that fit in usually contribute to the design in color, pattern and shape. You can sense their presence, because they are not forced, but seem natural to the decor.
Variety and individuality are the top characteristics to look for in accessories. Handicrafts, artwork, family heirlooms, special wedding presents, hobbies and collections -- particularly items collected while traveling -- all are viable accessories for your home. Lithographs and images from vintage books can be framed and mounted onto the wall as an economic alternative to real works of art. Simple household items such as baskets or trays can be hung on the wall -- either all in a row, a geometric pattern or in a free arrangement.
Jack be nimble, Jack be quick … when in doubt, why not a candlestick? Candelabra, or candleholders, are great accessories that also double as a source of light. An insider's tip: all rooms look better when romantic and moody thanks to the flicker of a candle. This is why restaurants love candles so much on dining tables, even if they are small votive holders.
For a dramatic experience, cluster a group of different height candlesticks on a table. Just keep an eye on the flame and wax to avoid an unnecessary visit from the fire department.
Make sure your accessories keep your eye moving around the room. Vary the heights of your accessories. Certain items will be low or on the ground, such as a magazine holder, wastebasket or planter. Other items, such as a hanging light fixture, a lampshade or art on the wall, can lead the eye to look higher.
Then, of course, there are all other items in the middle such as pillows, tabletop items, flower vases or a collection of beautiful wooden boxes.
Seasonal flowers are also considered accessories. Flowers, orchids, plants, reeds and shells can be used as accessories. Also autumn leaves, pumpkins, gourds, pussy willow and cattails can be combined in vases and bowls as a symbol of nature and as fresh decor.
Finally, for some sentiment as well as beauty: Use significant wedding gifts, or family heirlooms to accentuate spots of your decor. In addition, it is all right to use photos in your decor, as long as they are pictures of you, your family or a significant other. Framed photos with celebrities are considered pompous and gouache by polite company. The litmus test is to ask if the person you are photographed with would place your picture in their home.
• Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida.
© 2018, Creators Syndicate